Tentative contract agreements have been reached at Montefiore and Mt Sinai hospitals. These agreements may end the 7,000 nurse-strong strike that began on Monday Jan 9th.
At the end of 2022, 12 New York City hospitals faced a strike of their staff nurses as their contracts were ending without a renewal agreed upon. Representing the nurses is the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). Beyond customary salary increases, area nurses demanded that the hospitals improve “safe staffing” measures. This includes having more nurses on shifts to reduce the patient to nurse ratio which in some hospital departments can be 20:1.
After the nurses voted to strike, and the strike notice was delivered, most hospitals scrambled to reach an agreement. However, some Montefiore and Mount Sinai locations did not. Therefore, at 7am on Monday January 9th, 2023, roughly 7,000 nurses across three hospitals went to the picket lines.
In response, the hospitals began aggressive recruiting of short-term contract nurses. These job postings would list rates well over 3X what the striking staff nurses were making. Montefiore was also warned by the 1199 SEIU to not reassign its LPN’s to replace the RN’s that were on strike.
In early morning of Thursday Jan 12th, tentative agreements between the hospital administration and NYSNA were announced. Mount Sinai has yet to disclose any terms of the agreement. Though, Montefiore has published that they will hire 170 new nurses and a offer a 19% wage increase.
“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”Philip O. Ozuah – President and CEO of Montefiore Medicine.
The President of NYSNA, Nancy Hagans RN, seemed pleased with the agreements in the remaining hospitals. “Through our unity and by putting it all on the line, we won enforceable safe staffing ratios at both Montefiore and Mount Sinai where nurses went on strike for patient care.” She reiterated the importance of safety as the catalyst for these negotiations with, “…our victory means safer care for our patients and more sustainable jobs for our profession.”
The nurses at Montefiore and Mount Sinai must still vote to accept the tentative agreement. To date, all of the other hospitals in the initial 12 have done so.