NYC nurses strike ends after tentative deal with hospitals

New York

A nurses’ strike at two private hospitals in New York City has ended after 7,000 nurses spent three days on the picket line.

The New York State Nurses Association union reached a preliminary agreement with Mount Sinai Health System and Montefiore Health System. Nurses have been arguing that severe staffing shortages have contributed to widespread burnout, hampering their ability to properly care for patients.

The union said the agreement would provide enforceable “safe staffing ratios” for all inpatient units at Mount Sinai and Montefiore “so that there will always be enough nurses at the bedside to provide safe patient care, not just It’s on paper.” In Montefiore, the hospital agreed to financial penalties for failing to comply with staffing levels agreed upon by all departments.

The deal also includes 170 new nurse positions, a 19.1 percent wage increase, lifetime health coverage for eligible retirees and the addition of “significantly more nurses” in emergency rooms, Montefiore said.

Nurses need to vote to approve the deal before it can be finalized. But the union said the tentative agreement would help get more nurses to work and better care for patients.

“Through our solidarity and commitment, we won enforceable safe staffing ratios at Montefiore and Mount Sinai, where nurses are striking to care for patients,” the nurses union said in a statement. “Today, we can return to work with our heads held high, knowing that our victory means safer care for patients and more sustainable work for our industry.”

Mount Sinai called the agreement “fair and responsible.”

“Our proposed agreement is similar to that between NYSNA and eight other New York City hospitals,” Mount Sinai said in a statement. “It’s fair and responsible, and it puts patients first.”

Montefiore Medical Center said nurses will resume work at 7 a.m. Thursday, and all surgeries and procedures and outpatient appointments on and after Thursday will proceed as planned.

“From the beginning, we have committed to negotiating in good faith and addressing the priorities of our caregivers,” Montefiore said in a statement. “We know this strike affects everyone — not just Our nurses — we are committed to reaching a resolution as quickly as possible to minimize disruption to patient care.”

Nurses on strike say they are underpaid for working long hours in unsafe conditions — a claim echoed by several other nurse strikes across the country over the past year. The time and stress of caring for too many patients is driving away nurses and creating a growing crisis in staffing and patient care, they say.

The union representing nurses has approved a proposed 19% pay rise at other New York hospitals to avoid a strike with tens of thousands of other nurses. But nurses at the two hospitals on strike said the pay rises would not be enough to address staff shortages.

Both hospitals criticized the union for going on strike instead of accepting what they said was a proposal similar to what the union had accepted at other hospitals in the city.

Source link