Shore Medical Center nurses consider strike

Registered nurses at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, N.J., are considering a strike over staffing levels, as well as pay and benefits, according to a Shore News Today report.

The Shore Nurses Union/New York State Nurses Association local bargaining unit has been negotiating with hospital administration for months without progress. Now, the union is considering a strike, saying nurse staffing levels at the hospital are too low and affecting patient care, Lisa Ruiz of the New York State Nurses Association said in the report.

"We've had two horrendous weeks with short staffing," Ms. Ruiz said, according to the report. "Staffing levels on most units are at crisis levels."

In a statement, Shore Medical Center spokesman Brian Cahill said Tuesday that the hospital appreciates and respects its nurses, "and we are actively trying to reach a contract agreement at the bargaining table," according to the report.

"We have reached a tentative agreement on staffing guidelines," he said. "The remaining issues concern wages and benefits, and Shore compares favorably to other hospitals in wages and benefits."

According to Shore News Today, Ms. Ruiz said union representatives plan to attend meetings of the governing bodies in Ocean City, N.J., Somers Point and other Atlantic County towns served by Shore Medical Center to garner support.

This is not the first time the union has spoken out about staffing levels. Last month, unionized nurses, joined by patients, allies and community leaders, rallied for quality patient care.


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