Nurses at Mount Sinai Morningside and West reach tentative agreement as thousands of nurses strike


New York
CNN

Mount Sinai Morningside and West Hospital reached a tentative agreement Sunday on a new contract with the state nursing union, avoiding a Monday morning strike, according to a news release from the union.

Nurses at two other area hospitals, Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore in the Bronx, are still on strike because no agreement has been reached.

Both hospitals returned to the bargaining table today with New York State Nurses Association nurses — about 3,625 nurses at Mount Sinai and about 3,500 nurses at Montefiore in the Bronx will strike at 6 a.m. Monday if a tentative agreement is not reached. During a press conference Sunday morning, the union said negotiations could go into the early hours.

The new temporary contract at Morningside and West reduces the expected number of nurses from 8,700 to 7,125. The temporary contract improves staffing, protects benefits and raises salaries over three years.

That brings seven of the 12 New York hospitals under temporary contracts or in negotiations to reach new contracts.

“It’s time to settle fair contracts that help nurses deliver the care all New Yorkers deserve. We fight to improve patient care and will do whatever it takes to win,” NYSNA President Nancy Hagens said in a statement Sunday.

New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital is continuing to move children from intensive care units to other area hospitals, diverting ambulances to other facilities and postponing elective surgeries and heart surgeries ahead of a planned nursing strike on Monday.

In a statement late Saturday, the hospital said it was negotiating in “good faith” with the nursing union on a new contract. The union said Sunday that NYSNA agreed to meet with nurses after Mount Sinai walked out on Thursday’s bargaining session.

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A Mount Sinai spokesman told CNN on Saturday that the hospital system is actively negotiating with the Mount Sinai Morningside and West campuses under separate union contracts.

But thousands of nurses at several New York City hospitals will strike Monday morning if agreements are not reached.

The hospital said Sunday that its current wage offer is “similar” to the contracts approved at New York-Presbyterian and Maimonides — and would increase a Mount Sinai nurse’s base salary by 19.1 percent over three years.

“But NYSNA’s inconsistent bargaining, unwillingness to accept this offer and insistence on moving forward with a strike leaves us no choice but to take significant steps to care for our patients,” the hospital statement said.

The neonatal intensive care unit children were safely transferred to partner hospitals in New York City on Saturday, a hospital spokeswoman told CNN on Sunday. Six more will be transferred Sunday from the NICUs at Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai West, the spokeswoman said.

“Additionally, we have transferred approximately 100 patients from the affected hospitals—Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai West, and Mount Sinai Morningside—to unaffected hospitals in the Mount Sinai system and partner hospitals in NYC, and are safely evacuating patients. Scheduled to go home.” All elective surgeries have been postponed, the spokesperson said.

NYSNA hit back at comments from Mount Sinai on Saturday, which said Friday it would transfer babies in its neonatal intensive care units to other area hospitals because of a strike announcement, saying the hospital was appalled by the union’s “irresponsible” actions.

“As a labor and delivery nurse who helps mothers bring babies into the world, I find it outrageous that Mount Sinai would compromise the care of our NICU babies in any way. We already have NICU nurses caring for twice as many sick babies,” said Matt Allen, the union’s regional director.

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“Mount Sinai’s refusal to address unsafe staffing in our NICU and other units of the hospital is unconscionable, but is now fueling fears for our NICU babies in contract negotiations,” he added.

In a statement Saturday, nurses at NYSNA BronxCare and The Brooklyn Hospital Center reached tentative agreements that improve safe staffing levels and enforcement, pay increases of 7%, 6% and 5% annually during their three-year contract, and retention. their health interests.

On Saturday, nurses at New York-Presbyterian announced they had agreed to ratify their contract, but it was a close vote — 57% of nurses voted yes and 43% voted against.

“Voting on contract ratification is an important part of union democracy. As in any democracy, 100 percent consensus is rare,” Hagans said in a statement.

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