Labor Union

New York State Nurses Association

Website:

www.nysna.org/

Location:

ALBANY, NY

Tax ID:

14-0923749

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $49,986,068
Expenses: $41,071,488
Assets: $89,192,374

Type:

Labor Union

President:

Nancy Hagans

New York State Nurses Association is a left-of-center labor union and professional association for nurses located in New York. The union was founded in 1901 and was the first state-level nurses’ association and first to affiliate with what is now the American Nurses Association. The union disaffiliated from the American Nurses Association in 2011 amid a dispute over NYSNA’s relationship with National Nurses United, a nurses’ union that is a rival of ANA. [1]

The union has more than 42,000 members and is among the largest in New York. [2] The NYSNA has had a long history of supporting left-of-center political stances and candidates and in 2020 it was reported by Politico that an internal faction within the union’s leadership tied to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) were “trying to pull the already-liberal group further to the left.” [3] [4] [5]

Background

New York State Nurses Association was founded in 1901 and was the first state nurses’ association in the United States. In 1904, it affiliated with the Nurses Association Alumnae, later renamed the American Nurses Association, the first state nurses association to do so. [6] The NYSNA was not a labor union in its early decades of existence but did lobby the state legislature on multiple issues including the passage of the state’s Nurse Practice Act in 1903, which allowed for registration of nurses and created the title of Registered Nurse. [7]

In 1918, NYSNA created a nurses’ relief fund and in the 1930s and 1940s the association lobbied for shorter work days and other improvements in working conditions. In 1957, the NYSNA’s House of Delegates established its Economic and General Welfare Program, which began to represent registered nurses for collective bargaining purposes. The union has more than 160 collective bargaining units and lobbies for left-leaning labor union-friendly legislation at the state and federal levels. [8]

Disaffiliation from the American Nurses Association

In 2011, the American Nurses Association (ANA) suspended the New York State Nurses Association’s over charges of dual-unionism after NYSNA hired the head of the Massachusetts Nurses Association as its new executive director. The Massachusetts Nurses Association is affiliated with an ANA rival, the National Nurses United (NNU), which was formed in 2009 when state groups, including the California Nurses Association and the Massachusetts Nurses Association left the ANA. [9]

Following the suspension, NYSNA voted to disaffiliate with the ANA in 2012. The move was condemned by the ANA, whose president stood by suspending NYSNA, stating that “Despite protests to the contrary, it’s been apparent that this was the NYSNA board’s goal since last fall when they appointed a leader of National Nurses United to run the organization.” [10]

The ANA later established a rival state nurses union in New York called the ANA-NY, which the NYSNA called a “marginal NY splinter group.” [11]

Political Activity

New York State Nurses Association lobbies for left-of-center public policies at the state and national levels. The group supports taxpayer-funded universal health care, declaring racism a public health crisis, and far-left climate policies, among other stances. [12]

NYSNA has explicitly endorsed a “universal, single-payer Medicare for All system” at the national level in the United States. At the state level, the union lobbies for the New York Health Act, a bill that would create taxpayer-funded universal healthcare for all New York residents and cover all “necessary” medical procedures. [13]

The union also calls global warming and climate change a “health crisis” and claims that nurses “see firsthand the impacts of climate change.” The union has created a Climate Justice Committee and is part of left-of-center climate coalitions including NY Renews, Climate Jobs NY, and Climate Works for All. [14]

The union has also supported legislation in New York state that would declare racism a “public health crisis.” [15]

The union supports abortion access and criticized the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, saying that the “Supreme Court has failed to uphold our human rights, and we believe their decision today will cause harm to thousands of pregnant people.” [16]

The union supports mandatory overtime policies, limits on hospital bill collection policies, and adding the use of sick leave to the state whistle-blowing protection list. [17]

Controversy

In October 2020, Politico reported that an internal fight rocked the New York State Nurses Association and caused a rift between the leadership of the union and some longtime members. The dispute centered around a faction within the union leadership aligned with the Democratic Socialists of America and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). [18]

The rift came to a head in December 2019 when NYSNA president Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez led a campaign to remove executive director Jill Furillo and replace her with Sheridan-Gonzalez ally Patricia Kane. Sheridan-Gonzalez, who had led the union further to the left over her time with the union, embraced the politics of the Democratic Socialists of America and began pushing the agenda within the organization and began to attempt to flip seats on the NYSNA board towards DSA-backed candidates. [19]

Subsequently, some members and officials lodged a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor accusing Sheridan-Gonzalez and Kane of “receiving improper financial benefits in the forms of ‘salaries’, stipends, or other remuneration, which they have arranged for themselves, with zero oversight or accountability.” Members also complained that the union spent $200,000 to sue the state health department, Westchester Medical Center, and Montefiore Medical Center, calling the quickly dismissed suits a “publicity stunt.” Three anonymous individuals further stated that during the 2020 primary, NYSNA members interviewed politicians in a manner described as “humiliating” and “hostile,” with one lawmaker saying about the endorsement interviews that he had “never felt so disrespected in a room in my whole career.” [20]

References

  1.  Selvam, Ashok. “N.Y. nurses union votes to leave ANA.”  Modern Healthcare. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20121027/NEWS/310279985/n-y-nurses-union-votes-to-leave-ana ^
  2. “About.” New York State Nurses Association. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.nysna.org/strength-at-work/about-nysna#.YuGXauzMJD0 ^
  3. Eisenberg, Amanda. “New York’s largest nurses union rocked by internal political fights.” Politico. October 20, 2020. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2020/10/20/new-yorks-largest-nurses-union-rocked-by-internal-political-fights-1327053 ^
  4. “About.” New York State Nurses Association. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.nysna.org/strength-at-work/about-nysna#.YuGXauzMJD0 ^
  5. “New York State Nurses Association.” DNP Programs Online. Accessed July 27, 2022. http://www.dnpprogramsonline.com/new-york-state-nurses-association/#:~:text=In%201901%20the%20New%20York,passed%20the%20Nurse%20Practice%20Act. ^
  6. “New York State Nurses Association.” DNP Programs Online. Accessed July 27, 2022. http://www.dnpprogramsonline.com/new-york-state-nurses-association/#:~:text=In%201901%20the%20New%20York,passed%20the%20Nurse%20Practice%20Act. ^
  7. “New York State Nurses Association.” DNP Programs Online. Accessed July 27, 2022. http://www.dnpprogramsonline.com/new-york-state-nurses-association/#:~:text=In%201901%20the%20New%20York,passed%20the%20Nurse%20Practice%20Act. ^
  8. “New York State Nurses Association.” DNP Programs Online. Accessed July 27, 2022. http://www.dnpprogramsonline.com/new-york-state-nurses-association/#:~:text=In%201901%20the%20New%20York,passed%20the%20Nurse%20Practice%20Act. ^
  9. Selvam, Ashok. “N.Y. nurses union votes to leave ANA.”  Modern Healthcare. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20121027/NEWS/310279985/n-y-nurses-union-votes-to-leave-ana ^
  10. Selvam, Ashok. “N.Y. nurses union votes to leave ANA.”  Modern Healthcare. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20121027/NEWS/310279985/n-y-nurses-union-votes-to-leave-ana ^
  11. “ANA Creates Marginal NY Splinter Group.” New York State Nurses Association. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.nysna.org/ana-creates-marginal-ny-splinter-group#.YuLro-zMJD0 ^
  12. “Legislative Issues.” New York State Nurses Association. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.nysna.org/our-campaigns/legislative-issues#.YuGXkuzMJD0 ^
  13. “Healthcare for All.” New York State Nurses Association. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.nysna.org/healthcare-for-all-0#.YuGXlOzMJD0 ^
  14. “Climate Justice.” New York State Nurses Association. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.nysna.org/healthy-planet-healthy-communities-0#.YuGXl-zMJD0 ^
  15. “Memo in Support of A5679/S2987.” New York State Nurses Association. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://d3ovkdufrefcl9.cloudfront.net/pco/legislation/legislativeMemos/A5679_S2987racismPublicHealthCrisisMOS.pdf ^
  16. “NYSNA Statement of Supreme Court Overturning Roe v. Wade.” New York State Nurses Association. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.nysna.org/blog/2022/06/24/nysna-statement-supreme-court-overturning-roe-v-wade#.YuGXg-zMJD0 ^
  17. “2022 Legislative Victories.” New York State Nurses Association. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.nysna.org/2022-legislative-victories#.YuGYsOzMJD0 ^
  18.  Eisenberg, Amanda. “New York’s largest nurses union rocked by internal political fights.” Politico. October 20, 2020. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2020/10/20/new-yorks-largest-nurses-union-rocked-by-internal-political-fights-1327053 ^
  19.  Eisenberg, Amanda. “New York’s largest nurses union rocked by internal political fights.” Politico. October 20, 2020. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2020/10/20/new-yorks-largest-nurses-union-rocked-by-internal-political-fights-1327053 ^
  20. Eisenberg, Amanda. “New York’s largest nurses union rocked by internal political fights.” Politico. October 20, 2020. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2020/10/20/new-yorks-largest-nurses-union-rocked-by-internal-political-fights-1327053 ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: March - February
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1992

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Mar Form 990 $49,986,068 $41,071,488 $89,192,374 $30,787,425 N $0 $49,324,867 $611,687 $7,414,313
    2020 Mar Form 990 $50,905,279 $43,655,824 $62,452,735 $36,960,530 N $0 $49,585,812 $754,284 $5,945,805
    2019 Mar Form 990 $48,139,000 $45,847,721 $66,130,234 $28,372,861 N $0 $47,205,314 $865,737 $5,196,492 PDF
    2018 Mar Form 990 $45,181,144 $39,842,823 $66,253,358 $27,617,551 N $0 $44,213,473 $692,035 $4,715,621
    2017 Mar Form 990 $45,742,984 $41,819,786 $59,441,754 $30,291,577 N $0 $42,747,471 $568,372 $1,018,172
    2016 Mar Form 990 $41,795,765 $39,309,202 $59,219,540 $42,633,914 N $0 $40,362,966 $477,361 $994,058 PDF
    2015 Mar Form 990 $40,377,764 $36,574,472 $58,677,805 $36,651,350 N $0 $39,330,513 $607,007 $888,996 PDF
    2014 Mar Form 990 $39,635,419 $37,877,043 $56,538,485 $34,015,306 Y $0 $38,924,821 $530,966 $0 PDF
    2013 Mar Form 990 $39,297,023 $34,809,001 $46,318,445 $31,721,051 Y $0 $38,618,548 $449,373 $0 PDF
    2012 Mar Form 990 $39,310,575 $37,679,896 $32,624,343 $23,528,411 Y $0 $38,500,631 $425,097 $1,948,231 PDF
    2011 Mar Form 990 $38,815,583 $36,125,893 $28,868,714 $15,618,947 Y $0 $37,861,127 $378,256 $1,768,529 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    New York State Nurses Association

    155 WASHINGTON AVE
    ALBANY, NY 12210-2337