NYSNA Nurses Eager to Go to the Bargaining Table
As executive director of NYSNA, I’m often asked by my peers, ‘are we ready?’ They are inquiring about whether we are ready for bargaining given 32 NYSNA contracts covering over 30,000 members are expiring by the end of the year or in early 2023.
My response is as resolute as it is defiant; ‘nurses are always ready.’ Regardless of the challenge, nurses consistently rise to the occasion. Regardless of what we face, we dig deep and find a way to thrive. The question is not, ‘are nurses ready.’ It is, ‘is management ready?’ Are they ready to do right by nurses and healthcare professionals? Are they ready to tell the truth about record profits? Are they ready to prioritize patients and caregivers? Are they ready to match their rhetoric with the reality of what nurses and healthcare professionals face?
We are tired of disrespect, denial and debasement. We will not tolerate substandard care; not for us, not for our profession, not for our patients and not for our communities. We are ready to fight for that which our patients, our communities and our families deserve.
Enough is enough
In many cases, management is manipulative and cunning. One of the things they attempt to do is to convince nurses and healthcare workers that we are powerless. We are not. They like to pretend that they have no control over the myriad issue nurses face. They do. They like to develop policies and practices that intimidate and frighten persons in their employ. We are unafraid. We are brave. We are heroic. And we are tired of begging for basics such as decent working conditions, good pay and benefits, and safety and security on the job.
We will not allow management to push us aside, stall progress and disregard the role nurses and healthcare professionals play in the healthcare system. The entire healthcare system depends on us. They know it and we do too.
When we head to the bargaining table, we are not just negotiating for what nurses and healthcare professionals deserve. We are also pulling back the curtain and exposing the lies and false narratives that management promulgates. We are not just advocating for the healthcare our patients and communities deserve. We are also shining a light on the secrets of the healthcare system. For instance, while management harps on a nursing shortage, the truth is that this is a manufactured crisis they created. By harping on a nursing shortage, health systems have a convenient means of evading accountability — in service of maintaining their safe and comfortable position.
So yes, I say, we are ready and have never been more ready. Our labor, our service, and our care matters — we make the difference and save lives every hour of every day. We will not allow our profession and our patients to be exploited for profits.
Will they Continue on This Path?
We are calling the question on management. Will they continue on a path of prioritizing profits over patients? Will they continue to fabricate a lie that short staffing is out of their control? Will they continue to give lip service to valuing healthcare professionals while denying us respect and dignity on the job? While some things are out of our control, exposing unethical employers is not one of them.
For the first time in NYSNA’s history, we are launching a paid media campaign that will blanket New York City and the boroughs. We have secured more than 459 static and digital as well as motion-based ads across New York, and coming into Manhattan, - including Staten Island ferries, the George Washington Bridge, all subways to and from Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx and Manhattan.
“We Love NY Nurses” is our public-facing campaign that will gather support from our patients and communities, reflecting unity and support for our members. Our members and their messages will reach more than 4 million people.
Our members are the frontline heroes and now it’s time to treat them with respect with fair contracts for all.
We are ready.
Our labor, our service, and our care matters — we make the difference and save lives every hour of every day.”