The nurses at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston have voted to authorize a one-day strike.
They announced that 95-percent of voters said "yes" to the strike Monday night. The votes were cast in a secret ballot.
The nurses have 10 days until they can hit the picket lines and the earliest they can start is on June 24. The hospital can agree to a contract settlement by that date.
More than 3,000 nurses at the hospital have been trying to negotiate new contracts.
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The hospital released a statement that said in part, "While we are disappointed, we fully expect that authorization to call a strike will be granted to the union. We sincerely hope that we can reach a fair and reasonable contract and avoid a strike. Our focus, however, remains on providing safe, high-quality care to our patients, and we will be ready to do so should a strike occur," said Ron M. Walls, MD, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brigham and Women's Health Care.
The statement added, "The leadership team and the entire BWH community have the utmost respect for our nurses and the incredible care they deliver each day."
If the strike takes place, it will be the largest nurses' strike in the state's history.