Nurses strike Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 outside North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, Minn. Nurses launched a three-day strike over issues of pay and what they say is understaffing that has been worsened by the strains of the coronavirus pandemic. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)
Hear why 15,000 nurses decided to walk off the job
01:44 - Source: CNN
New York CNN  — 

More than 8,700 nurses are prepared to go on strike Monday at 6 am ET if tentative contract agreements are not reached at several New York City hospitals, New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) President Nancy Hagans said at a virtual press conference Saturday morning.

That’s a drop from the original estimate of 9,500, after tentative agreements were reached late Friday and Saturday morning with other facilities.

In a statement Saturday, the NYSNA said nurses at BronxCare and The Brooklyn Hospital Center reached tentative agreements that will improve safe staffing levels and enforcement, increase wages by 7%, 6%, and 5% annually during their three-year contract, and retain their healthcare benefits.

Negotiations are continuing at Montefiore Bronx and the Mount Sinai Morningside and West campuses ahead of Monday’s planned strike, Hagans said. The union president told reporters Saturday that the main Mount Sinai Hospital complex left the bargaining table late Thursday and has not reached out to the union to schedule any further bargaining sessions since.

A Mount Sinai spokesperson told CNN the hospital system is actively bargaining with the Mount Sinai Morningside and West campuses under separate union agreements. The spokesperson added that management is “waiting for the union to come back to us” and resume negotiations for nurses at the main Mount Sinai hospital facility.

On Saturday, nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian announced that they agreed to ratify their agreement, but it was a close vote – 57% nurses voted yes and 43% were against.

“Voting on whether to ratify a contract is a key component of union democracy. Just like in any democracy, there is rarely 100 percent consensus,” Hagans said in a statement.

To date, nurses at five New York City hospitals who were slated to strike on Monday have now reached tentative agreements or contracts.

The NYSNA also hit back Saturday at comments from Mount Sinai, which said Friday it was transferring infants in its Neonatal Intensive Care units to other area hospitals because of over the strike notice, saying that the hospital was “dismayed by NYSNA’s reckless actions.”

Matt Allen, the union’s regional director, said, “As a labor and delivery nurse who helps mothers to bring babies into this world, I find it outrageous that Mount Sinai would compromise care for our NICU babies in any way. We already have NICU nurses caring for twice as many sick babies as they should.”

He added, “It’s unconscionable that Mount Sinai refuses to address unsafe staffing in our NICU and other units of the hospital but is now stirring fears about our NICU babies in contract negotiations.”