7100 Nurses Go on Strike at 2 Big New York City Hospitals
By Investment Watch Blog
Striking nurses chanted and waved signs outside two large New York City hospitals Monday after a weekend of negotiations over pay and staffing levels did not produce a deal for a new contract.
The walkout involves as many as 3,500 nurses at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and about 3,600 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Patients are likely to see disruptions in care such as emergency room visits and childbirth.
The New York State Nurses Association, which represents the workers, said it was being forced into the drastic step because of chronic understaffing that leaves them caring for too many patients.
Union officials say nurses are pushing the issue of staffing levels for patients’ sake, as well as their own. Escalon said she sometimes finds herself caring for twice as many people as ideal standards call for and skipping bathroom breaks to attend to patients.
ZH: Thousands Of NYC Nurses Officially On Strike After Failed Negotiations
Last-minute negotiations failed between the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) and two major NYC hospitals early Monday morning. More than 7,000 nurses are expected to strike today.
Social media activity shows hundreds of nurses striking outside of the hospitals. The numbers are expected to grow throughout the day.
— Socialist Alternative NYC (@SocialistNY) January 9, 2023
#HAPPENINGNOW Over 7000+ Nurses strike at two of NYC’s largest Hospitals
Video by Dakota Santiago (Desk@freedomnews.tv to license) pic.twitter.com/GwPhunqRpt
— Oliya Scootercaster 📽️ (@ScooterCasterNY) January 9, 2023
A spokesperson for Mount Sinai told Bloomberg negotiations failed around 0100 ET after NYSNA rejected a 19.1% wage increase agreed to by eight other hospitals, including two other Mount Sinai health campuses.
Mount Sinai spokesperson Lucia Lee said elective procedures were suspended today, and infants from its neonatal intensive care units were transferred to other hospitals in preparation for the labor action.
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Thousands of nurses from New York City hospitals could strike as early as Monday morning if unions and hospitals cannot agree on tentative contract agreements by midnight.
York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) President Nancy Hagans said at a press conference Saturday that 8,700 nurses will strike at 0600 ET Monday if no agreement is reached with hospitals by 2359 ET Sunday.
BronxCare and The Brooklyn Hospital Center have already reached tentative agreements with the union to increase wages, better health benefits, and improve safe staffing levels. Still, Mount Sinai, Mount Sinai Morningside, Mount Sinai West, and Montefiore are hospitals that have yet to reach deals with the union.
ABC7 New York said Mount Sinai is preparing for a strike. The hospital began moving newborns under intensive care and vulnerable patients to other hospitals this weekend amid the looming labor action. The hospital could also cancel non-emergency procedures.
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) January 7, 2023
Mount Sinai’s chief nursing officer, Dr. Frances Cartwright, railed against the strike threat:
“Talk about vulnerable patients, defenseless little babies.
“We can’t wait until Monday, we have to plan. I sure am hoping for the best, but you have to plan for the worst.”
An internal memo from Mount Sinai informed staff of “aggressive planning in response” to a possible strike tomorrow, which would include “diverting a majority of ambulances,” beginning “to cancel some elective surgeries … will perform emergency surgery only,” “starting to transfer patients” to other hospitals and “working to discharge as many patients as appropriate safely.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said days ago her “full expectation is that this will be resolved because there is no alternative.”