Nurses at Mount Sinai South Nassau have voted to join New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), New York’s largest union of registered nurses, NYSNA announced on Friday.
The union will represent the Oceanside hospital’s roughly 800 nurses, most of whom voted to unionize with NYSNA. South Nassau was the last non-union facility in the Mount Sinai health system.
“The South Nassau nurses worked for too long without a voice, without adequate compensation, and without a seat at the table to improve care and uplift standards at the hospital,” NYSNA President Nancy Hagans said. “When nurses are in unions, we find standards rise and quality care increases. The nurses at South Nassau have banded together to make their lives and their patients’ lives better in the long run. We welcome them to the NYSNA family.”
Mount Sinai South Nassau issued a statement, saying it respects the decision of the nurses to have NYSNA represent them. The hospital also noted that in the last year, it hired 250 nurses and gave its nursing staff a 17% raise.
“Our focus remains on supporting Mount Sinai nurses – and all our employees – in delivering the excellent patient care we are known for and that our community has come to expect from us, ensuring that Mount Sinai South Nassau continues to be one of the best places to work,” the statement said.
“We recognize the tremendous sacrifices Mount Sinai South Nassau nurses have made during the pandemic and the challenges posed by a nationwide nursing shortage,” it continued. “Nurses at MSSN also have always played an active role in governance issues, including in helping to find solutions to the nursing shortage and achieving Magnet level nursing care for our patients. We look forward to continuing to work together to provide the high level of nursing care our patients have come to expect.”
The unionization of South Nassau nurses comes after NYSNA nurses in New York City went on strike to win a fair contract. Nurses from Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center went on strike for three days and ultimately received improved safety measures, increased wages, safe staffing levels, and secure health benefits.
“We are so excited and hopeful to join NYSNA and strengthen our voice in patient care,” said Chris Moran, a nurse in Mount Sinai South Nassau’s maternity unit. “We want our hospital to serve our community and deliver quality care. We can’t wait to get to work winning a fair first contract that delivers safe staffing and respect for nurses and our patients.”
In late 2022, Long Island Federation of Labor President John Durso and Executive Director Ryan Stanton sent a letter to Mount Sinai South Nassau in support of the nurses’ labor action.
“We applaud the decision of the nurses at Mount Sinai South Nassau to exercise their rights and organize a union,” the letter said. “We support them now and will continue to do so throughout the [National Labor Relations Board] election process. They must be permitted to exercise their rights and vote in the election without actual or perceived employer intimidation.”