New York, NY—After bargaining late into the night at Montefiore and Mount Sinai Hospital yesterday, no tentative agreements were reached. Today, more than 7,000 nurses at these two hospitals are on strike for fair contracts that improve patient care.
Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO: “Union members across the city and state, from the public sector, private sector, and building trades are united in our support of the nurses represented by NYSNA, who have been put in the unfortunate position of having no other choice than to strike. These nurses are dedicated professionals who provide quality patient care under unimaginable conditions including short staffing, which were only exacerbated by the pandemic. The hospitals treatment of these nurses is proof that all their words of adulation for their healthcare heroes during the pandemic were hollow. It is time for the hospitals to treat these nurses fairly, with the dignity and respect they deserve, to ensure nurses can get back to serving their communities by providing superior care to their patients.”
Nurses at Mount Sinai and Montefiore have consistently spoken out about the staffing crisis for several tyears. NYSNA has asked hospital management to come to the negotiating table in good faith and deliver a contract that helps nurses deliver quality care to patients and improves quality of care at medical facilities. Patient care continues to be affected by understaffing.
“The entire New York City Labor Movement stands with our nurses, who are courageously taking action against dangerous understaffing that threatens the safety of their patients,” said New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO President Vincent Alvarez. “The decision to go on strike is never an easy one, particularly for workers who care so deeply about the patients and communities they serve. But hospital executives created this crisis by failing to hire, train, and retain nurses while at the same time treating themselves to extravagant compensation packages. Now it’s time for them to fix what they’ve broken. The full resources of the NYC CLC, our affiliates and our 1.3 million members are at the disposal of our City’s nurses as they fight for the resources they need to provide safe, quality healthcare to all New Yorkers.”
Since NYSNA nurses started negotiating contracts four months ago, the number one issue has been the crisis of chronic understaffing that harms patient care. Safe staffing is about having enough nurses to deliver quality care to every patient. It is the issue that employers have ignored. Nurses have been consistently standing up for the need to provide the best care possible to all New Yorkers.
NYSNA President Nancy Hagans said, “We are here to negotiate in good faith to make sure that the nurses have enough resources to care for the patients. It’s not up to the nurses. It’s up to the bosses to sit there and come up with a fair contract so our nurses could continue to care for our patients,”