NEW YORK NURSE: December 2009
by Randi Hoffman
The long, difficult contract negotiations at Southside Hospital in Bayshore continued into December, as members of the NYSNA bargaining unit rejected a tentative agreement with facility management.
As this issue of New York Nurse went to press, the negotiating team was preparing to go back to the table with assistance from a mediator.
The 600 RNs voted in favor of a strike in early November, after which negotiations progressed more quickly than they had in more than a year. The nurses have been working without a contract since February 2009. Southside Hospital is part of the North Shore Long Island Jewish System of Hospitals.
The day before the strike vote, Southside nurses, their families, and NYSNA staff members lined both sides of the street in front of the hospital, holding signs and flashlights and urging cars to honk. The “Leading the Way” RV increased the visibility of the group.
NYSNA nurses traveled from St. Vincent’s in Manhattan, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, and the North Shore hospitals in Syosset and Plainview to add their voices and energy to the vigil.
Over the months of negotiations, Southside nurses got their message out to the public and maintained their unity of purpose with a comprehensive campaign: