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Pinoy nurses at three New York hospitals to be affected by strike

Pinoy nurses at three New York hospitals to be affected by strike

NEW YORK — Hundreds of Filipino nurses in New York are on the brink of being affected by an imminent strike at three hospitals belonging to the Montefiore Health System.

Nurses at these hospitals—Montefiore Nyack, Mount Vernon, and New Rochelle—who are also members of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) have voted in favor of the work stoppage. 

The contract with the NYSNA covering the hospitals' 800 nurses is set to expire on December 31.

The nurses are advocating for additional benefits and safe staffing levels to ensure proper care for patients. A critical shortage of 25 percent of nurses exists across the three Montefiore hospitals, attributed to resignations, vacancies, and service reductions.

According to nurse Melissa Ricketts of Montefiore New Rochelle, "Safe staffing is the number one priority for New Rochelle. As individual nurses, we do our best every day, but it’s disheartening when patients can tell how understaffed we are. Patients deserve better. They deserve quality care. But as individuals, there's nothing more we can do—the hospitals need to make a move. This is why we need to ensure we reach a fair agreement in a timely manner. We need respectful wages, enforceable staffing ratios so we can fill vacant positions.”

Nurses have been at the bargaining table since late August and continue to negotiate in good faith for a fair contract for nurses and patients. However, said the NYSNA, the vast majority of proposals from nurses to improve conditions at the hospitals have been rejected by management.

"Nurses everywhere are speaking out and demanding better working conditions and better care conditions for our patients," said NYSNA president Nancy Hagans. "NYSNA nurses are in this fight. All Montefiore nurses deserve fair pay and enforceable safe staffing ratios, and patients in the Bronx, in Mount Vernon, in New Rochelle, in Nyack all deserve quality care with enough nurses at the bedside. Every patient is a VIP! Let’s do whatever it takes to make sure Montefiore nurses win fair contracts that help deliver quality care for ALL New Yorkers."

In January, thousands of nurses at two hospitals in New York—Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and another Montefiore hospital, the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx—went on strike over pay and staffing levels.

GMA Integrated News is currently in the process of reaching out to Montefiore Hospital management for a statement. — BM, GMA Integrated News