Strike set at 7 NYC hospitals

Members of the New York State Nurses Association are set to strike Jan. 9 at seven New York City hospitals unless contracts are reached. 

The union represents about 12,000 nurses at BronxCare Health System, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, Montefiore Bronx, Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Morningside and West, and Richmond University Medical Center, according to a Jan. 1 NYSNA news release. 

Union members delivered strike notices on Dec. 30, and negotiations continue to avert a strike. About 4,000 nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital reached a tentative agreement Dec. 31, according to the union release. This means about 12,000 nurses from the seven other hospitals are still set to begin their strike Jan. 9 unless they also reach deals.

During negotiations, nurses have expressed their concerns about staffing levels and contend that hospitals are not doing enough to keep workers at the bedside in terms of things like staffing, pay and benefits.

"Striking is always a last resort, but nurses say they are prepared to strike if hospital administration gives them no other option to protect their patients and their practice," the union release states.

NewYork-Presbyterian shared the following statement with Becker's: "We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with NYSNA that reflects our commitment to our remarkable nurses. With this agreement, which is still subject to ratification by the nurses, we are making a significant investment in our outstanding nursing team and ensuring that we can continue to deliver the highest level of care to our patients."

Mount Sinai said: "Our bargaining teams continue to make good-faith efforts to pursue a contract with NYSNA that is fair to our community and responsible with respect to the long-term financial health of our organization. Mount Sinai nurses deserve the best possible working environment, wages, and benefits, and we're tirelessly pursuing these to all our employees' advantage. The Mount Sinai Health System also remains committed to ensuring our patients receive the highest quality care under all circumstances. We are prepared for staffing changes, and we will do our best to ensure our patients' care is not disrupted and will do everything possible to minimize inconvenience to patients."

Richmond University Medical Center said: "As many hospitals do, we have plans for all different situations that may arise. Our plans are flexible and designed to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our community safely while still providing the highest level of care to all our patients. We appreciate all of our nurses at Richmond University Medical Center and thank them for the care they provide to every single one of our patients each and every day. We will continue to negotiate in good faith towards a fair and responsible contract for our hospital."

Joe Solmonese, senior vice president at Montefiore, said: "New York State Nurses Association leadership at Montefiore refuses to come to an agreement despite a generous offer that includes an 18 percent wage increase, fully funded healthcare for life, and a significant increase in registered nurses in the emergency departments, among other benefits.

"This equitable offer mirrors the tentative agreement NYSNA union leadership reached with NewYork-Presbyterian, even as we continue to face significant financial challenges from COVID-19. Montefiore lost nearly $600 million over the course of the pandemic. Last year alone, we lost $200 million. NewYork-Presbyterian, on the other hand, posted net profits of roughly $200 million in 2022. Despite the financial challenges that we continue to face, we believe that our nurses' work has equal value to that of their colleagues in neighboring systems."

Becker's has reached out to systems involved. This story will be updated if any other comments are received.

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