More than 7,000 nurses at two New York City hospitals went on strike early Monday morning, demanding better pay, better working conditions and more staff.
The strike began at 6 a.m. after nurses at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai Hospital in Harlem failed to reach an agreement with the hospital administration during a negotiation session Sunday evening, the New York State Nurses’ Association said.
“These nurses are dedicated professionals who are providing quality patient care day in and day out under unimaginable circumstances that were exacerbated by the pandemic,” Mario Cilento, president of the AFL-CIO, a New York state labor union, said in a statement Monday. “Now they face the added challenge of a shortage of staff that has reached critical levels and could jeopardize their ability to provide the best quality care to their patients.”
“It is time for the hospitals to treat these nurses fairly, with the dignity and respect they deserve, and to negotiate quickly in good faith, to ensure that nurses can once again serve their communities by providing superior care to their patients,” the statement said. statement continued.
strikes are appearance at three locations in the Bronx and one location in Manhattan and will run until 7 p.m
In a statement, Montefiore Medical Center said it was offering a compound pay raise of 19.1% and pledged to create more than 170 new nursing positions ahead of the strike.
“We remain committed to providing seamless and compassionate care, recognizing that the union leadership’s decision will fuel fear and uncertainty in our community,” the statement said.
Mount Sinai told TBEN News in a statement that it also proposed a 19.1% pay increase, but that nurses rejected the offer.
“Our number one priority is the safety of our patients. We are prepared to keep disruption to a minimum and we encourage Mount Sinai nurses to continue to provide the world-class care they are known for, despite the NYSNA strike” Mount Sinai officials said. .
Mount Sinai said it was preparing for the strike by “rerouting a majority of ambulances”, starting “cancelling some elective surgeries … performing emergency surgeries only”, “starting transferring patients” to other hospitals and medical centers, and “work to safely discharge as many patients as possible,” according to an internal memo obtained by New York’s TBEN station WABC.
Gov. Kathy Hochul called for binding arbitration on Sunday evening to avert a strike, but union officials did not accept the proposal.
“Government Hochul must listen to the heroes of Covid nurses on the front lines and respect our federally protected labor and collective bargaining rights,” NYSNA said in a statement. pronunciation. “Nurses don’t want to strike. Bosses pushed us to strike by refusing to seriously consider our proposals to address the desperate crisis of unsafe staff harming our patients.”
The NYSNA also urged New Yorkers not to be afraid or concerned about seeking medical care because of the shrike.
“To all our patients, to all New Yorkers, we want to be absolutely clear: If you’re sick, don’t delay getting medical care, whether or not we go on strike,” the organization said. tweeted. “In fact, we invite you to join us on the strike line after you get the care you need.”
Sasha Pezenik of TBEN News contributed to this report.