Nurses threaten strike at Fawcett Memorial Hospital

Nurses at a Southwest Florida hospital could walk off the job.

The National Nurses Organizing Committee approved strikes at 10 hospitals across the state, even though there is a nursing shortage.

Registered Nurse Gary Mosseau says nurses at Fawcett Memorial Hospital are fighting to give the best possible care.

“We love our patients,” Mousseau said. “They’re our friends, our families and our neighbors and we want to do the utmost for them.”

Nurses there have been in ongoing contract negotiations with the hospital sine March, and say they’re no closer to reaching an agreement.

That’s why the nurses union voted this week to give nurses the green light to go on strike.

“We do not want to strike, but the initiatives we’re hoping for haven’t been met yet, and the nurses want some results,” Mousseau said.

Nurses say they want better working conditions. They say more than 50 percent of the time some hospital departments are understaffed.

“We want to have the right number of nurses for the right number of patients,” Mousseau said.

They also want better pay, and the hospital to address the constant turnover rates, where two-thirds of the nurses have less than three years of experience.

“Experience is a great tool in taking care of our very sickest patients,” Mousseau said.

In a statement to WINK News, the hospital said, “We have bargaining dates scheduled later this month and we look forward to the union’s response to the proposal we provided to them back in July.”

But nurses expressed their concerns, leaving them just weeks away from a strike.

The union hopes to come to an agreement after their next meeting scheduled for later this month.

The hospital says it’ll use all available resources to help patients if the nurses decide to go on strike.

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