Nurse unity

NYSNA continues to pick up steam around the state, pulling together large numbers of members and supporters. “Firsts” were seen in the Capital Region, where a first bargaining conference was convened; and a first interregional was carried out in Olean. Contract votes and filings to join the union filled out a summer season of union strength and solidarity.

It was a first! The first bargaining conference of nurses in the Capital Region. One hundred NYSNA members were joined by other area RNs on July 10. They voted yes to develop a bargaining platform to build nurse unity for quality patient care. Capital Region nurses are some of the lowest paid in the state. Calls for fair wages, affordable healthcare and retirement with dignity resonated at the conference, as did demands for safe staffing ratios. Union protections for patient advocacy were also given a high priority. Designated the highest priority: quality patient care at all facilities, for all patients, in all communities.

A unanimous vote ratified a new three-year contract for members at A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta.

In Amsterdam, NY, RNs at St. Mary’s Hospital filed to form a union and join NYSNA. The July 16 action underscored the RNs’ desire for staffing improvements and for protections when nurses invoke a collective voice and advocate for patients. There is an outpouring of support in the community for the nurses. A delegation of community leaders delivered petitions signed by more than 200 residents of Montgomery County calling for hospital management to respect the RNs and recognize the union.

In another first, RNs met in Olean at the first Interregional meeting of members in Western New York State. Thirty members reviewed a presentation on pension protection, building unity at Olean Hospital and strengthening ties with members throughout the state.

In the Bronx, yet another group of 100 RNs gathered at an interregional meeting to plan a winning future and protect patient care.

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