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 hospital officials during a negotiation session Sunday night, the authorities said Association of Nurses of the State of New York.
“These nurses are dedicated professionals who, day in and day out, provide quality patient care in unimaginable conditions that have been exacerbated by the pandemic,” Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO union, said in a statement Monday. “Now they face the added challenge of staffing shortages, which have reached critical levels and could impact their ability to provide the best possible care to their patients.”
“It is time for hospitals to treat these nurses fairly, with the dignity and respect they deserve, and to negotiate quickly in good faith to ensure nurses can once again serve their communities by providing a… provide excellent care,” the statement continued.
strikes are appear at three locations in the Bronx and one location in Manhattan and runs until 7 p.m
in one expressionMontefiore Medical Center said it had offered a 19.1% pay rise and promised to create more than 170 new nursing positions before the strike.
“We remain committed to seamless and compassionate care and recognize that the union leadership’s decision will inspire fear and uncertainty in our community,” the statement said.
Mount Sinai told ABC News in a statement that it also offered a 19.1% wage increase proposal, but the nurses turned down the offer.
“Our top priority is the safety of our patients. We stand ready to minimize disruption and we encourage Mount Sinai nurses to continue to provide the first-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 the majority of ambulances,” “cancelling some elective surgeries…performing only emergency surgeries,” “transferring patients to other hospitals and medical centers,” and “working.” to safely discharge as many patients as necessary,” according to an internal memo from the New York ABC station WABC.
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Sunday night called for binding arbitration to avert a strike, but union officials refused to accept the proposal.
“Gov. Hochul should listen to the heroes of the Covid frontline nurses and respect our federally protected labor and collective bargaining rights,” NYSNA said in a expression. “Nurses don’t want to go on strike. Bosses have urged us to strike by refusing to give serious consideration to our proposals to address the desperate crisis of insecure staffing that is harming our patients.”
The NYSNA also urged New Yorkers not to be afraid or concerned about seeking medical attention for the strangler.
“We want to make it absolutely clear to all our patients, all New Yorkers, if you are sick, please do not hesitate to seek medical care, regardless of whether we are on strike,” the organization said tweeted. “Indeed, we invite you to join us on the strike line after you have received the care you need.”
ABC News’ Sasha Pezenik contributed to this report.
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