Striking New York nurses strike deal with hospitals

NEW YORK – Two hospitals have reached a preliminary contract agreement with thousands of striking nurses, the nurses’ union announced Thursday.

Nurses represented by the New York State Nurses Association walked out early Monday after management talks stalled at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Each of them has more than 1,000 beds and 3,500 or more nurses.

The union has highlighted staffing as a key issue, saying nurses who have been working through the debilitating peak of the coronavirus pandemic are stretched thin because too many vacancies are open. Nurses say they have had to work overtime, serve twice as many patients as needed, and miss meals and even bathroom breaks.

Private nonprofit hospitals say they are struggling with a a widespread shortage of nurses which was exacerbated by the pandemic.

Several other private hospitals across the city struck deals with the union as the strike deadline approached. The agreements provided for a 19% increase over three years.

Mount Sinai and Montefiore said before the strike that they had offered the same wage increase.

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