With Montefiore nurses, admins at standstill, solidarity on display on Day 2 of NYC nurse strike – Bronx Times

The second day of a 7,000-strong nursing strike continued at Montefiore and Mt. Sinai campuses on Tuesday with little decision between placing nurses and hospital directors.

However solidarity amongst nurses, and help from politicos and sufferers throughout town and nation, has given a pink sea of nurses constructive momentum.

Some nurses, like these rallying for honest contracts exterior Montefiore’s Weiler Hospital location on Eastchester Street Tuesday, turned their picketing right into a festive gathering — dancing to ’90s get together music and celebrating their standing as a united entrance of their contract dispute with hospital directors.

On the bargaining desk for 3,500 nurses Montefiore nurse is a proposal for a 19.1% wage enhance compounded over three years and a plan to create greater than 170 new nursing positions, a chief speaking level for nurses throughout contract negotiations.

“Montefiore remains at the bargaining table, committed to an equitable agreement that reflects the priorities of our dedicated nurses,” an announcement from Montefiore reads. Contingency plans stay in place to make sure our hospitals stay open, as a result of Montefiore is, and all the time might be, right here for the Bronx.”

Montefiore’s messaging through the strikes — which features a letter from Montefiore’s president Phillip Ozuah calling the strike “disappointing” — has completed little to assuage the frustrations and tensions of their workers.

A small, but, loud chant of “Dr. O got to go” rang out at a Tuesday’s late-morning press convention held by New York State Nurses Affiliation (NYSNA), the nursing union, and nurses stated that divide between themselves and hospital directors is emblematic of a “dysfunctional” well being care system the place earnings are prioritized over entrance line workers and sufferers.

Nurses started picketing on Monday morning at three Montefiore places within the Bronx as nicely as in entrance of Mt. Sinai in Manhattan.

Mount Sinai and Montefiore have greater than 1,200 nurse vacancies between them which placing nurses say is unsafe for each nurses and for sufferers.

The temper exterior the Montefiore Weiler camp within the Bronx was festive Tuesday as picketers sang and danced all through the day. Photograph Aliya Schneider

One Montefiore labor and supply nurse, Sasha, who declined to share her final identify, informed the Bronx Times on Tuesday afternoon whereas picketing exterior of the Weiler campus that her purpose for placing is easy: higher staff-to-patient ratios and an enforcement of these ratios.

In 2021, NYSNA referred to as for particular staffing ratios in most hospital items, hoping to to alleviate onerous workloads for nurses that had been exacerbated by ongoing COVID-19 responses throughout town and state.

In the end, the state opted to require hospitals to barter with nursing workers and set their very own staffing ranges on an annual foundation.

Quick-forward a yr later, these measures didn’t manifest into manageable or safer staffing, as 1000’s of nurses stuffed the the streets of three Montefiore campuses with chants for safer staffing.

Montefiore nurses informed the Bronx Times that staffing shortages at the hospital system led to as many as 20 sufferers for one nurse which is greater than quintuple the quantity by regulation in California, the one state with a nurse-to patient-ratio regulation.

“This is unsafe … the number of patients they’ve given us, which cause delays in treatments, delays in medications,” stated Shirley Escala, a nurse of 30 years, with seven spent at Montefiore. “You don’t respect patients by putting them in the hallways. People go to the hospital to get better and heal, and they can’t heal in a chaotic environment.”

In line with a current George Washington University report supported by the unions’ Secure + Wholesome Coalition, there may be “strong scientific evidence” that nurse staffing ranges are “critical components” of affected person security and employee satisfaction.

Nonetheless, there may be little information on how secure staffing ranges and ratios translate to affected person security or experiences.

Whereas Montefiore has needed to make changes in its day-to-day operations through the strike — together with a cancellation of elective surgical procedures and procedures at its Moses Hospital, Weiler Hospital and Kids’s Hospital campuses — sufferers are in solidarity with placing nurses, regardless of the way it has impacted their remedy schedules.

“It’s frustrating that (my surgery) got canceled, but I also see how dog tired by nurse had been the last time I was at Montefiore. I see how little sleep they get, how overwhelmed they are with their mentals and their physical environment,” stated South Bronx resident Greg Gamble. “So, of course, I stand with them over the people who drive my hospital bills up.”

In line with NYSNA, nursing agreements reached with the opposite eight hospitals previous to Monday’s strike goal to enhance affected person care, staffing and wages for 1000’s of nurses whereas guaranteeing that the standard of hospital care is identical for upper-income Manhattan sufferers as it’s for low-income Black and brown sufferers within the outer boroughs.

BronxCare, one of eight non-public hospitals in whole to be met with a Dec. 30 strike discover, earlier than reaching a tentative settlement that can enhance secure staffing ranges and enhance nursing wages by 7%, 6% and 5% for annually of a proposed three-year contract.

BronxCare nurses ratified their deal on Tuesday.

Till a brand new deal is reached with Montefiore and Mt. Sinai admins, nurses like Denise Reyes will proceed to get up, seize her picket and stand in solidarity along with her nurses till nightfall.

“We’re seeing so much love from everybody. They know who we are fighting for, they know what can happen if both hospitals come to the table and with the right mindset,” stated Reyes. “I believe by the time this over, we will have made a major change for nurses and patients at these profit-driven hospitals.”

— Aliya Schneider contributed to this report.

Attain Robbie Sequeira at [email protected] or (718) 260-4599. For extra protection, comply with us on Twitter, Fb and Instagram @bronxtimes

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