UVM Medical Center nurses vote to authorize strike

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) UVM Medical Center nurses have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a two-day strike over working conditions, pay and staffing levels.

Union officials made the announcement Wednesday morning outside the hospital. The union says 94 percent of those who voted were in favor of the strike.

The Vermont Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals Local 5221, which represents about 1,800 members, has been in negotiations with hospital management since late March.

Union officials have said the vote does not mean the nurses will go on strike but that it will demonstrate to the administration that they are serious. Any strike would not begin until after July 9.

Medical Center officials say that if there is a strike, the hospital would bring in replacement nurses.