More than 7,000 nurses have ended their three-day strike at two private New York City hospital systems.
Some 3,500 nurses at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and about 3,600 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan had walked off the job on Monday, arguing that their systems could no longer function with the widespread staffing shortages that have arisen due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
The union representing the nurses, the New York State Nurses Association, reached tentative deals with Mount Sinai Health System and Montefiore Health System, which operates three hospitals in the Bronx, to provide enforceable “safe staffing ratios” for all inpatient units “so that there will always be enough nurses at the bedside to provide safe patient care, not just on paper.” At Montefiore, the hospital agreed to financial penalties for failing to comply with agreed-upon staffing levels in all units.
Montefiore said the agreement also includes 170 new nursing positions, a 19.1% increase in pay, lifetime health coverage for eligible retirees and adding “significantly more nurses” in the ER.
The deal with Montefiore was announced at 3am Eastern Time Thursday, and the deal with Mount Sinai was announced 30 minutes later. Nurses will need to vote to approve the deal before it is finalized.
“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,” the nurses union said in a statement. “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.”
Mount Sinai called the agreement “fair and responsible.”