For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023
Contact: Diana Moreno | firstname.lastname@example.org | 917-327-2302
Kristi Barnes | email@example.com | 646-853-4489
NYSNA Nurses at St. Catherine of Siena Begin Vote to Authorize a Strike
Nurses have vowed to do “whatever it takes” to win safe staffing for patients and respectful wages and benefits to recruit and retain nurses at St. Catherine
Strike vote taking place today through Friday
Smithtown, N.Y.— After their contract with St. Catherine of Siena Hospital expired on July 31 and negotiations slowed this week, NYSNA nurses began voting to authorize a strike. Voting started at 7:00 a.m. this morning and will continue until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11.
St. Catherine nurses were at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic on Long Island and have supported the Smithtown community through various public health challenges, but unsafe staffing levels and some of the lowest pay in Suffolk County have forced nurses to demand a fair contract. Nurses have been fighting for safe nurse-to-patient ratios and the benefits and wages that will retain and recruit nurses at St. Catherine so they can provide the quality care Smithtown patients deserve.
Since negotiations began on May 30, nurses have committed to doing “whatever it takes” to win a fair contract by packing the room during bargaining meetings, launching a petition campaign, and having over 130 nurses march on the CEO to present their demands last month.
Management has failed to offer proposals that meet the needs of nurses and patients in the areas of safe staffing and wages to make St. Catherine competitive with other Long Island hospitals. If a majority of nurses approve a strike authorization, they would then have to deliver a 10-day notice to management before a strike begins.
NYSNA union president at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital, Tammy Miller, RN, said: “We didn’t want to have to take this step, but nurses made a commitment that we would do whatever it takes for patient safety and a fair contract. We are tired of begging to get the safe staffing levels and improved wages we need to retain nurses at St. Catherine.”
NYSNA nurse at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital, Lorraine Incarnato, RN, PI, said: “We need management to bring real proposals to the table with competitive wages and safe staffing ratios to ensure we have enough nurses at the bedside. We are demanding they bargain in good faith to deliver a contract that respects nurses and our patients!"
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.