Safe staffing and a commitment to a statewide strategy to improve patient care dominated the March 12 Capital Region Inter-Regional Meeting in Glenville. Nurses from across the region gathered to share updates on ongoing contract campaigns at Ellis Hospital and Bellevue Woman’s Center in Schenectady and Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville.
Nathan Littauer NYSNA members reported on their recent win of an Unfair Labor Practice charge against the hospital for direct dealing with employees. The hospital must post official notice of the settlement for 60 days, stating that it will not violate employees’ federally-protected union rights by attempting to circumvent the union. Nurses from Visiting Nurse Services (VNS) in Schenectady presented highlights from their newly signed contract to inspire those still in bargaining, and RNs from St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica offered their support, as well.
Respected leader retires
The entire room paid tribute to Gloria Strong who is retiring from VNS after serving as bargaining unit president for 44 years. Mellissa Coyne, VNS RN and current bargaining unit president, summed up the sentiment felt by all: “45 years ago, our RNs were being taken advantage of, and we are all here today because of Gloria. Your legacy will continue.”