Nurses at Northwell hospital authorize strike

Members of the New York State Nurses Association have voted to authorize a strike at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y., part of New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health.

The vote — which began Jan. 29 and concluded Feb. 3 — does not mean a strike will occur. Union members still must give the hospital 10 days' notice before a strike would occur. 

Nurses have been in negotiations with the hospital for months, and their last contract expired on Feb. 28, 2022, according to a union news release. NYSNA members contend that during negotiations, there has not been adequate progress.

NYSNA local president at South Shore University Hospital Chrysse Blau, RN, said in the union release: "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. 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."

South Shore University Hospital shared the following statement with Becker's: The 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."

The union represents about 800 nurses at the hospital.

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