Staten Island University Hospital Nurses Vote To Strike

Contact: Eliza Bates || 646-285-8491
Kristi Barnes || 646-853-4489 


Nurses voted by over 97 percent to authorize a strike if management doesn’t a settle fair contract that protects quality care for their patients

The 1,300 NYSNA members at SIUH-Northwell say they are concerned that Northwell, the giant healthcare conglomerate that runs their hospital, is more focused on corporate expansion than caring for Staten Island

Staten Island, N.Y.– On Wednesday, March 13, Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH)/ Northwell) nurses held a speak-out in front of their hospital and announced that they authorized their executive committee to call a strike if management fails to bargain a fair contract that protects care for Staten Island patients. Nurses voted in favor of strike authorization by over 97 percent. The 1,300 nurses at SIUH are represented by the New York State Nurses Association.

Nurses say that they want to stay in Staten Island to care for their community, but many are forced to seek work off the island because of below-market pay at SIUH and frequent understaffing that makes it impossible to provide the level of care their patients deserve.

NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN, BSN, CCRN, said, “Nurses shouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck while keeping Staten Island safe and healthy. And Northwell shouldn’t be making cuts that make their jobs even harder while spending big on corporate expansions and fancy ad campaigns. Nurses on Staten Island deserve a fair contract with respectful raises and safe staffing. Northwell needs to do better by their nurses.

”The average base pay for nurses at SIUH-Northwell is now $11,573 below the base pay at similar New York City hospitals. Northwell recently announced a $19.2 billion merger with Nuvance Health but eliminated pharmacists on the hospital floors of SIUH, forcing nurses away from patient bedsides for sometimes an hour or more to seek out urgently needed medications.

SIUH-Northwell nurse, Adriana DeLeon, RN, said, “Northwell has the money to settle a fair contract. We see how much money they spend on advertising, on corporate mergers, on making their buildings look nice. How can they invest in all that without investing in the very people that make this hospital work? During my short time here, I've seen so many nurses leave because we are often so understaffed that it feels like we’re working while on fire. I’ve only been here for two years, but I’m already considered a ‘seasoned’ nurse on my unit because turnover is so high. I want to go home at the end of the day and believe that I did the best that I could for my patients, but it’s hard when we’re expected to be in more than one place at a time.”

SIUH-Northwell nurse, Shayna Lehrer, RN, said, “I live on Staten Island. I was born here. This is my community. I don’t want to have to leave the island for work. But in the short time I’ve been a nurse, I’ve seen our morale driven to the ground and I’ve seen nurses like me burn out and leave. After just 1.5 years, I am one of the most senior nurses in my unit. Instead of making changes to support and retain its nurses, Northwell continues to ask us to do more with less. We’re not only asked to do our jobs, we’re also asked to be patient care assistants, pharmacists, and housekeepers, because we don’t have enough staff. We barely even have time to use the bathroom during our shift and it’s not sustainable.”

“The entire New York City labor movement stands with our NYSNA nurses at Staten Island University Hospital, who are demanding a fair contract with safe staffing,” said New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO President Vincent Alvarez. “The actions of Northwell executives have resulted in understaffing that is actively undermining quality of patient care and threatening public health because trained, experienced nurses from the community cannot afford to stay and are being forced to go to other boroughs. It’s time for Northwell to fix what they’ve broken. The NYCCLC is proud to support SIUH’s nurses as they fight for the resources they need to provide safe, quality healthcare to working families on Staten Island.

The strike authorization vote comes on the heels of overwhelming strike votes at other NYSNA-represented facilities, including most recently Northwell Long Island Jewish Valley Stream, Peconic Bay Medical Center, and North Shore University Hospital on Long Island. Those Northwell hospitals settled fair contracts with NYSNA nurses and averted strikes. Approximately a year ago, 7,000 NYSNA nurses at two New York City hospitals went on strike before reaching historic contract agreements. The Northwell-SIUH contract expires on March 31. 

A livestream of 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. 


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.