We Know Where Jill Would Be
Hello? Anyone home? Any NYSNA member know where our union leadership is hiding? Are they playing cards? Yes, I mean Pat Kane, those advising her, Judy Gonzalez-Sheridan, BOD, and our political team?
Anyone know if we still have a political team anymore? Oh, we don’t because they were helped out the door after leadership showed Jill Furillo the curb. Is no one from NYSNA leadership in Albany discussing the COVID-19 pandemic with our state leaders? This virus is not only affecting the New York’s southern areas but throughout the state and Jersey.
If Jill was still training Pat, as originally planned, she would have had both of them walking the halls, making calls, and banging on doors to talk about how nurses make some of the greatest impacts during rough health care times like these. She would have found a way for all NYSNA nurses to get childcare support this week, so nurses can make it to work during the pandemic. Jill would be fighting to maintain a healthy, viable, and willing workforcethroughout NY with her established political connections and bottomless energy. Nurses, the largest workforce in healthcare. We don’t just show up, we will lead the charge and provide what’s needed for care and recovery. Not today, nurses are being left behind because there is no creativity, initiative, or zest running our union. Just a bunch of daily emails. Do we need more tv coverage? No, we need NYSNA leadership out of the office and working with emergency management and politicians all over the state, they need to reach out to each facility and find out what the nurses specifically need for education, training, support, and policy by working with hospital leadership at all levels to get it done in a professional manner. Let Lisa Baum and the Health and Safety team lose with extra hands to educate, support, and influence policy with best practice that is science-based. Get out of their way, they get what we need and how we need it. They need to be working with a robust NYSNA Education Department to support frontline workers.
NYSNA leadership must be playing cards because all we got was a press conference last week focusing on panic and not enough staff, limited valid discussion on concern for enough and correct PPE, and not enough focus on viable solutions to build partnerships to ensure a safe and robust nursing workforce throughout this time. I was not happy this past Friday when I received an email from our Executive Director, Pat Kane asking if asking if the union should back a Democratic candidate in the Fall. Really? That is this week’s emergency? That is what ALL the nurses you supposedly represent through out the state are most concerned about? Not one nasty virus that is devastating our older and sicker community members as it makes its way through communities like wildfire? Leadership at NYSNA is a booming void.
It is crystal clear to me that when they maneuvered Jill out of her role as Executive Director, she was one who understood what front line nurses were concerned about and what we need to get the job done. She understood our flimsy and underfunded public health structure but knows nurses can and do make the difference, like Lillian Wald, Clara Barton, Mary Caron Breckinridge, Dorothea Dix, Florence Wald, and others. The current daily leadership at NYSNA clearly doesn’t know what they are doing and how to even address the members they claim they are serving. Have they reached out to active frontline members directly? If the right person was the Executive Director, we would have an active NYSNA political team, a communication portal to make sure nurses from different facilities from public and private sectors are talking to share ideas and offer suggestions, they would be maintaining a solid workforce and planning safe, alternative methods with multiple solutions. I haven’t heard of any of this being done and we have no Jill or a well-established political leadership team today.
Did you know that our NYSNA staff is expected to be roaming hospital halls during this pandemic. Great! More vectors to carry this virus from unit to unit. Hello, anyone in NYSNA leadership study any public health? Even Twitter and hospital management teams are way ahead of this. Our staff can work from home, probably more effectively and reach more members via phone and email. This is NOT business as usual. Let’s keep our reps safe and healthy and let’s prevent more vectors.
Today, I see so many nurses showing leadership within the facilities, but not from NYSNA overall. No one knows how to do this work better than our frontline nurses, NYSNA wake up! Nurses open those communication lines with social media and let’s keep in touch. I need to know if you run out of vent or PPE what are you doing? Is it safe? Are you suggesting EAP for those who are on the edge? Are you covering each other childcare until we can work it out until school is open? Do you have enough to eat at your house? This is a new experience for everyone, we are all learning and it’s changing from hour to hour. No one has had this experience before. There is no manual or primer for this virus or our new way of life.
NYSNA has invested a lot of time and energy into medical missions and I have yet to see any hard data about those experiences reported out to the general membership. We need to disseminate the data and information learned on those trips, re-establish those contacts and find out from those who serve in where it is common to work without resources…how do they work safely? What does and doesn’t work for them? What public health measure do they find most important to maintain? The NYSNA education department has been castrated by Judy and her cronies but we need them NOW and they are not available to us with the information that we need. We need science-based information on this virus because many of us are not getting it enough to oursatisfaction. Not one nurse should have to rely on a clip of Dr. Fauci, from the NIH, for the little-known science of this novel and virulent strain. Nurses, weare the people they are working for, we pay the dues, and our frontline practice needs for members needs to be addressed today.
Better yet ‘leadership’ at NYSNA, get out of our way. We have serious nursing work to do that does not have room for fear or politics that do not address today’s emergency. Your focus should be on the current enemy known as COVID-19. Right now, we need spontaneous, creative thinkers for solutions and not leaders who are unsure and dependant on the same old practices which are no longer effective. Let’s start some real frontline leadership for our nurses, evidence-based practices, source resources to find PPE, support nursing education with full dissemination, and other solutions to lead our communities so we can prevent further spread of COVID-19. Keep your emails, nurses have no time for your games, we have work to do and people to keep safe.