Hundreds of nurses from the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) gathered on Thursday, August 18, 2022, at Times Square in New York City kicking off a contract campaign for approximately 30,000 NYSNA nurses. Their union contracts expire on Dec. 21, 2022, or in early 2023. The public campaign will feature a website, www.welovenynurses.org, and a major advertising campaign launching in early September.
NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN, CCRN, BSN, said: “As nurses and healthcare professionals, our priority is to protect and advocate for the best care for all of our patients. The “We Love NY Nurses” platform will improve patient care, strengthen the nursing workforce, and uplift the communities we serve. Approximately 30,000 nurses are ready to fight for fair contracts that will strengthen healthcare for all New Yorkers.”
The nurses gathered in Manhattan with allies who weighed in with their support of the campaign. NYSNA nurses were joined by NYC Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, State Sen. Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Eddie Gibbs, NYC Council Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, NYC Councilmember Julie Menin, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, and NYC Councilmember Erik Bottcher.
NYSNA is launching a public campaign, “We Love NY Nurses,” that features a five-point platform to improve patient care, strengthen the nursing workforce, and uplift communities. The program includes: 1) Improving patient care through safe staffing; 2) Fair wages to recruit and retain nurses; 3) Protecting healthcare and retirement; 4) Listen to the nurses to protect public health, and 5) Uplifting communities with good jobs and responding to community health needs.
According to NYSNA, this campaign launch is the beginning of New York’s nurses getting organized, mobilized, and ready to bargain and win fair contracts that respect nurses and patients.
NYC Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez helped rally the crowd of nurses on stage, saying, “We are going to be with you in this fight because we know how important it is to you, to your patients, to communities, to healthcare more broadly, and we’re going to do everything we can in that fight…All of New York City labor will be with you in this fight as long as it takes! We are supporters of yours, we are patients of yours, and we love NY nurses!”
“Throughout the horrific COVID pandemic of the past two and one-half years, New York’s nurses have stepped up, risking their own health and safety to protect others,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF – Manhattan). “Their commitment to protecting the health of our communities has never wavered, and now it’s time to recognize and repay them with the fair contract they deserve. Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system, but without the enforcement of safe staffing laws, fair wages, health and retirement benefits, and other protections, the system will crumble. As nurses’ contracts expire in the coming months, it’s more critical than ever to support our healthcare heroes.”
The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State.