The New York nurses’ strike ended after hospitals reached a tentative agreement


New york

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

The New York State Nurses Association has reached preliminary agreements with Mount Sinai Health System and Montefiore Health System. Nurses argued that severe staff shortages hampered their ability to properly care for their patients and caused widespread burnout.

The union said the agreement provides a “safe staffing ratio” for all inpatient units at Mount Sinai and Montefiore ER, “so there are always enough nurses at the patient’s bedside to ensure safe patient care, not just on paper. “In Montefiore, the hospital has agreed to financial penalties for failing to meet agreed staffing levels across all departments.

Nurses must vote to approve the deal before it closes. But the union said the preliminary agreement would allow more nurses to be employed and better care for patients.

“Through our unity and drive, we have achieved safe and enforceable staffing ratios at Montefiore and Mount Sinai, where nurses have gone on strike to care for patients,” the union said. in a statement from the nurses. “Today, we can go back to work with our heads held high, knowing that our victory will ensure safe care for our patients and sustainable jobs for our profession.”

Mount Sinai called the deal “fair and responsible.”

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

Montefiore Medical Center said nurses will return to work at 7 a.m. Thursday and all surgeries and procedures and outpatient appointments Thursday and beyond will proceed as scheduled.

“From the beginning, we were committed to bringing honest negotiations to the table and addressing issues that were a priority for nurses,” Montefiore said in a statement. “We know that this strike has affected everyone, not just our nurses, and we are committed to making decisions as soon as possible to minimize disruption to patient care. »

The striking nurses said they worked long hours in dangerous conditions and were not paid enough – a pattern echoed by several other nurses’ strikes across the country last year. They said the hours and stress of too many patients for nurses to care for are exacerbating the crisis in staff and patient care.

The union representing nurses has approved a 19% pay increase proposal at other New York hospitals, avoiding a strike by tens of thousands of other nurses. But nurses at the two striking hospitals said the pay hike was not enough to address the staffing shortage.

Both hospitals accused the union of going on strike after rejecting the offers, which they said were similar to those accepted by other hospitals in the city.

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