Page 1

APRIL 2018


Members on the Move: Lobby Day Energizes Nurses and Legislators NYSNA nurses had an incredible Lobby Day this year! More than 1,000 nurses and nursing students got on the bus to speak out for safe staffing and quality healthcare for all, including several Westchester Med nurses who attended for the first time. “I’d been to Lobby Day before, but this was my first time as a lobby leader,” said Corrine Noonan, RN. “It’s a bit tiring emotionally, because we’re talking about safe staffing and putting the ‘care’ back in healthcare. Nurses from OB, psych, ER all shared their stories with legislators. Overall, it felt exciting—especially seeing it through the eyes of newer nurses who are coming to Albany for the first time.” Westchester nurses met with three State Senators and Assembly Members who support safe staffing. We also joined with Montefiore nurses to visit State Senator Pam Helming, who has been undecided about the

Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act. But after meeting with nurses and promising to review our materials, Sen. Helming said she was 99% sure she would sign on as a sponsor. There was a tremendous feeling of momentum for safe staffing. Nurses and legislators were bolstered by the recent news that Governor Andrew Cuomo supports safe staffing! Corrine concluded, “There’s more power when you join together. For nurses who couldn’t make it to Lobby Day, I would encourage you to contact your local legislator. Maybe you can’t get on the bus, but you can help the effort in other ways. We really have to unite for safe staffing.”

I Am Proud to Stand with the Men and Women in Our Hospitals and Support Safe Staffing Levels that Ensure the Highest Quality of Care” —Governor Andrew Cuomo issuing a directive to the state Department of Labor on April 15th to support safe staffing in New York’s hospitals.


end of the preceding quarter. Be on the lookout for a calendar handout that illustrates the holiday time request process, and feel free to contact the NYSNA office to receive copies for yourself and your unit.

A Message from Your Executive Committee: Your Holiday Time Headaches Are Over! Back in January, Westchester Med nurses began noticing a change in how management was dealing with holiday time. Nursing Directors had begun assigning members to take holiday time, instead of paying members out for unused holiday time. Management even told nurses they needed to use their vacation time to take holidays off if they had not accrued enough holiday time. This sudden change in policy was impacting a lot of nurses, who began calling the NYSNA office with questions. So in late January, we got together and filed a class action grievance. “The sudden change in how managers were scheduling holiday time caused a lot of chaos,” said Zina Klein, RN and NYSNA Executive Committee Grievance Chair. “We knew that the changes conflicted with our Collective Bargaining Agreement, and did not give members enough say in how they use holiday time.” It turned out that according to our contract, managers did have the right to assign holiday time. However, managers were given the directive to begin assigning or scheduling holiday time to prevent payouts of such time. Here’s the point: an employee has the right to request and use holiday time earned in one quarter by the end of the following quarter. Management can only assign holiday time if the employee does not make requests to use that time 30 days prior to the

There’s more: management was also paying out unused holiday time incorrectly. According to our contract, if the employee makes requests and the employer cannot schedule those requests due to operational requirements such as short staffing, then holiday time must be paid in cash at the end of the following quarter. Management had been paying out unused holiday time before nurses even had a chance to request it. We proceeded with the grievance to give members more of a voice in how their holiday time is used, and to clarify the policies and procedures for requesting holiday time off moving forward. “The NYSNA Executive Committee has been working with Labor-Management, and now we’re in the final stages of creating a new and improved time off request form with the Chief Nursing Officer,” said Debra Coyne, RN and NYSNA Executive Committee 2nd Vice President. “We’re excited that the holiday time headaches are over—and that we’re all on the same page now.”

Welcome to our newest members! Arlene Suarez, 5S Brittany Taggart, CDU Jenny Lee, 5S Francine Deleso, Peds 3200 Elizabeth Sanger, CDU Gerry Sultana, CTICU Megan Sickler, Burn Ngo Oji, 4S John Delisi, 6N Kerry Ryan, Burn Chrystal Campbell, BHC, A1 Meredith Stevens, Peds 3100 Rashleigh Gibbons, Utilization Review Nicole Haviland, Utilization Review

APRIL 2018

A Newsletter for NYSNA RNs at Westchester Medical Center

es deserve all the benefits and protections that come with being a NYSNA member. Our patients also deserve the high quality care and advocacy that we can deliver at Westchester Med—free of fear—because we are union nurses.

Westchester Med Says Union Yes! Last month, NYSNA members at Westchester Medical Center launched a membership card drive in order to make sure we have everyone’s updated contact information, and to reaffirm our commitment as union members. We got an overwhelmingly positive response—more than 575 cards have been signed so far! “When you’re in the union, you know what’s going on in your facility—and you get your information first hand,” says Fay Smith, RN. “I like the togetherness of the union.” Nurses need a strong voice that comes from the unity of our colleagues and the backing of a union now more than ever in a time of increased attacks on healthcare and on unions. Never doubt that nurs-

Wilma Wynter, RN, says, “I love being a NYSNA nurse because of the camaraderie when we’re together—it’s knowing someone’s got your back. Being in a union has helped us with safe staffing and our contract. I could remember the days when we worked 24 hours. Now management can’t just use mandating as a way of staffing the unit. That was not safe, and we got that changed as a union.” The membership card delivers new benefits, too. You will be able to use your Member ID to quickly check-in at events, sign-up for free CE classes, and earn points towards NYSNA swag! Wearing the new Member ID will show that we are united for our profession and for our patients.

The union gives us support. When we speak out about conditions on our unit or fight for improvements, the union reinforces that what we’re fighting for is right.” —Kim Guzzo, RN, Westchester Medical Center

Heart Institute

Political Corner We are excited to report that Shelley Mayer just won the hotly contested State Senate seat in District 37! As an Assembly Member, Shelley was a strong supporter of nursing issues and of Westchester Med nurses during our contract fight. Nurses threw in with the entire labor movement to support Shelley in this race. The Westchester-Putnam Central Labor Council was an early supporter, and nurses did our part with phone calls, door knocking, and spreading the word for Shelley. “When union members vote, we win!” said Jayne Cammisa, RN and NYSNA Board Member. “This campaign showed that it takes collective action and everyone getting out the vote to deliver the desired results.” Governor Cuomo threw his weight behind Shelley’s campaign, too, in order to bring a Democratic majority to New York’s State Senate for the first time in nearly a decade. “Sometimes you have to change the law to change working conditions,” Jayne continued. “With Shelley in the State Senate, we are a giant step closer to having the votes we need to win safe staffing.”


(For more information or to register, ask your NYSNA Rep)

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Claire Maggio, RN, President Nursing Operations, 4N, 4S, 5S, 6S, 6N, 7S, 7NW, Burn Unit








June 11, NYSNA WMC Office

Jayne Cammisa, RN, Secretary & NYSNA Release Time Representative PICU, NICU, Peds 31, Peds 32, Outpatient Radiology, OPD, outpatient Transplant Coordinators, 2 South. L&D


Deb Cava, RN, Night Chairperson

May 2, Taylor Care Conference Hallway

May 15, NYSNA WMC Office

May 16, Main Hospital Cafeteria

May 17 & 18, NYSNA WMC Office

Jules Hatzel, RN, 1st Vice President PACU, Main OR, AMB SURG, Children’s PACU, Children’s OR, VIR, ENDO Debra Coyne, RN, 2nd Vice President CCU, Cath Lab, Heart Institute, MICU Zina Klein, RN, Grievance Chairperson EICU, PMR, CDU, ER, 3SW, Neuro ICU, NSDU, TICU David Long, RN, Grievance Co-Chairperson CCU, CCU,CTICU, 5 N, 7NE, SICU

June 5, Albany

June 6, Taylor Care Conference Hallway

June 20, Main Hospital Cafeteria

Nursing Operations, BHC-A1, A2, B1, B2, B3

Save the Date: Seminar at Sea May 12 - 19, 2019

GET ANSWERS/STAY IN TOUCH NYSNA WMC Office: Phone 914-493-8329, Fax 914-493-7175 WMC Health Benefits: 914-493-7144 or NYSNA Welfare Plan Benefits: 800-537-1237 or SPAN: 800-457-7261 NYSNA Nursing Rep: Christine Laperche, RN, BSN, Cell 914-819-8513




We Are Nurses: Westchester April 2018  
We Are Nurses: Westchester April 2018