Representing approximately 5,000 nurses, the Federation of Nurses/UFT is among New York City’s leading unions of healthcare professionals. Our members are registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) at two private hospitals and three home healthcare agencies. We represent approximately 700 registered nurses at Brooklyn’s NYU Lutheran Medical Center (NYULMC), 300 registered nurses at Staten Island University Hospital’s (SIUH) South Site and approximately 10 registered nurses at NYU Lutheran Augustana. In home healthcare, we represent about 2200 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses at the Visiting Nurse Service (VNS) and 50 RNs at Jewish Home Healthcare (JHH). We also represent several hundred healthcare professionals at Guildnet.
We are an autonomous branch of the UFT, New York City’s sole bargaining representative for public school teachers and the largest union local in the country with more than 200,000 members. As such, we are also affiliated at the state level with the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and nationally with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), among the largest unions in the country. Including the Federation of Nurses/UFT, NYSUT represents approximately 22,000 healthcare professionals and the AFT represents more than 70,000 such professionals.
In 1979, the elected registered nurse leaders at Lutheran Medical Center (LMC) in Brooklyn wanted more effective representation. They decertified the New York State Nurses’ Association (NYSNA) as their bargaining representative and carried out a comprehensive search to find a different union that they thought would better serve their interests. The choice of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), with deeper expertise in collective bargaining and its commitment to strong advocacy on behalf of members, was unanimous and the Federation of Nurses/UFT was formed after a successful National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election for representation.
Since then, the Federation of Nurses/UFT has been the only union in New York City to consistently succeed in obtaining on-time contracts for its registered nurse members at NYU Lutheran Medical Center and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, whose nurses had also left NYSNA.
In 1994 the union added to its membership the registered nurses at Staten Island University Hospital — South Site; in 1997 nurses and homecare professionals at the Jewish Home & Hospital joined our union and have since become a part of our voice in home healthcare; in 2002 the licensed practical nurses at the Visiting Nurse Service joined our team; and in 2012 we successfully organized several hundred nurses at Guildnet. In 2015, registered nurses at NYU Lutheran Augustana also joined the union.
The Federation of Nurses/UFT is a powerful voice for nurses in contract negotiations and enforcement of contract provisions. We fight hard to see that our members receive just compensation for their work and are treated with respect and dignity on the job. In particular, over several decades of advocacy, we have fought successfully against understaffing, mandatory overtime and unsafe conditions, and for higher pay, preservation of pension benefits and the workplace rights of nurses and other healthcare professionals.
We strive to serve our community and our patients, believe in quality care for all and are passionate advocates for laws that set safe staffing levels to protect both our patients and members.
At the heart of our contracts — and at the heart of our union — is a strong dedication to ensuring that each union member is treated like a professional, with respect and dignity, and provided with the working environment we need to provide quality patient care for all persons, no matter what their socioeconomic status, race, color, creed or sexual orientation. Our contracts support both our members and our patients: creating workplace conditions under which our nurses are able to provide the highest quality patient care is among our chief concerns.
Our union also provides a wide array of expertly delivered services, including professional development courses and conferences, skilled grievance handling, vigorous help with worker compensation cases, extensive consultation about contractual rights and assistance with personal and professional challenges, and maintains both state and national legislative programs to address the political needs of our membership.
We are also active at the state level through our state affiliate NYSUT. NYSUT’s 22,000 healthcare professionals work jointly toward our shared objectives through the union’s Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC). The work of the council is wide-ranging, incorporating professional development initiatives, legislative lobbying, and various other programs and initiatives. The council meets approximately five times each year.
The Federation of Nurses/UFT draws upon the experience of the UFT, NYSUT and the AFT. The AFT has 43 state affiliates, more than 3,000 local affiliates, and approximately 1.4 million members nationwide. Including the members of the Federation of Nurses/UFT, NYSUT represents a total of 22,000 healthcare professionals in New York State and the AFT represents more than 70,000 healthcare professionals nationwide.
Our chapter participates actively in the life of NYSUT through one of its component institutions, the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC), a statewide committee of healthcare professionals dedicated to navigating the many challenges facing health professionals in New York State. At the national level, AFT health care professionals meet in a committee of healthcare leaders to discuss issues of mutual concern to our members. We also work collaboratively with healthcare professionals in other unions, both in New York State and at the national level.
The Federation of Nurses/UFT is your union — we hope you will get involved and help us advocate for the rights of both patients and nurses!
If you would like to become more active in your union, please contact a representative from your borough or workplace or contact the office directly at 212-420-7981 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to hear from you!