New York City workers from 3 health systems to strike April 2

Registered nurses across New York City plan to strike on April 2 at Montefiore, Mount Sinai and NewYork-Presbyterian locations, according to a union news release.

The strike, which will affect about 10,000 nurses at the health systems, comes amid negotiations between the New York State Nurses Association and the New York City Hospital Alliance.

The union said nurses are striking because hospitals will not hire enough bedside caregivers, which forces nurses to care for up to 19 patients at one time and negatively affects patients.

"In March, over 97 percent of nurses across the three hospital systems voted to authorize a strike because it has become a matter of life and death for our patients," the union said. "We do not want to strike, but we are determined to make changes that will guarantee safe staffing to properly take care of our patients."  

Greater New York Hospital Association President Kenneth E. Raske stressed the association's respect for nurses but called the strike "irresponsible." 

"It comes at a time when GNYHA and the 1199SEIU labor union are fighting with every ounce of energy, including a massive rally in Albany tomorrow, to protect New York's healthcare community and secure contingency funding against horrific proposed federal cuts. The very existence of many safety net hospitals is at stake," he wrote in a statement on March 18.

"Furthermore, the rigid, inflexible nurse staffing ratios that NYSNA may strike over are so discredited that voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly rejected them just five months ago. Forced nurse staffing ratios would deny hospitals real-time staffing flexibility, crowd out other members of the healthcare team, and cost billions to implement. Staffing decisions are best made at the bedside by expert, experienced nurses," added Mr. Raske.

An alliance spokesperson also expressed disappointment about the strike and said the group will continue to work with nurses to reach an agreement.


More articles on human capital and risk:

Baystate Health leaders guilty of attempted union-busting, NLRB finds
Hospitals and unions: 6 recent conflicts, agreements
Nurses strike at 2 California hospitals


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