NYC nurses strike ends, hospitals reach tentative agreement

Health

A protester shouts and holds a placard from inside a car during a nursing strike outside Mount Sinai Hospital on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in New York. A nursing strike that has disrupted patient care at two of New York City’s largest hospitals has entered its second day. As nurses walked the picket lines, Montefiore Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital postponed nonemergency surgeries, diverted ambulances and hired temporary staffers to cope with the walkout. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

NEW YORK (NewsNation) — A nurses’ strike at two of New York City’s largest hospitals has ended after a tentative agreement was reached between the nurses and hospitals, the nurses’ union announced Thursday.

The nurses, represented by the New York State Nurses Association, walked out early Monday after negotiations with management ran aground at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Each has over 1,000 beds and 3,500 or more union nurses.

“The strike is over and we have an agreement. Thank you, Mount Sinai team, for your unwavering dedication to world-class patient care,” the Mount Sinai Health System announced on Twitter.

The union had stressed staffing levels as a key concern, saying that nurses who labored through the grueling peak of the coronavirus pandemic are stretched far too thin because too many jobs are open. Nurses said they have had to work overtime, handle twice as many patients as they should and skip meals and bathroom breaks.

The privately owned, nonprofit hospitals said they have been grappling with a widespread nursing shortage that was exacerbated by the pandemic.

The new contract agreement includes a 19% wage increase for nurses, more than 170 new nursing positions, fully paid benefits and more resources dedicated to recruitment and retention.

“We came to these bargaining sessions with great respect for our nurses and with proposals that reflect their priorities in terms of wages, benefits, safety and staffing,” said Philip O. Ozuah, MD, Ph.D., president and CEO of Montefiore Medicine. “We are pleased to offer a 19% wage increase, benefits that match or exceed those of our peer institutions, more than 170 new nursing positions and a generous plan to address recruitment and retention.”

While an agreement has been reached, the contract will be presented to union members for a ratification vote next week — the vote determining if the terms of the agreement will be accepted by the union completely.

We are pleased that The Mount Sinai Hospital reached a tentative agreement with NYSNA, and the strike is over. Our proposed agreement is similar to those between NYSNA and eight other New York City hospitals. It is fair and responsible, and it puts patients first. We’re grateful to Governor Hochul, her staff and elected officials for their leadership and support throughout the negotiation process. To our incredible Mount Sinai team: thank you for your unwavering dedication to world-class patient care.

Statement from the mount sinai health system

Several other private hospitals around the city reached deals with the union as the strike deadline loomed. The agreements included raises totaling 19% over three years.

Mount Sinai and Montefiore said before the strike that they had offered the same pay boosts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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