Nurses Challenge Management: Walk A 12-Hour Shift In Our Shoes

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More than 150 New York State Nurses Association nurses protested outside Syosset Hospital/Northwell Health on Aug. 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to demand a fair contract that includes safe staffing levels, fair wages, and quality and affordable retiree healthcare.
NYSNA nurses at Syosset Hospital/Northwell Health have been working under an expired contract since October 2021. Their contract advocacy efforts join the more than 30,000 NYSNA members who will be bargaining contracts for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses say they are fighting for a contract that reflects what they need to provide the level of care the community deserves.
“We’re calling on Northwell Health management to help us help our patients,” said Ann Tahaney, RN and president of the bargaining unit. “Give us the nurses, support staff, and the tools we need to provide quality care our patients deserve.”
Tahaney, who has worked at the hospital for more than 30 years, said nurses are sending a challenge to Northwell management: Walk a 12-hour shift in our shoes.
“And not when it’s slow, when we are so busy that nurses have 8 patients to care for and can’t take a bathroom break, let alone a lunch break,” she said.
Often, the wait times for a bed in the ER surpass 48 hours. Instead of a sustainable investment in the benefits of full-time staff nurses and additional staff, management relies heavily on agency nurses and pays them twice as much as nurses on staff.
NYSNA nurses are demanding that key issues be addressed in this contract, including proposals that reflect:
Safe staffing with nurse-to-patient ratios of 1:5 to provide safe, quality patient care.
Competitive wages that recognize and respect the work the nurses perform during the ongoing pandemic.
Quality and affordable retiree health insurance. Nurses have dedicated their life to ensuring the health of the community they care for. It is time for Syosset to recognize that dedication and commit to the health of the nurses.
Syosset is owned by the Northwell Health System. Northwell Health top executive compensation increased by 26.3 percent in the first year of the pandemic.
—Submitted by New York State Nurses Association

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Since 1958, the Syosset Jericho Tribune has served the communities of Syosset, Jericho, Woodbury, Brookville, Lower Brookville and Muttontown as a trusted source for local news and community events.

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