Brittany ComakMay 16, 2018, 11:04 pmMay 17, 2018, 1:28 pm

Stony Brook University Hospital workers say pay inequality impacts patient care

Nurses, EMS workers from Stony Brook University picket for higher wages

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STONY BROOK — Nurses and EMS workers at Stony Brook University Hospital hope Gov. Andrew Cuomo hears them on the pay inequity they are facing, the pay inequality which they say is directly responsible for the lack of staffing at the hospital and the effects it has on patient care.

"We are taking care of the sickest people in Suffolk County and we have the poorest compensation," Nurse Michele Liot said.

According to the picketers, other hospitals in the area are paying their nurses and EMS workers $20,000 to $30,000 more per year. Because of this, they say most new hires only stay for a year and move on to a better paying hospital.

"We're not able to retain the new bright minds. You know, Stony Brook has the best ideas in medicine, but it's the nurses who are implementing those ideas. We do evidenced-based care, we are making it happen here every day, and unfortunately we can't keep the nurses who are new hires," Liot said.

Because Stony Brook is a state-run facility, the protestors say they understand their pay and incentives will likely never supersede private facilities but that they need to even the playing field somewhat so they have a chance at retaining employees.

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