August 25, 2015
The registered nurses union at Shore Medical Center in Atlantic County has voted in favor of a strike authorization as monthslong negotiations over a new contract continue to stall.
Nurses will hold a rally in front of the hospital in Somers Point on Tuesday, the Shore Nurses Union announced. The vote was 77 percent in favor of authorization, meaning that the union can now issue a 10-day strike notice if negotiations remain fruitless.
"Staffing levels on most units are at crisis levels," union representative Lisa Ruiz said at a public meeting earlier this month, according to Shore News Today.
She said that there are only around 350 registered nurses at the hospital, compared to more than 400 two years ago.
"We're asked to make miracles happen each and every day. But it's been difficult over the last few years as we've been asked to do more with less," the union said in a statement.
"We are actively trying to reach a contract agreement at the bargaining table," Shore Medical Center spokesman Brian Cahill told Shore News Today. He added, "Shore compares favorably to other hospitals in wages and benefits."