Today: Syosset/Northwell Nurses to March in Informational Picket to Protest Unsafe Staffing and to Demand a Fair Contract

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 29, 2022 
Media Contact: Anna Bakalis, NYSNA Communications Director, 917-239-6373

Nurses challenge management: Walk a 12-hour shift in our shoes 

SYOSSET, N.Y. - More than 150 NYSNA nurses are expected to protest outside Syosset Hospital/Northwell Health today, August 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to demand a fair contract that includes safe staffing levels, fair wages, and quality and affordable retiree healthcare. 

NYSNA nurses at Syosset Hospital/Northwell Health have been working under an expired contract since October 2021. Their contract advocacy efforts join the over 30,000 NYSNA members who will be bargaining contracts for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses say they are fighting for a contract that reflects what they need to provide the level of care the community deserves.   

“We’re calling on Northwell Health management to help us help our patients,” said Ann Tahaney, RN and president of the bargaining unit. “Give us the nurses, support staff, and the tools we need to provide quality care our patients deserve.” 

Tahaney, who has worked at the hospital for more than 30 years, said nurses are sending a challenge to Northwell managers: Walk a 12-hour shift in our shoes. 

“And not when it’s slow, when we are so busy that nurses have 8 patients to care for and can’t take a bathroom break, let alone a lunch break,” she said.  

Often, the wait times for a bed in the ER surpass 48 hours. Instead of a sustainable investment in the benefits of full-time staff nurses and additional staff, management relies heavily on agency nurses and pays them twice as much as nurses on staff. 

NYSNA nurses are demanding that key issues be addressed in this contract, including proposals that reflect: 

  • Safe staffing with nurse-to-patient ratios of 1:5 to provide safe, quality patient care. 

  • Competitive wages that recognize and respect the work the nurses perform during the ongoing pandemic.   

  • Quality and affordable retiree health insurance. Nurses have dedicated their life to ensuring the health of the community they care for. It is time for Syosset to recognize that dedication and commit to the health of the nurses. 

Syosset is owned by the Northwell Health System. Northwell Health top executive compensation increased by 26.3% in the first year of the pandemic.[1] 

Press Event Details 

WHO:More than 150 Nurses, elected officials, community members and patient care advocates. 
WHAT:Picket and protest to demand a fair contract that includes a commitment to improved patient care, including safer staffing levels, better pay and working conditions to recruit and retain nurses. One-on-one media interviews with nurses.
WHERE:
  Syosset Hospital, 221 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset, NY, 11791  
WHEN:  Monday, August 29
SPEAKER PROGRAM:
12:30 - 1:00 p.m. 
PICKET START TIME:
  11:30 a.m. 
VISUALS:Nurses chanting and marching with signs in front of the hospital. 

Reference:
[1] Hospital Institutional Cost Reports 2019 and 2020
 

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, visit nysna.org.

About NYSNA

We are 42,000 nurses working together to win safe staffing, keep hospitals open for care, stop the Wall Street attack on our patients, and win healthcare for all.