NY RN STRIKE - 2 weeks & counting....

Nurses Activism


With tremendous media coverage.

Updates & Link to CBS News report that can be seen on video are posted at:



2,709 Posts

Nurses on Strike

The Long Island Catholic News

Nurses' strike begins second week

St. Catherine of Siena administration, union waiting for talks

Smithtown - As the nurses' strike at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center here entered its second week, hospital and union officials are waiting for negotiations to begin again.

"The federal mediators have informed us that they scheduled another session for Tuesday morning, Dec. 11," said James Wilson, St. Catherine's president and chief executive officer.

Hospital officials last met with representatives from the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), which represents about 475 striking nurses at St. Catherine's Nov. 25, the day before the strike, Mr. Wilson said.

"Our primary concern is providing care to our patients and serving the community. We want to get our nurses back for this," Mr. Wilson said.

He added that the hospital continues to provide the same level of care through replacement nurses. "The state department of health is in here every day checking to see that quality is maintained."

Nurses had been working without a contract since May at the former St. John's Episcopal Hospital, which Catholic Health Services (CHS) acquired from the financially troubled Episcopal Health Services early in 2000.

CHS, which consists of the Catholic hospitals and healthcare institutions in the Rockville Centre Diocese, named the newly Catholic hospital St. Catherine of Siena.

The strike followed unsuccessful efforts by the nurses and the hospital to reach an agreement on several issues, particularly employee health insurance, staffing levels, and mandatory overtime.

On Dec. 1, striking nurses held a rally outside the hospital. They were joined by local politicians and nurses from other hospitals, and other supporters.

Anne Schott, a spokesperson for NYSNA, said that when CHS acquired the hospital, the nurses agreed to drop staffing guidelines temporarily until the new administration could address the hospital's financial troubles. But Mrs. Schott said the problem still exists.

"Related to the understaffing is the problem of mandatory overtime," Ms. Schott said. Under mandatory overtime a supervisor can require a nurse already completing one shift to work an additional shift.

"They are using that as a routine staffing tool," Ms. Schott asserted.

Katherine Heaviside, a spokesperson for St. Catherine's, agreed that staffing is a problem but denied that the staffing levels endanger patient care.

"We agree that mandatory overtime should be avoided, but the hospital needs to be able to use it as a last resort." She added that over a two-week pay period, only four percent of the overtime worked at the hospital is mandatory overtime.

She contended that St. Catherine's is dealing with the staffing problems and has hired 110 nurses since CHS acquired the hospital. Although 70 nurses have also left, "some of that is due to retirement and relocation." The turnover, she said, has to be seen in the context of the hospital's size and the nursing shortage being faced by the whole country.

"Early this year, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, a national accreditation agency, did a survey of St. Catherine's and gave the hospital a rating of 96," she said, placing St. Catherine's in the upper 17 percent of hospitals in the country.




2,709 Posts

For Immediate Release:

From the office of Congressman Gary Ackerman

5th District - New York

Queens, Nassau, Suffolk

Ackerman Stands by Nurses of St. Catherine of Siena in Smithtown -

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens/L.I.) today voiced his strong support for the professional nursing staff of St. Catherine of Sienna Medical Center in Smithtown, Long Island.....

On the brink of permanently closing its doors, Ackerman, on February 3, 2000, helped the nurses broker a last minute settlement that brought the hospital then called St. Johns Episcopalback to life from its near death experience. The deal solved the problem of exhaustive work schedules while at the same time allowed Catholic Health Services of Long Island (CHS) to purchase and save the bankrupt facility for $91 million..........

"When CHS took over the hospital, we were assured that differences between the nurses and management would be resolved" Ackerman said. "I believe that the then-proposed solution put forth by the hospital was in good faith but unfortunately little has changed in the working conditions. I am concerned that the overworking of the nurses and exhaustively long shifts are endangering the safety of its the patients."........

The Congressman noted his support of federal and state legislation that strictly limit the ability of health facilities to require mandatory overtime. "We must vigorously recruit and retain nurses to fill the gaps in our nursing shortage, which I know is felt strongly here at St. Catherines" Ackerman added........

In addition, Ackerman urged the hospital to come up with an immediate plan to remedy the present situation so the nursing staff will have its concerns addressed and so that the hospital can enjoy the reputation it has had.




2,709 Posts

these are the people telling the nurses they "can't afford" to improve workplace conditions or increased salaries or benefits for the nurses:

List of officers & their Salaries (compensation), Contributions to benefits plans/deferred compensations (annuities/pensions), and Total annual compensation (total yearly salary):

Ronald A....

President F/T


Salary - $90,000.oo

Contributions to benefit plans/annuities - $ 0.00 Total annual salary - $90,000.oo...


Salary - $800,200.oo

Contributions to benefits plans/annuities - $225,706.oo

Total annual salary - $1,025,906.oo.....


Salary - $1,058,835.oo

Contributions to benefits plans/annuities -


Total Salary - $1,312,330.oo.....

Donna OB....Sr. VP F/T


Salary - $26,250.00

Contributions to benefits/annuities - 00.00

Total Salary - 26,250.00......


Salary - $298,177.00

Contributions to benefits/annuities -$43,598.00

Total salary - $341,775.00.....


Salary - $382,367.00

Contributions to benefits/annuities - $55,443.00

Total Salary - $437,810.00.....

Terrance DalyCFO 40%- part-time work


Salary - $00.00...


Salary - $148,000.00

Contribution to benefits/annuities - $59,472.00

Total Salary - $207,472.00...


Salary - $213,330.00

Contributions to benefits/annuities - $51,486.00

Total Salary - $264,816.00...

Martin Helldorger - position = "As Needed"


Salary - $318,028.00

Contributions to benefits/annuities - $23,707.00

Total Salary (for an "as needed "position!) - $341,735.00......

Alan Kertland - position = "As Needed"


Salary - $150,000.00

Contributions to benefits/annuities - $24,252.00

Total Salary - $174,587.00


2,709 Posts

Write a Letter?

Writing a letter to the editor is an ideal way to keep nurses issues before the public. Here are a few pointers for writing:

Type it.

Keep it brief and to the point - 200 words maximum.

Identify yourself, and include your credentials.

Provide your address and phone number so the newspaper can call to verify your identity.

Here are the addresses of local papers:


235 Pinelawn Road,

Melville, NY 11747-4250

Suffolk Life

1461 Old Country Road,

Riverhead, NY 11901

Smithtown Messenger

127 East Main Street,

Smithtown, NY 11787-2840

Long Island Catholic

200 West Centennial Avenue

Roosevelt, NY 11575

Smithtown News

1 Brooksite Drive,

Smithtown, NY 11787-3454

You may consider sending a copy of your letter to the following:

Ronald R. Aldrich

President and CEO

Catholic Health Svces. of Long Island

One Huntington Quad., Ste. 4C04

Melville, NY 11747

James Wilson


St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center

50 St. Johnland Road, Route 25A

Smithtown, NY 11787

E-mail your support to your brother and sister nurses at St. Catherine of Siena?

Messages of support may be e-mailed to NYSNA [email protected] for forwarding to St. Catherine's RNs.


This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X