Nurses at two of New York City’s largest hospitals were scheduled to strike Monday in a dispute over pay and staffing, following a weekend of negotiations that failed to reach agreement on a new contract.
The walkout, which was due to start at 6 a.m., would involve up to 3,500 nurses at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and some 3,600 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
The New York State Nurses Association said it was forced to take the drastic measure because chronic understaffing caused its affiliates to see too many patients.
“Nurses don’t want to go on strike. The bosses have forced us to strike by refusing to seriously consider our proposals to address the desperate crisis of unsafe staffing, which harms our patients,” the union said in a statement late Sunday.
In preparation for a strike, hospitals were transferring patients, diverting ambulances to other centers, postponing non-emergency medical procedures, and organizing temporary hires.
State Governor Kathy Hochul on Sunday night urged the union and hospitals to take their dispute to binding arbitration.
Montefiore management said in a statement that it was willing to allow arbitration to settle the contract “as a means of reaching an equitable result.”
The union did not accept the proposal at first. In a statement, she said Hochul, who is a Democrat, “must listen to the nurses who are COVID heroes and respect our federally protected work and our collective bargaining rights.”
Montefiore and Mount Sinai are the latest group of hospitals with union contracts to expire simultaneously. The Nurses Association had originally warned that it would strike all of them at once, a possible calamity even in a city with as many hospitals as New York.
But one by one, the other hospitals reached agreements with the union as the deadline approached.
Nurses at Presbyterian Hospital-New York ratified a deal Saturday that would give them raises of 7%, 6% and 5% over the next three years, as well as increase the workforce. That agreement, which affects 4,000 nurses, has been seen as a model for negotiations with other hospital networks.
Nurses at two centers in the Mount Sinai system also accepted contracts on a preliminary basis Sunday. But negotiations were continuing at the system’s flagship hospital on the east side of Manhattan.
Mount Sinai management said in a statement that by prioritizing the staff-to-patient ratio, the union “ignores the progress we have made to attract and hire more new nurses, despite a global shortage of healthcare workers plaguing hospitals across the United States.” the whole country”.
If nurses go on strike, patients are likely to experience complications in medical services such as emergency room visits and delivery care.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.