Nurses Picket For Better Pay, Staff And Insurance

Nurses Picket For Better Pay, Staff And Insurance

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With no contract, members of the New York State Nurses Association hit the picket line Thursday in Potsdam.

The nurses say they are short-staffed, they want better pay and they want health insurance that is affordable.

Dozens of registered nurses, along with their families, held the informational picket at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

There are 198 nurses working at the hospital that are part of the New York State Nurses Association.   

Nurses say they haven't had a contract in more than a year.

"We want fair contract. We want to be able to have good patient staffing and we don't have either one of those," said Chris Colbert, nurse.  

"It's very painful and emotional and I didn't think we would have to get this far," said Robin Hilyard, president of the local union.

"Overwhelming, saddening. I didn't think we would have to stand on a picket line to get what's right for the nurses that take care of the community," said Susan Quinell, nurse.  

Tracy Jarvis, a spokesperson for the hospital, said: "We value our RNs as important members of the workforce and the hospital continues to negotiate in good faith. We respect the collective bargaining process, and all contract discussions take place at the bargaining table."

The nurses at Canton-Potsdam Hospital say the issues they face are the same for nurses at other hospitals in St. Lawrence County.

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