Around 7,000 nurses at two of New York’s largest hospitals face a strike

Around 7,000 nurses at two of New York’s largest hospitals face a strike

Around 7,000 nurses at two of New York’s largest hospitals face a strike

Nurses at two of New York City’s largest hospitals were scheduled to go on strike Monday over pay and staffing levels after a weekend of negotiations without an agreement on a new contract.

The strike, scheduled to begin at 6 a.m., would involve up to 3,600 nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and 3,500 at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

The New York State Nurses Association, which represents workers, said it was forced to take the drastic step because of chronic understaffing, which leaves nurses tending to too many patients.

“Nurses don’t want to go on strike. Bosses have urged us to strike by refusing to give serious consideration to our proposals to address the desperate crisis of insecure staffing that is harming our patients,” the union said in a statement late Sunday.

Hospitals have prepared for a strike by transferring patients, redirecting ambulances to other facilities, postponing non-emergency medical procedures and temporarily hiring staff.

Gov. Kathy Hochul late Sunday called on the union and hospitals to submit their dispute to binding arbitration.

The Montefiore government said in a statement that it was prepared to have an arbitrator settle the contract “to achieve a fair outcome”.

The union did not immediately accept the proposal. A statement said Hochul, a Democrat, “should listen to the frontline COVID Foster heroes and respect our federally protected labor and collective bargaining rights.”

Montefiore and Mount Sinai are the latest in a group of hospitals whose contracts with the union expired at the same time. The Nurses Association initially warned it would hit everyone at once – a potential disaster even in a city with as many hospitals as New York.

But gradually the other hospitals reached agreements with the union as the deadline approached.

Nurses at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Saturday ratified a deal that will give them pay rises of 7%, 6% and 5% over the next three years while increasing headcount. This deal, covering 4,000 nurses, was seen as a template for negotiations with other hospital systems.

Nurses at two facilities in the Mount Sinai system also agreed to tentative contracts on Sunday. But negotiations continued at the system’s flagship hospital on Manhattan’s east side.

The Mount Sinai government said in a statement that the union’s focus on staff-to-patient ratios “ignores the progress we have made to recruit and hire more new nurses, despite a global medical staff shortage that is expanding affecting hospitals across the country”.

When nurses go on strike, patients are likely to face disruptions in care, such as emergency room visits and childbirth.

Mount Sinai has transferred babies from the neonatal intensive care unit, CBS New York reports.

The station said the tense situation has left patients and their families feeling anxious.

“You don’t need that kind of distraction,” Sabrena Geborde, the wife of a patient at Mount Sinai, told CBS New York.

Geborde came to Mount Sinai last week with her husband Troy, who has end-stage ALS.

“My husband almost went into cardiac arrest and when we got here the nurses and doctors did an excellent job with him,” Geborde said.

The potential strike forced their normal hospital to divert patients, and that’s how they ended up at Mount Sinai.

“It’s something you never expect to have to deal with and remember to deal with, he’s clinging. He’s clinging to life as we speak,” Geborde said, “and you’re saving my husband’s life there and you’re inside right now helping him.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *