Updated 01/23/2012 11:34 PM
Nurses' Union Approves Strike At Flushing Hospital
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About 430 nurses at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Queens may be walking off the job next month, as they notified the hospital of the potential strike on Monday.
While the New York State Nurses Association approved the strike on Friday, federal law states that the union cannot start a strike until 10 days after the hospital has been notified.
The nurses are asking for an increase in pensions and medical benefits. Their contract ended on December 31 and their health care benefits will expire at the end of February.
Nurses told NY1 on Monday it was difficult coming to work knowing their benefits will run out soon. They also claimed to be the lowest-paid registered nurses in Queens.
"We're here to care for our patients. We give our patients quality care, but of course it's in the back of our minds that my health care benefits have been stopped by my employer," said Tracy Kavanagh, one of the nurses.
"They have not resolved this. We've gone to negotiations over a few months now, this is our ninth time at negotiations, and we're not moving forward, we're going backward," said Jacklyn Kelly, another one of the nurses.
By late Monday, MediSys Health Network, which runs Flushing Hospital, had not commented on the potential strike.
Over the last several months, nurses in several other city hospitals voted to authorize strikes, but the strikes never took place as they were able to reach contract agreements.