NYSNA Nurses Ratify Contracts at St. Lawrence Health System
Nurses from Massena, Canton-Potsdam, and Gouverneur Hospitals Vote Overwhelmingly in Favor of Ratifying Union Contracts
Contracts Increase Nurse Salaries, Lower the Cost of Health Benefits, and Improve Safe Staffing Standards
Massena, N.Y.– NYSNA nurses from St. Lawrence Health’s Massena, Canton-Potsdam, and Gouverneur Hospitals voted overwhelmingly to ratify their new contracts with Massena and Gouverneur Hospital nurses ratifying their contracts by a unanimous vote.
Nurses reached tentative agreements at their last bargaining session on Wednesday, May 10. The ratification vote started on Monday, May 15 at Gouverneur Hospital and ended Wednesday, May 17 at Canton-Potsdam and Massena Hospitals. This is the first time that nurses from all three hospitals worked together by bargaining at a common table since the hospitals became part of St. Lawrence Health Systems, now part of Rochester Regional Health.
NYSNA nurses won wage increases of at least 6% in the first year and are now part of a consistent wage scale across hospitals. The contracts also include improved and lower cost health benefits through joining the NYSNA Benefits Fund, an important sticking point for nurses during negotiations. Nurses will also have a voice in staffing standards for the first time through the creation of a safe staffing committee.
“Nurses in the North Country came together for our patients and our profession.” said Sue Quinell, RN at Canton-Potsdam Hospital. “Bargaining with nurses from Massena and Gouverneur hospitals empowered us to learn from each other and support each other in our shared fight for fair contracts. With wage increases finally catching up to a higher cost of living and quality health benefits, nurses will want to stay in our community and have a career rooted in providing excellent care for our North Country patients.”
“Massena is my home. I was born at Massena Hospital, I grew up in this community, and now I work at Massena Hospital,” said Casey Paquin, RN at Massena Hospital. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of nurses and the support of our community, we have ratified a strong contract with the wages and healthcare benefits that will allow my family and I to stay here so I can keep my community healthy while being able provide for my own family.”
“We fought for and won affordable health insurance to care for our families, a voice in improving patient safety with our new staffing committee, and respectful wages to incentivize new nurses to join our team,” said Christina Smith, RN at Gouverneur Hospital. “I’m extremely proud of the nurses from all three facilities for our dedication to fight for our members and for the care our patients so desperately deserve.”
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.