Strike at Smithtown Hospital
Members of the New York State Nurses Association struck a Long Island hospital yesterday when last-minute negotiations over staffing levels and health insurance fell through. The nurses feel that Catholic Health Services---which bought the failing hospital about two years ago---has failed to live up to the promises made when the union agreed to an unfavorable contract in return for keeping the hospital open. Management has insisted that it has been unable to increase staffing levels due to a nationwide shortage of nurses, but the union maintains that dangerously low staffing levels and mandatory overtime at the hospital are solely the result of working conditions that make it impossible to retain a sufficient staff.
See BARBARA J. DURKIN, Newsday, November 26, 2001