Nurses at two of New York City’s largest hospitals went on strike Monday in a dispute over pay and staffing levels after a weekend of negotiations that didn’t produce a deal for a new contract.
The walkout involves as many as 3,500 nurses at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and around 3,600 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
The New York State Nurses Association, which represents the workers, said it was being forced into the drastic step because of chronic understaffing that leaves them caring for too many patients.
“Nurses don’t want to strike. Bosses have pushed us to strike by refusing to seriously consider our proposals to address the desperate crisis of unsafe staffing that harms our patients,” the union said in a statement late Sunday.
The hospitals have been getting ready for a walkout by transferring patients, diverting ambulances to other institutions, postponing nonemergency medical procedures and arranging to bring in temporary staffing.
Gov. Kathy Hochul urged the union and the hospitals late Sunday to take their dispute to binding arbitration.
Montefiore’s administration said in a statement that it was willing to let an arbitrator settle the contract “as a means to reaching an equitable outcome.” Readmore