NYC nurses and hospitals resume contract talks; Some reach a pact
NEW YORK (AP) — A strike by thousands of New York City nurses threatened Monday, even though nurses at a hospital reached a tentative agreement hours before their contract expired.
The pact, which affects 4,000 nurses at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, is awaiting ratification.
Contractual negotiations between the nurses and seven other hospitals will resume this week in order to avoid a strike by another 12,000 nurses from next Monday, January 9. Their contracts expired on Tuesday.
“A strike is always a last resort, but the nurses say they are prepared to strike unless hospital administrators give them another way to protect their patients and their practice,” the Association of Nurses said. -New York State Nurses in a statement over the weekend.
The union issued a 10-day notice that it intends to strike if an agreement is not reached. Advance notice is required by law to enable hospitals to replace staff.
The nurses have been demanding what they call safe staffing, fair wages, no reduction in their health insurance and health and safety protection in the face of the “triple pandemic” of COVID-19, the -RSV and the flu.
They also want community benefits, such as funding programs to recruit and train nurses from the communities they serve.
The seven hospitals where nurses may strike include Montefiore, Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Morningside and West, Maimonides, BronxCare, Richmond University Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center.
Officials at several hospitals said Friday they remain hopeful of contract arrangements ahead of a strike, but said they are prepared to hire foreign workers as a precaution as they face a sharp increase in patient traffic due to the triple threat to the strength.
The union congratulated its members at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for reaching an interim agreement on what it called a “fair contract” hours before their contract expired.
The hospital said it was pleased to reach a tentative agreement.
“With this agreement, which still needs to be ratified by the carers, we are investing significantly in our excellent care team and ensuring that we can continue to provide the best possible care to our patients, ” said the hospital in a statement.
The Associated Press