Staten Island membership grows

Case managers at SIUH, joined by NYSNA members, celebrate their winning vote to join the union.

On November 18, NYSNA scored another win: case managers at Staten Island University Hospital voted by more than an 80 percent margin for union representation. The 38 case managers will join 1,000 RNs already represented by NYSNA at the hospital, which is now part of the North Shore-LIJ network. Pat Kane, RN and NYSNA Treasurer, was especially excited to see new members added at her hospital. “The last election for a new group of nurses on Staten Island was 15 years ago. This win demonstrates that we can successfully spread our vision that every nurse should be part of the union. It’s a new day for Staten Island and for North Shore LIJ.”

Phyllis Beck, RN, CCM, said the organizing campaign kicked into high gear last February. For her, the priority is patient safety, a motivation shared by fellow case managers. “We want to be able to improve staffing by recruiting new case managers from within the hospital. By all being together in NYSNA, we can make the transition seamless and all be on the same page.”

Tina Crowley, RN, one of two case managers who initiated the organizing campaign, agreed with Ms. Beck that safe staffing was a main motivation. “Some case managers cover three units and can have as many as 60 patients. It’s very stressful to arrive at work on Monday and have 24 or more clinical reviews waiting for you, on top of your discharge planning and other responsibilities.” She added, “Case managers were also upset because when North Shore-LIJ took over SIUH they took away our regular vacation and sick time and changed to a PTO system; plus, they stopped paying time-and-a-half on holidays.”

“The case managers saw a different union during our recent contract campaign and victory,” said Pat Kane. “The SIUH RNs were so involved and visible in the campaign.” She said that the victory is a homecoming, of sorts, for about half of the case managers, who had been NYSNA members earlier in their careers. “It’s so great to welcome them back.”

Case managers are meeting to elect their Negotiating Committee. “We’re looking forward to bargaining a contract that addresses staffing, work-life balance, representation, and improved benefits,” said Ms. Beck.

“The case managers worked really hard for this victory. They showed that they have what it takes to stay united and achieve what they set out to get,” said Ms. Kane. “The RNs are absolutely thrilled to welcome the case managers into the SIUH NYSNA family.”

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