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Union: 98% of St. Catherine of Siena Hospital nurses vote to authorize strike

The New York state Nurses Union says employees have been working without a contract since July 31. Catholic Health tells News 12 that it will continue to bargain in good faith.

Jon Dowding

Aug 15, 2023, 1:01 AM

Updated 312 days ago


Nurses at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital are threatening to strike.
They say they are understaffed and underpaid.
Ninety-eight percent of nurses at the Smithtown hospital voted to authorize a strike on Monday.
The New York state Nurses Union says they have been working without a contract since July 31.
"We are probably the lowest paid hospital on Long Island," says Tammy Miller, a critical care nurse at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital. "And it's not that we don't want the money, but in order to get nurses to come here and stay here, we need to offer them a decent salary or they will go somewhere else."
Miller, who is also the union president for the hospital, says it becomes a “vicious cycle” when they can’t recruit and retain nurses.
Nurses also say they need more help to better serve patients.
“They tell us they want you to pull up a chair and have a cup of coffee with you patient and tell your patients, ‘I have time for you,’ and I want to say that desperately, but unfortunately, the truth is, you don’t have time for that,” says Lorraine Incarnato.
In a statement to News 12, Catholic Health says St. Catherine of Siena Hospital has participated in 10 bargaining sessions with the nurse’s union and has made significant offers on wages and staffing.
The most recent threat for a nursing strike was at St. Charles Hospitals and South Shore University Hospital. The hospitals eventually reached an agreement with the nurses’ unions.
Patient advocates say the possibility of fewer nurses could create unsafe situations for families.
Catholic Health say they are continuing to negotiate in good faith with the union.
The union says negotiations have been underway since June 30.
It must give the hospital 10 days' notice before striking.

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