BY SUSAN DUBOIS
Reprinted from Solidarity Notes, the official publication of the Solidarity Committee of the Capital District & New York Solidarity
On the evening of Dec. 16, 2019, both the Albany County Legislature and the City of Albany Common Council took action in support of nurses at Albany Medical Center who are attempting to get a collective bargaining agreement with the hospital.
The Albany Med nurses who are represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) have been negotiating for a contract for over a year. Provisions about safe staffing levels are a significant dispute in the negotiations.
Doug Bullock, an Albany County Legislator and Solidarity Committee activist, circulated a proclamation in the county legislature that received 32 signatures from the 39 member legislature. The signers included the legislature’s minority leader and two other Republicans, the majority leader and chair of the legislature. Doug reported that this is the largest number of signatures he has gotten on any of the proclamations he has circulated in the legislature.”
Meanwhile, on the next block of Eagle Street, the Albany Common Council voted 14 to 0 in favor of a resolution “in support of the nurses of Albany Medical Center in their efforts to ensure the implementation of safe-staffing levels and to secure a fair contract.” One of the 15 members of the Council. was absent due to a family emergency. Most or all of the council members were co-sponsors of the resolution (Resolution 77.112.19R).
On the afternoon of Sunday December 15, 2019, prior to these two meetings, NYSNA held a press conference on the steps of the Albany City Hall with local elected officials and religious leaders, in support of the nurses’ contract struggle.
Several television stations, the Times Union and the Daily Gazette reported on the press conference.