NEW YORK (AP) — A possible strike by thousands of New York City nurses loomed Monday even as nurses at a hospital reached a tentative agreement hours before their contract expired.
The pact affecting 4,000 nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital awaits ratification.
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Contract talks between the nurses and seven other hospitals will resume this week to avoid a strike by 12,000 more nurses as early as next Monday, January 9. Their contracts expired on Tuesday.
“Strikes are always a last resort, but nurses say they are ready to strike if the hospital administration gives them no other option to protect their patients and their practice,” the Nurses Association said. of New York State in a statement this weekend.
The union issued 10 days’ notice saying it intended to strike if an agreement was not reached. Advance notice is required by law to allow hospitals to arrange for alternate staffing.
The nurses called for what they described as safe staffing levels, fair wages, no reductions in their health coverage and health and safety protections in light of the “triple epidemic” of COVID-19, RSV and influenza
Union nurses from the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) walk the picket line after striking outside Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital in New Rochelle, New York, U.S., December 1, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar
They also want community benefits such as funding programs to recruit and train nurses within the communities they serve.
The seven hospitals where nurses could strike include Montefiore, Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Morningside and West, Maimonides, BronxCare, Richmond University Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center.
Representatives of several hospitals said on Friday they remained hopeful that contractual agreements would be reached before a strike, but said they were ready to bring in outside workers as a precaution as they face a high volume of patients due to the triple health threat.
The union praised its members at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for reaching a tentative agreement on what it called “a fair contract” hours before their contracts expired.
The hospital said it was happy to have reached an agreement in principle.
“With this agreement, which has yet to be ratified by nurses, we are making a significant investment in our exceptional nursing team and ensuring that we can continue to provide the highest level of care to our patients,” the hospital said. in a press release. .
. nurses city York hospitals resume talks contract so quune strike profile