99.6% Percent of NYSNA Nurses at St. Charles Hospital Authorize Strike

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 2, 2023
Contact: Diana Moreno | press@nysna.org | 917-327-2302
Kristi Barnes | press@nysna.org | 646-853-4489

St. Charles nurses vote overwhelmingly to call strike if necessary over safe staffing

Port Jefferson, NY– Nurses at St. Charles Hospital, part of Catholic Health Services, have voted to authorize a strike with 97.5% of nurses turning out to vote and 99.6% of them voting yes. Voting took place Tuesday, May 30 to Thursday, June 1. The nurses’ contract expired on March 31, 2023, and nurses at St. Charles have been in negotiations with the hospital ever since.  Nurses have been speaking out about current conditions in the hospital, including unsafe staffing levels, during negotiations.

On May 9, over a third of the entire nursing staff marched to deliver a petition to President James O’Connor protesting management’s rejection of nearly all union proposals while failing to give an initial response on the key issue of safe staffing. Since the march, nurses have faced retaliation and intimidation from management. Instead of relenting, they’ve continued to pack the room during bargaining sessions and continued pushing their bargaining priorities of safe staffing ratios, increased nurse wages, adding Juneteenth as a holiday, and an expediated arbitration process.

If NYSNA nurses cannot reach a tentative agreement, they would have to deliver a 10-day notice before going out on strike.

NYSNA President at St. Charles, Rob Barone, RN, said: “The nurses of St. Charles Hospital have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. We will continue to negotiate in good faith to achieve our paramount goal of providing quality care to those in our community by obtaining a fair contract that ensures safe staffing and enables us to retain and recruit nurses. We don’t take striking lightly, but our members are united and prepared to strike if St. Charles gives us no other option.”

“We’re a small community hospital. Our peers our friends, our family come here, several nurses who have children, have had them at this hospital. We just want to make this place better to ensure we can provide quality care for our community,” said, NYSNA member leader Kim Bowman, RN. “Voting to authorize a strike is not an easy decision, but St Charles nurses are doing this because we love this hospital and want the best care possible for our patients.”

NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN, BSN, CCRN said: “After three of the most challenging years in the profession, nurses have learned not to give up without a fight. Nurses at St. Charles deserve a fair contract with respectful raises and safe staffing, and they are ready to do whatever it takes to win for the safety of our patients and the dignity of our profession. Our 42,000 members are in solidarity with St. Charles nurses.”

In January, nurses at Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside voted to join NYSNA.  In February, NYSNA nurses at Northwell Health’s South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore voted to approve a new contract that raised their salaries nearly 19% and won an expedited arbitration of staffing disputes three days before they were set to strike. Most recently in April, St. Joseph’s hospital of Catholic Health Services settled a contract with increased wages and staffing wins for nurses. It’s clear that nurses on Long Island are ready to fight for their patients and for a fair contract.


The New York State Nurses Association represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. NYSNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United, AFL-CIO, the country's largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses, with more than 225,000 members nationwide.

For more information, visit nysna.org.


The New York State Nurses Association is a union of 42,000 frontline nurses united together for strength at work, our practice, safe staffing, and healthcare for all. We are New York's largest union and professional association for registered nurses.