Registered nurses at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland are calling for a three-day strike if negotiations with management fail to produce a new contract before the current deal expires at 12:01 a.m. June 5.

"We sincerely hope that we are able to settle these negotiations without a strike," Bobbi McClay, local union president and a Crozer nurse, said in a statement. "We want to be in the hospital, at the bedside, but somebody has to speak for our patients."

A statement from Kathy Scullin, vice president of public relations and marketing for Crozer-Keystone Health System, said: "Our nursing staff is very important to us, and we are hopeful that we can reach a settlement that is fair to our nurses in the hospital."

Nurses' negotiator Bill Cruice said the group voted, 592-8, on Thursday to send a legally required 10-day strike notice to hospital officials. The sides have been negotiating since April.

- AP