More than 1,000 members, and soon-to-be members from unorganized facilities, attended NYSNA’s convention in October. Our new concept: make the convention affordable ($25/day, with meals!) and take on the real-life issues we face. Turnout was way beyond our expectations – thus a few long lines at times.
The board is working hard to ensure that NYSNA addresses the issues that affect members and our communities. This is a major change from the old NYSNA – an organization that served the organization.
WE’VE SET GOALS
And we’ve reallocated resources to accomplish these:
- NYSNA is visible and active in every facility.
- Working nurses get the support we need to challenge the status quo and to staunch the shredding of nursing practice.
- Members receive research and analysis that’s critical to understanding the broader environment.
- Our union can represent nurses throughout New York State, thereby ending wage compression and lousy benefits in areas of low union density and enabling nurses to have a voice in care delivery.
- Communities work with caregivers to forge powerful alliances that corporate power brokers can’t crush.
WE’VE SIMPLIFIED OUR STRUCTURE
Historically, our dues financed an organization that had no relationship to many members. Position statements didn’t capture our struggles. Legislation fermented in committee. Research was disconnected from bargaining unit issues. Discussions related to practice and education weren’t linked to concrete action plans. Worst, most members had no means to provide input.
Once finalized, our new structure will turn on a dime. When the need arises for us to mobilize – to save a hospital from closing, fight a corporate takeover, defend an underserved community, wage an effective contract campaign, or demand justice in the workplace – we’ll be ready.
WE’RE READY FOR THE FIGHTS AHEAD
NYSNA can now wage multi-faceted campaigns around access to care, safe staffing, preventing hospital closures and service slashes, stopping – and reversing – healthcare corporatization and privatization. We can promote our vision of an egalitarian, single-payer healthcare system and join the ranks of every developed nation in the world!
We aim to bring sophisticated and provocative education programs to all regions of the state to ensure that members are armed with the knowledge we need to expose the myths that render us powerless. Convention workshops on the Affordable Care Act, electronic medical records, climate change, and the economy were a good start.
One hundred and eighty members have taken our initial steward training course. Training sessions are ongoing across the state. Soon NYSNA will have a formidable army of activists. Hospital CEOs, beware!
Only an activated, knowledgeable, and involved membership can make change happen. This is where YOU come in. Leaders are important, true, but it’s the members who move mountains.
Let’s get going.