Approximately 16,000 union nurses have delivered notices to eight New York City hospitals announcing their intention to strike beginning on January 9th if a new contract agreement is not reached by then, according to a press release from the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA).
“NYSNA will continue to bargain non-stop between now and January 9th in the hopes of reaching agreements,” their release states.
The 10-day notice of strike given to the eight hospitals allows time for the hospitals to plan patient care in the case that a strike begins, the union said.
Nearly 99% of the union members voted last week to authorize the strike, which would impact seven hospitals in all five boroughs of the city.
“Striking is always a last resort,” NYSNA President and nurse Nancy Hagans said in a press release last week. “Nurses have been to hell and back, risking our lives to save our patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes without the PPE we needed to keep ourselves safe, and too often without enough staff for safe patient care.”
The union says hospitals aren’t doing enough to keep caregivers with patients and they say hospitals need to invest in hiring and retaining nurses to improve patient care.
“Some of our colleagues have died, others will face the effects of long-Covid for years to come,” Hagans said. “Many of us have PTSD. All of us are fed up and exhausted.”
The NewYork-Presbyterian hospital system said they hope they can reach a “fair and reasonable contract agreement,” in a statement to CNN. Three of their hospitals would be impacted if a strike occurred.
“We respect and value all of our nurses, who play a central role in delivering the exceptional care that NewYork-Presbyterian is known for,” according to a statement from the hospital system. “We remain hopeful that union leadership shares our dedication to reaching a fair and reasonable contract agreement, and we will continue to bargain in good faith.”
A spokeswoman for the Mount Sinai Health System said they value their nurses and share regular updates about negotiations on this website.
“Our goal is to reach an agreement that continues to provide our valued nurses with competitive compensation and benefits and ensures a safe, supportive working environment that enables them to provide exceptional care to all our patients across the diverse communities we serve.”