The nurses’ union has reached tentative agreements with the management of three medical centers in New York City, hopefully avoiding a threatened strike at least at those hospitals.
Maimonides Medical Center in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn was among the hospitals to reach an agreement with the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), as did New York-Presbyterian Medical Center and Richmond University Medical Center.
“We are pleased to reach a tentative agreement that recognizes the essential contributions of our indispensable nursing staff. We believe this agreement is fair and respects the needs of all parties while also helping us better serve our patients,” Maimonides CEO Ken Gibbs and NYSNA president Nancy Hagans said in a joint statement. “We look forward to continuing our productive relationship so we can meet the needs of our patients, community, and staff here at Maimonides.”
Ratification of the agreements is expected next week.
Nevertheless, at least five other medical centers are facing a walkout by the nurses, whose contracts expired December 31 and who warned they would strike by January 9 if no agreement on a new agreement is reached.
Among the hospitals still facing a job action by the nurses are: Montefiore Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Mount Sinai Morningside and West, BronxCare Health Systems and Flushing Hospital Medical Center.
Hagans said the nurses are negotiating for better wages, an increase in personnel and improved staff safety and patient care.
“Our bosses created the understaffing crisis by failing to hire and retain enough nurses. We are trying to solve the crisis by negotiating a fair contract but they are fighting against us right now,” she said.
“Nurses are the backbone of the hospital and will do whatever it takes to advocate for a patient . . . Let’s get a fair contract because the clock is ticking.”