NYSNA Nurses Held Informational Picket on Staffing and Services Crisis in North Country (Photos & Videos)

For Immediate Release: April 20, 2023
Contact: Diana Moreno | press@nysna.org| 917-327-2302
Jennifer Valentin-Polanco | press@nysna.org| 716-445-6319

Over a hundred NYSNA nurses from St. Lawrence Health System, community members, and labor allies picketed outside Massena Hospital to demand a fair contract as a long-term solution to the alarming decline of nurses in the North Country

Massena, N.Y.– NYSNA members from Massena Hospital, with support from nurses at Canton-Potsdam and Gouverneur Hospitals, New York State Teachers Union (NYSTU) members, local elected officials, and other labor and community allies held an informational picket on Thursday, April 20. Nurses are calling on St. Lawrence Health to include safe staffing and enforcements in their contract to address chronic understaffing and ensure quality care for patients in the North Country.

Click here for photos and video from the day of action. All members of the media have permission to use photos and videos with credit to NYSNA.

After hosting a successful community town hall meeting last week, nurses attended a barging session Wednesday that lasted over eighteen hours and ended in nurses frustrated at St. Lawrence Health’s unwillingness to discuss safe staffing. Today, nurses brought their message directly to hospital administrators alongside community and labor allies. While nurses made progress at the bargaining table on important issues of wages and benefits last night, they maintain safe staffing and enforcement must be included in their contract to ensure nurse recruitment and retention, and to provide patients with the quality care they deserve.

“I was born here, I have children here, I've built a life here, and I want to stay here. I wish St. Lawrence would invest in nurses the way we have invested in our community,” said Casey Paquin, RN. “This is personal to us; this is our friends and family's community hospitals. If we don't make them better, our families suffer.”

“We have a very clear message for St. Lawrence Health: No Staffing, No Contract.” said Megan Poupore, RN. “I’m here picketing after bargaining late into the night, and after working a shift in the OR because while I’m physically tired, I’m more tired of seeing St. Lawrence putting their bottom line before patient safety. For nurses, patient safety is the bottom line!”

“Since St. Lawrence Health bought Massena Hospital, they have gutted our services,” said Amanda Murray, RN. “Nurses are forced to wear many hats, from ER nurse to OB nurse to housekeeper, to provide patients the best care with limited staff. But we are stretched so thin it is unsafe. When St. Lawrence walked away from the bargaining table before addressing safe staffing, they walked away from patient care and from the nurses who provide it.” 


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.