PEF Nurses, Coalition, Rally at Capitol, Meet Lawmakers
Save lives! Pass Safe Staffing now!
Twelve hundred nurses and other health care workers from PEF and other unions descended on state legislators in Albany Tuesday, May 10, with stories of how unsafe staffing levels in hospitals and other health care facilities jeopardize patients’ lives, compromise their quality of care and ultimately drive up health care costs. It is up to the lawmakers and the governor, the workers said, to pass and enact the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act.
After spending the morning meeting with legislators, the nurses attended a luncheon at the Empire State Convention Center where they were spurred on by PEF President Wayne Spence and other speakers, and then marched to meet with striking Verizon workers and held a joint rally outside the Capitol. Hearing their loud chants and calls for “Safe staffing now!” and a fair contract for the Verizon workers drew some legislators to leave their offices and go out to add their encouragement and support to the ralliers. “We could hear you all the way on the other side of the Legislative Office Building,” one legislator told them.
PEF was joined in this collaborative event by members of the NYS United Teachers, the NYS Nurses Association, the Communication Workers of America – Health Care Workers, NY Statewide Senior Action Council, a group from the Service Employees International Union, and striking Verizon locals of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communication Workers. A band from the musicians’ union kept the rally momentum going.