They are Expendable
The below is in chronological order not order of importance
First the staff was ordered back in the field and the office before NYC has even entered phase 1 of reopening. They were sent surgical masks, gloves that didn’t fit and a bottle of hand sanitizer. They were told they would not be given N95s. Their assignment was to stand in front of the hospital with a box of leaflets 6 feet away and point nurses to the box. This is one of the most absurd things any of us have ever heard. They were also told they should not go into the hospital AT ALL and if they used the bathroom it was at their risk. There are no plans for what will happen in the office.
The “Professional” nurses union is treating their staff as badly as the worst hospital management. They are endangering the staff and everyone else. Healthcare professionals are all over the internet with messages of “Stay Home”. Not NYSNA!
NYSNA is not providing any of the precautions they told us to demand. NYSNA put out a plan for the hospitals and city to reopen but are violating their own demands when it comes to the NYSNA staff.
The staff has been in revolt for the last two weeks but very few rank and file members know it! We are responsible for what NYSNA does in our names and with our dues. Most of us have had more contact with the reps in the last few months then we’ve had in the last few years!
On January 20th the first Covid 19 case was diagnosed in the United States. On March 1st the first Covid patient was diagnosed in New York. On March 3rd Pat and Judy refused to cancel Lobby Day so over 600 nurses were gathered in Albany along with a multitude of others. Only after the NYSNA staff union demanded it did The New York NYSNA office close on March 13th.
Second the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and many other men and women of color at the hands of the police. This is a Where’s Waldo II moment. It has been over a week since some of these events took place. Unions, Police Forces, Republican and Democratic Politicians, Church Leaders, and a multitude of Civic Organizations have spoken out against the police murders. Not NYSNA! In NYC people of color are the MAJORITY of the membership. When Jill was the Executive Director statements went out almost immediately when these types of incidents took place. No More. The lack of leadership and sensitivity to those of us who are once again suffering through another trauma of this kind is unspeakable. We know it could be any one of us and worse our children and grandchildren.
Should we expect any more from an organization that has either driven out or fired at lease 5 people of color in the last few months? The only break in the purge was during the height of the pandemic. They picked up right where they left off. Read here, here, and here. Since our last post on this subject Terry Alaimo, the Mount Sinai System Area Director has been terminated and is in the process of suing NYSNA. Then there was Kenny the Brooklyn AD for a minute. How much more of our dues money will be spent defending and covering up a corrupt leadership’s actions?
Then there is the seething white middle class privilege that permeates the current leadership. Who else would take this position? DSA position 2020 elections.
We also debated whether we should encourage our members in swing states to grapple with the question of voting for Biden as part of local strategy discussions. The majority of the NPC voted NO on this question.
The leadership of NYSNA/DSA would rather see a racist, white supremacist, who put everyone’s lives at risk with his lack of response to the pandemic and then risked our lives in particular by refusing to send PPE from the national stockpile to the states most in need then compromise with reality. None of this is a surprise. We warned everyone about this before here, and here. The inner circle of Pat Kane and Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez include these DSA leaders here, here, and here. Then there are the freelance inner circle white privileged politics.
Does this really represent who we are as nurses, as a multicultural organization, as a professional organization? When the staff asked Pat Kane about the lack of a statement from NYSNA her response was “ there are NYSNA members who are Trump supporters”. This is what passes for leadership now.
We will say what NYSNA has failed to say Our Deepest and Most Sincere Condolences to the families, friends, and communities of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. As an organization we should be in the forefront of fighting racism in all its forms; not perpetuating it in any form.
Finally there was the accidental death of Becky Eisenhut in upstate NY. Becky was 61 and worked for Span. SPAN is a part of NYSNA and Becky was a staff member. Obviously no one important enough to tell the membership about. Shame on you Pat and Judy. Our deepest sympathy to her family and friends.
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It’s time to take our union back