Tomorrow, Tuesday, 10/23/12 at 10:30 in Niagara Square there will be a "Caravan of Corruption" to publicize the need for Fair Elections legislation in New York State to cut the corrupting influence of money on politics in our state. The integrity and responsiveness of our democracy is very important to union members. CWA is working with Citizen Action of NY, MoveOn.org and others, including Governor Cuomo, for Fair Elections legislation. The Caravan will go from Niagara Square to Rochester to Binghamton to Albany where they'll meet up with another group from downstate for events in the capital. Since 1976, a total of 2522 elected officials, appointees, government employees and a few private individuals have been convicted of public corruption in New York (70 per year). NY was given a "D" ranking in a recent Corruption Risk Report Card and was ranked 37th of 50 states for public integrity with a particularly low D- ranking for political financing. See http://www.stateintegrity.org/new_york and attached.
On Wednesday, 10/24/12, from 11 AM to 1 PM, at 100 High Street, CWA and other unions have organized a "Picket for Safe Staffing" to shed light on intolerable staffing levels in local hospitals that create dangerous conditions for patients. See attached flier and the press release below.
From Manhattan to Buffalo, healthcare workers demand safe staffing for quality patient care.
“Safe Staffing Saves Lives”
For more information contact Diana Butsch of CWA 1168 at 716-816-1168
October 22, 2012 – (For Immediate Release) Thousands of healthcare workers from across New York will hold rallies, tell their stories and fight for quality patient care this Wednesday.
In Buffalo, hundreds of workers from Buffalo's Kaleida hospital system are holding an informational picket to bring light to the poor staffing conditions that currently exist at the facility and how poor staffing is threatening patient safety and care. The healthcare workers at Kaleida are represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and will be joined by their colleagues from Erie County Medical Center at a rally at 11:00 AM, at 100 High Street, Buffalo, N.Y.
According to CWA local 1168 President John Klein, “This is a life and death issue. Studies have shown conclusively that where safe staffing ratios are adopted patient mortality decreases. Where safe staffing is required, healthcare workers have more time to spend with patients. Safe staffing also promotes the retention of experienced RNs. In contrast, in Western New York, hospitals and nursing homes are cutting staffing to dangerous levels in order to pad their bottom lines. As a result, local healthcare workers are burning out and facing more and more danger in the workplace, for both themselves and their patients. Our unity at this rally shows that staffing concerns must be addressed in all of New York's hospitals - private and public."
"Our members at Erie County Medical Center are also standing up for safe staffing," Said Nancy Kaleda, Deputy Director of the New York State Nurses Association, which represents more than 2,000 nurses who work in Erie County facilities. "Without safe staffing, patients suffer and nurses are put at risk in overcrowded units with very ill patients. When nurses stick together, we raise the standard of patient care. The healthcare workers at Kaleida have our full support. We're all on the front lines, standing up for patient care."
According to Joanne Thorn, a Licensed Practical Nurse at Kaleida Health, “Patient acuity is a measure of how much care a patient needs. Patient acuity is increasing and that is not being considered or addressed by administration. The “suits” just want more and more from us and they are giving us less and less. There are more emergency codes, patient falls and staff injuries happening and it is being blamed on the staff. WE ARE NOT STAFFED SAFELY!!! “
The battle for safe staffing will also be seen and heard on the streets of Manhattan, at Lenox Hill Hospital
The Lenox Hill healthcare workers are standing up to the giant North Shore- LIJ system, which is trying to gut rules that prevent burnout and exhaustion among nurses. LIJ wants to force nurses to work on units where they do not have the right training and experience and cut tuition benefits for nurses trying to upgrade their skills and training.
"We support Lenox Hill healthcare workers 100 percent," said Pat Kane, RN, a NYSNA elected leader and a nurse at Staten Island University Hospital, a North Shore-LIJ hospital. "We are with them because they are standing up for patient care."
Hundreds of members of the New York State Nurses Association will also be standing together for safe staffing at the union's annual convention, which runs from Wednesday to Friday.
Delegates at the convention will be putting together a massive statewide plan for the state legislature to pass a safe staffing bill that will make patient care better in every New York hospital. NYSNA has joined with CWA and other unions and community groups to put legislators on notice that the safe staffing bill is priority #1 in the 2013 legislative session.
Staffing levels have become a major issue across the country as healthcare institutions seek to cut costs. California initiated legislation requiring safe staffing levels in 2004. Some attribute the beginning of Governor Schwarznegger’s political demise to his attempts to roll back the staffing legislation and the resulting mobilization by healthcare workers in California.
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Healthcare Coordinating Council
(A network for locals representing 15,000 CWA healthcare workers)
821 Elk Street, Suite B
Buffalo, NY 14210
In Unity There Is Strength!
office - 716-824-2042