We spoke out. At town and city councils. Before local and state elected officials. We gathered in our hospitals and told our managers, with POAs and petitions. We rallied in our communities and traveled to Albany on Lobby Days. We leafletted with reference to scientific studies with data in our support. We worked with many devoted allies. And we chanted. (See p. 11)
Safe Staffing Saves Lives!
Safe staffing levels
On June 22, Governor Andrew Cuomo stepped forward with a resounding answer. “Next session,” he said, “I will introduce legislation allowing the Department of Health to set safe staffing levels by regulation….” (See box, below, for full text.)
In January, 2019, Governor Cuomo will place before the Legislature a law that will empower the Department of Health to create regulations for safe staffing levels—safe staffing by law! For all hospitals and nursing homes in New York State! For nurses and other care givers!
There was more. That same day, he instructed the NYS Department of Labor to “vigorously enforce workforce protections.” The rights of nurses under existing law to overtime pay, meal breaks and rest periods, protection from mandated overtime. To violate state law, said the Governor, “will result in penalty-pay to each nurse….”
“I commend Governor Cuomo for setting in motion a process to give nurses both the safe staffing we need and protections for conditions on the job,” said NYSNA First Vice President Anthony Ciampa, RN. “Together these measures give us renewed strength to give our patients they very best care they deserve.”