Progress has been made but no consensus has been reached at two major New York City hospitals, where thousands of nurses have lost their jobs.
On Tuesday night, CBS2 spoke exclusively with the nurse at the negotiating table.
Montefiore Medical Center is currently negotiating with the union, while negotiations have stalled at Harlem’s Mount Sinai Hospital.
Unions claim that both hospitals have hundreds of vacancies and that nurses cannot return to work until they are resolved.
Therefore, this strike may plunge into its third day.
“The nurses here are out there because we need something better for ourselves and our community,” said ICU nurse Michelle Gonzalez.
A member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Nurses Association, Gonzalez leads union responsibilities in Montefiore.
CBS2 first met her in March 2020.
“As healthcare workers, we are terrified,” she said at the time.
Now, almost three years later, she is at the negotiating table for a new contract.
“We have a nurse who quit nursing forever because of the trauma she received in 2020. We are here to deal with it and work to make things right and make it a safe place for people to work again. I think it is,” Gonzalez said. .
After four months of negotiations and two days of strikes at Montefiore Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital in East Harlem, both hospitals offered a 19% wage increase over three years.
But with the thousands of nurses on the picket line, it’s a top priority for hospitals to hire more staff.
“It’s really not fair. We don’t have enough staff to take care of our patients, so we can’t give each patient the time they need,” said nurse Linda Tanells.
The Mount Sinai administration blames their vacancies on a labor shortage.
“We have hired more than 2,600 nurses during the last four years of their contracts. Like the rest of the country, we have retention issues. Nationwide, we are facing a workforce crisis.” said Chief Francis Cartwright. Nurse of Mount Sinai.
Nurses at both hospitals are divided and say they have a lot of applicants.
“How do we get into Montefiore?” “If nurses are in short supply and nurses are looking for work in this area, we should hire them,” Gonzalez said.
Until an agreement is reached, hospitals are spending millions of dollars on traveling nurses and diverting some patients to other facilities.
“While we’re here, most of us, all of us, are thinking about our patients in the hospital and how they’re being cared for right now while we’re here. said Shelly Guzman, a nurse at Montefiore.
On Tuesday, Mount Sinai West and Morningside voted to approve the new deal, but Mount Sinai’s main campus doesn’t even have a scheduled negotiation session.
https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/live-updates/new-york-city-nurse-strike-mount-sinai-montefiore-bronx/ More than 7,000 nurses at two New York City hospitals are on strike over staffing issues