New York nurses on strike
New York, NY – On December 30, nurses at eight hospitals, including New York City’s largest, representing approximately 16,000 members submitted their ten-day notice to strike beginning January 9. As of Monday, January 9, all but three hospitals have reached a tentative agreement. This means that nurses represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) are beginning their strike at four different locations.
Nurses throughout the city are fighting for a decent union contract.
While building up towards the strike, nurses have repeated time and time again that their primary concerns are severe understaffing which leads to poor patient care. Their goal with this contract is to ensure patients are not left alone due to nurses being overworked, overtired and overwhelmed.
Currently, Mount Sinai Hospital alone has over 500 nursing vacancies. This results in nurses taking on too many patients, such as in the neonatal intensive care unit, where they are forced to take on more sick babies that they can safely care for – sometimes up to three when the standard is one, maybe two babies at a time. At Montefiore, there are 760 nursing vacancies, which means that nurses are sometimes in charge of 20 patients when the standard is one nurse per three patients.
Executives of these hospitals are running smear campaigns calling nurses negligent and saying they’re abandoning their patients. All the while, the hospital executives are making hundreds of thousands in their salaries and refusing to hire more nurses to safely care for their patients. Hospital executives are the ones being negligent.
Matt Allen, an RN from Mount Sinai Hospital and a member of NYSNA said, “We felt abandoned by hospital management when we worked around the clock, facing death and suffering on a 9/11-level scale every single day at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic without enough staff or PPE – at the same time that Mount Sinai’s CEO worked from the comfort of his vacation home. During one of our union contract negotiation sessions, a manager had the audacity to tell us that he has not stepped foot in the hospital in more than two years due to the pandemic.”
And instead of hiring new full-time nurses, hospitals have hired scabs at $300 an hour rather than negotiate the terms that NYSNA put forward.
NYSNA demands are the following: “Safe staffing; fair wages to recruit and retain enough nurses for safe patient care; no cuts to our benefits, including the healthcare benefits that keep us healthy and at the bedside; better health and safety protections; and, community benefits, including a voice in local healthcare services and a local training and apprentice program to train the next generation of nurses.”
To support New York nurses on this historic strike, please find them in the following locations:
Montefiore Moses: 111 East 210th St, Bronx, NY
Montefiore Weiler: 1825 Eastchester Rd., Bronx, NY
Montefiore Hutch: 1250 Waters Pl, Bronx, NY
Mount Sinai Hospital: 1 Gustave Levy Pl, Madison & 99th St, NY, NY
The pickets begin at 6 a.m. and go until the late evening.
Support striking nurses to demand better patient care.