Nurses Speak Out Against Wynn Hospital Plan to Open with Too Few Nurses and Proposed Cuts


Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023

Contact: Anna Sterling | | 646-673-0419
Kristi Barnes | | 646-853-4489

Nurses Speak Out Against Wynn Hospital Plan to Open with Too Few Nurses and Proposed Cuts

NYSNA nurses and community allies gather at Wynn to speak out against Mohawk Valley Health System understaffing and proposed cuts to nurse pay and benefits

Utica, New York— On Tuesday, nurses from Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) hospitals Faxton St. Luke's and St. Elizabeth’s convened in front of the new Wynn facility in downtown Utica to demand a fair agreement for nurses. MVHS plans to open the Wynn Hospital on Oct. 29, but they have failed to reach an agreement with the nurses who will come together and staff the new hospital. They are proposing wage cuts, increases to healthcare costs, and reductions to retirement contributions.

This is all taking place while there is already an understaffing problem. There are approximately 200 vital staff nurse positions that still remain vacant. These proposals threaten to create a potential crisis of care before the new hospital has even opened its doors.

Photos and videos from today's event can be found on NYSNA's Facebook page: Media outlets have permission to use all videos and pictures from NYSNA’s social media feeds with credit to NYSNA.

Since the nurses at MVHS hospitals Faxton St. Luke's and St. Elizabeth’s voted in July to merge into one union, they have been negotiating with hospital management over the terms of employment for the merged bargaining unit.

Nurses believe cuts to their pay and benefits will make it even more difficult to recruit and retain nurses. At a time when there are potentially too few nurses to deliver quality care in the new hospital, nurses and allies will raise concerns and demand a fair agreement that respects Utica nurses and patients.

Utica City Councilmember Celeste Friend said: "Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system, and they deserve more than just our gratitude and appreciation. They also deserve good pay and safe working conditions. I will always be proud to stand alongside our nurses as they fight for their rights."

Gary Evans, RNvascular access nurse at St. Elizabeth’s, said: “The hospital is hurting. Understaffing is one of the major causes of this pain. Unfortunately, the hospital’s latest proposals threaten to increase that pain by chasing away even more professional nurses. My fear is that this dangerous decision will impact patient care. I think our professional nurses deserve to be treated like we matter. I am an optimistic person, my hope is that the hospital will do the right thing. I know our community deserves to have the best taking care of their loved ones!”

Peg Tuttle, RN, nurse at St. Elizabeth’s for more than 23 years, said: “This hospital opening should be an exciting time for the entire community — but it’s been anything but. We can’t afford to lose more nurses. The community does not deserve this—and above all our patients do not deserve this. They deserve the best possible healthcare and I think management should feel the same way. This is why we are demanding a fair agreement now!” 


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.


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.