NYC nurses to end strike after hospital deals reached

NEW YORK (WPIX) — The nurses strikes at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx were set to end Thursday morning after tentative deals were reached, according to the New York State Nurses Association union.

Over 7,000 nurses had been on strike at the two hospitals since Monday morning in search of more staffing, improved working conditions, and better pay.

“This is a historic victory for New York City nurses and for nurses across the country,” said NYSNA President Nancy Hagans in a statement. “NYSNA nurses have done the impossible, saving lives night and day, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and now we’ve again shown that nothing is impossible for nurse heroes.”

At Mount Sinai, nurses were set to return to work at 7 a.m. Thursday, the statement said. Nurses at Montefiore Bronx were also set to be back on the job Thursday morning, though a specific time was not given.

“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,” said Hagans. “Today, we can return to work with our heads held high, knowing that our victory means safer care for our patients and more sustainable jobs for our profession.”

The statement did not include specific details of the agreements, though it did hail newly won “wall-to-wall safe staffing ratios for all inpatient units with firm enforcement” at Mount Sinai.

“We are pleased that The Mount Sinai Hospital reached a tentative agreement with NYSNA, and the strike is over,” a spokesperson for Mount Sinai Health System said in a statement. “Our proposed agreement is similar to those between NYSNA and eight other New York City hospitals. It is fair and responsible, and it puts patients first.”

The Montefiore Bronx deal, meanwhile, includes “new safe staffing ratios in the Emergency Department,” according to NYSNA. It also has “new staffing language and financial penalties for failing to comply with safe staffing levels in all units” as well as “community health improvements” and plans to recruit local Bronx nurses to union positions to bolster long-term staffing.

That deal also includes a 19.1% pay increase, the addition of 170 new nursing positions, and other benefits, according to a statement from Montefiore.

“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, said in the statement. “We are pleased to offer a 19% wage increase, benefits that match or exceed those of our peer institutions, more than 170 new nursing positions and a generous plan to address recruitment and retention.”

In its statement, NYSNA additionally announced that nurses at Brooklyn’s Wyckoff Heights Medical Center had reached a tentative deal overnight and had withdrawn their 10-day strike notice.

Nurses at seven other private hospitals in New York City had previously reached agreements to avert labor actions in the days preceding the Mount Sinai and Montefiore strikes.