Nurses at Windham Hospital went on strike Thursday morning after months of negotiations with the hospital.
The nurses say they are striking to call further attention to a patient care crisis in the region.
They have worked through covid, they're forced to work mandatory overtime and they can barely afford to use their own health insurance because of the rising rates, according to the union.
Back in June, the nurses picketed outside of Windham Hospital and now they are going on strike because they still haven't reached what they see as a fair contract.
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“We've worked through probably what will be in our nursing career, one of the most difficult time periods of our career, and that's this pandemic, and, you know, for the hospital to come back. And, you know, throughout this past year, you know, mandate nurses to stay past their shifts physically exhaust them, it takes a toll. We've seen nurses leave at rapid, rapid paces," said Windham Federation of Professional Nurses President Andrea Riley.
About 100 staffers will take part in the two-day strike that started on Thursday morning outside of the hospital in Willimantic.
Windham Hospital is part of the Hartford HealthCare system.
In a statement, the hospital said it met with the union bargaining units on Monday and continue talks but they are disappointed they haven't reached an agreement.
Hospital negotiators say their current offer includes the elimination of mandatory overtime, as well as salary increases and adjustments for staff.
The hospital will have to bring in replacement workers for the 48-hour-long strike.