Nurses at two New York City hospitals, Montefiore Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital, went on strike Monday morning after contract negotiations failed to reach tentative agreements.
The New York State Nurses Association, which represents over 42,000 members, reported that tentative agreements were reached at seven other hospitals, which will provide nurses with pay raises, lower healthcare costs, and improved staffing standards over the next three years.
Vincent Alvarez, President of the AFL-CIO New York City Central Labor Council, said in a statement: "The decision to go on strike is never an easy one, particularly for workers who care so deeply about the patients and communities they serve. But hospital executives created this crisis by failing to hire, train, and retain nurses while at the same time treating themselves to extravagant compensation packages. Now it's time for them to fix what they've broken.”
Representative Jamaal Bowman and other members of the New York State Senate and Assembly have expressed support for the strike.
“Nurses have been through hell and back for their patients,” Bowman said, the Daily Wire reported. “They already fought unimaginable fights to keep us healthy and alive, and they shouldn’t have to keep fighting. Safe staffing ratios and healthy conditions common in every hospital.”
New York State Nurses Association officials have urged residents to continue seeking healthcare services despite the strikes.
Governor Kathy Hochul has called for binding arbitration at Montefiore and Mount Sinai, and stated that the New York State Department of Health will enforce staffing requirements at the hospitals.
Polls show that 71% of Americans currently support labor unions, the highest level in almost six decades, with about one in six American households including a union member.