On Workers Memorial Day and in honor of nurses fallen by the Coronavirus, an Online Memorial Service hosted by the NYS Nurses Association to be held this evening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2020
Contact: Carl Ginsburg | carl.ginsburg@nysna.org | 917.405.1060

New York, NY – On this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day, the nurses of the New York State Nurses Association will honor their fallen colleagues, victims of the coronavirus, in an Online Memorial Service. The Memorial Service is to take place TODAY, April 28 at 8PM Eastern Time.

WHAT: Online Memorial Service hosted by the New York State Nurses Association to honor fallen nurses and healthcare workers on Workers’ Memorial Day
WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 8:00 PM EST
WHERE: Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/95041590128?pwd=VE1qUzFVK2JEWUxUU1lkR2UvVTJTUT09
Meeting ID: 950 4159 0128, Password: 622123
One tap mobile: +16468769923,,95041590128# US (New York)

Please join the nurses’ tribute to the fallen nurses, particularly if you have a memory to share or a few words to speak about those we have lost.

The nurses chose this day for two very significant reasons. International Workers’ Memorial Day is acknowledged as a day to highlight workplace incidents that are preventable to some large extent and to promote campaigns in furtherance of improvements in workplace safety. It was in 1989 that the AFL-CIO declared April 28 as the “International Workers' Memorial Day” in honor of the hundreds of thousands of working people killed and injured on the job every year the world over.

The second reason nurses remember this day is that in 1970 the ‘Occupational Safety and Health Act” became law (It went into effect the following year with the formation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)). Unions working with OSHA have led numerous public health campaigns to bring about essential improvements in the workplace.

This Workers’ Memorial Day has great significant because nurses and other key workers are on the front line battling the coronavirus. Yet OSHA has failed to issue an infection control standard, undercutting any coordinated, national effort to defeat the virus. This failure has resulted in incalculable suffering and death, for patients and front line nurses and other healthcare workers.

What we see today in New York’s hospitals, according to NYSNA surveys of its members, is that half the nurses say their personal protection equipment is inadequate, while 70% indicate exposure to the virus.  This data only begins to tell a story of a gross lack of preparedness by government, marked by unconscionable delays on the federal level and competition among states and hospital systems for critical supplies.

“We are sorrowful on this Workers’ Memorial Day as we commemorate our friends and colleagues—nurses who lost lives fighting the coronavirus.  We are saddened and angered to see the near total breakdown of a public health system in the nation,” said NYSNA Executive Director Pat Kane, RN.  “We will invoke these memories in our work to defeat this virus in all the communities we serve and to build a healthcare system that treats every American equally. Healthcare is a human right.”

The slogan for Workers’ Memorial Day is “Remember the dead. Fight for the living.”

###

The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit nysna.org.

About NYSNA

We are 42,000 nurses working together to win safe staffing, keep hospitals open for care, stop the Wall Street attack on our patients, and win healthcare for all.