Nurses vote to authorize strike at Northwell South Shore University Hospital
The New York State Nurses Association says nurses have voted to authorize a strike at South Shore University Hospital Northwell Health.
The union says nurses have been in negotiations with the hospital since their contract expired on Feb. 28, 2022.
The authorization allows union leaders to provide a 10-day notice to strike, the union says.
"We do not take striking lightly, and many of our members never thought it would come to this. But after months of negotiations, Northwell is still unwilling to listen to the nurses and deliver a contract that will help staff this hospital safely to deliver the care our community deserves," says Chrysse Blau, NYSNA local president at South Shore University Hospital. "Next week we head back to the bargaining table and will continue to negotiate in good faith for a fair contract that ensures safe staffing. We don't want to strike, but we will if Northwell gives us no choice."
Arielle Shea, a registered nurse at South Shore University Hospital, says their biggest concern is the patients.
"You can increase our wages but without being able to care for our patients safely, that doesn't really do anything for us," Shea says. "We need to be able to care for them in the best way possible that doesn't put our licenses at risk."
Miriam Sholder, Northwell Health public relations advisor for the eastern region, told News 12, "South Shore University Hospital is aware of the strike vote. We remain optimistic that an agreement can be reached and look forward to positive and productive negotiations next week. We are proud of the longstanding excellent care our dedicated nursing team provides and that our patients and community have come to trust."