Strike set at Northwell hospital

Members of the New York State Nurses Association are set to strike Feb. 27 at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y.

The union represents about 800 nurses at South Shore University Hospital, according to a Feb. 14 NYSNA news release. The hospital is part of New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health, a system with more than 20 hospitals and about 83,000 employees total.

Union members voted to authorize a strike earlier this year. The union and hospital began negotiations many months ago, according to the NYSNA. Union representatives said that during negotiations, both sides have yet to reach a fair contract that protects patient care.

NYSNA local president at South Shore University Hospital Chrysse Blau, RN, stated in a news release: "South Shore was one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic on Long Island. Nurses were called front-line heroes for our work, and we've continued to work nonstop to deliver the quality care our community needs. With the current tridemic, the hospital continues to have an influx of patients and not enough nurses to care for them. Northwell needs to come to the table and deliver a fair contract that guarantees the safe staffing levels and the respect nurses deserve, so we can deliver the care our community deserves."

South Shore University Hospital expressed disappointment in the union's decision to issue a strike notice. 

However, "as always, our goal is to reach a fair contract," the hospital said in a statement shared with Becker's. "We remain optimistic that an agreement can be reached and will continue to bargain in good faith and look forward to positive and productive ongoing negotiations with NYSNA."

The hospital also said it "will be fully operational and continue to provide continued, world-class care to our patients [in the event of a strike]. We are proud of the longstanding excellent care our dedicated nursing team provides and that our patients and community have come to trust."

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