Nurses picket Canton-Potsdam Hospital

Nurses picket Canton-Potsdam Hospital

POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - Licensed practical nurses and other healthcare workers chanted “be fair to those who care” and picketed outside Canton-Potsdam Hospital Friday evening.

They were protesting their lack of a contract. In July, the nurses and techs - represented by Service Employees International Union 1199 - voted down a contract proposal. The union said the contract was voted down because it increased the cost of health insurance by at least seven percent.

“It’s just very discouraging that a healthcare facility doesn’t care about providing healthcare for its workers and families,” said Kathy Tucker, 1199 Regional Director.

"We don’t want them to pay the whole shot, we just want to make it so it’s affordable.”

According to the union, the average licensed practical nurse at Canton-Potsdam Hospital makes $2,500 a month. The union says about half the paycheck would go to the healthcare premium for a single person.

“The premiums are too high. to have a spouse on, I couldn’t do that,” said Monique Fareell, a licensed practical nurse. “If i was to have a kid i couldn’t have a kid on my insurance and afford that, not with my wage.”

The hospital has said it will not discuss negotiations in public.

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