Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Nurses strike continues in 2 big hospitals of the city

Thousands of nurses who went on strike on Monday at two of the city’s major hospitals were protesting on Tuesday even as contract talks over staffing and pay stalled nearly three years after the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Privately owned, non-profit hospitals postponed non-urgent surgeries, diverted ambulances to other medical facilities, hired temporary employees and assigned experienced nursing administrators to work to deal with the strike.

Up to 3,500 nurses were furloughed at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and about 3,600 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Talks resumed in Montefiore on Monday afternoon, but it was not known when they might resume at Mount Sinai.

Hundreds of nurses picketed, some singing Twisted Sister’s 1984 hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” in front of Mount Sinai. It was one of many New York hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients when the virus turned the city into an epicenter of deaths in the spring of 2020.

“We were heroes just two years ago,” said Warren Urquhart, a nurse in the transplant and oncology unit. “We were on the front lines of the city when everything ground to a halt. And now we have to stand up so they understand how much we mean to this hospital and the patients.”

The nurses’ union, the New York State Nurses Association, said its members were forced to strike because they see too many patients due to chronic shortages.

Jed Basubas said he typically sees eight to 10 patients at a time, twice the norm on units where he works. Nurse Juliette Escalon says she sometimes skips bathroom breaks to see patients. Ditto for Ashley Woodside, who says her 12-hour shift in the OR often stretches to 2 because staffing shortages force her and others to work overtime.

Woodside said, “We love our jobs. We want to take care of our patients. But we want to do it in a safe and humane way, which we appreciate.”

The hospitals said they had offered the same increases — a total of 19% over three years — that the union had accepted at several other centers where contract talks had reached tentative agreements in recent days.

Montefiore said it has agreed to add 170 more nurses. The Mount Sinai administration said the union’s focus on the nurse-to-patient ratio “overlooked progress made to attract and hire more new nurses, despite a global shortage of healthcare workers plaguing hospitals across the country.” does”.

Hospitals said Monday that they have prepared for the strike and are working to minimize disruption. Mount Sinai called the union’s behavior “reckless”, while Montefiore said the strike was creating “fear and uncertainty in our community”.

“In my opinion, this action was completely unnecessary,” said Montefiore President Dr. Philip Ozuya told employees in a memo Monday afternoon. Ozuya said the two sides were close to agreeing on “a very generous offer”.

During this some patients got hanged in the balance.

Darcy Gervasio took medical leave from her job at a suburban college library, arranged childcare and transportation, ran tests, and prepared for gastrointestinal surgery that was scheduled for Monday but is now postponed indefinitely. given, he said. While the procedure is considered elective, Gervasio said it is essential to the management of his Crohn’s disease.

“As a patient, of course, I am upset and upset,” she wrote in an email. But Gervasio, a union member, said he blames hospital management, not the nurses.

Gervasio wrote, “I am deeply disappointed in the administration for letting the nursing crisis get out of hand, especially in light of the tremendous pressure on nurses during the COVID pandemic.” She questioned why Mount Sinai was unable to reach an agreement with the union when several other local hospitals have done so in the past two weeks.

Governor Cathy Hochul urged the union and the hospitals on Sunday night to force their dispute to arbitration.

Montefiore’s management said it was willing to let an arbitrator settle the contract; The union did not immediately accept the offer.

In a statement, the union said Hochul, a Democrat, “must listen to the nursing heroes on the front lines of COVID and respect the labor and collective bargaining rights protected by our union.”

A lineup of other city and state Democratic politicians, including Attorney General Letitia James, attended a union rally Monday afternoon.

Both hospitals had prepared for the strike by transferring patients, including newborns, from intensive care at Mount Sinai. The agency said representatives from the state health department were at two medical centers on Monday to monitor staffing levels.

Montefiore and Mount Sinai are the latest in a string of hospitals with nursing contracts that have expired simultaneously. The union initially warned that it would strike them all at the same time, but as the deadline approached, the other hospitals followed suit. All in all includes an increase of 7%, 6% and 5% over the next three years.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news