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

New York

Mount Sinai Morningside and West Hospital avoided a strike Monday morning and reached a tentative agreement with the state nursing union on a new contract, a union news release said.

Nurses at two other area hospitals, Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Bronx, have yet to strike after failing to reach agreements.

Both hospitals returned to the bargaining table today with the New York State Nurses Association nurses — roughly 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. At a news conference Sunday morning, the union said talks could go into the morning.

The new temporary contract at Morningside and West brings the expected number of nurses down from 8,700 to 7,125. The tentative deal would improve staffing, protect benefits and raise salaries over three years.

That brings seven of the 12 New York hospitals in talks to reach tentative agreements or new contracts.

“Now is the time to settle fair contracts that help nurses deliver the care that all New Yorkers deserve. We are fighting to improve patient care and will do whatever it takes to win,” NYSNA President Nancy Hagan said in a statement Sunday.

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Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City is continuing to move babies 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.

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

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

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

The hospital said Sunday its current wage offer is “equivalent” to the contracts approved at New York-Presbyterian and Maimonides — and will increase Mount Sinai nurses’ base pay by 19.1 percent over three years.

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

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Seven newborn intensive care unit babies were safely transferred to partner hospitals in New York City on Saturday, a hospital spokeswoman told CNN on Sunday. Another six people will be transferred Sunday from NICUs at Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai West, the spokesman 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 within the Mount Sinai system and to partner hospitals in NYC, and we continue to safely discharge patients. The schedule was in place to go home.” All elective surgeries have been postponed, a spokesperson said.

NYSNA hit back at Mount Sinai’s comments Saturday, which said Friday it was transferring babies in its neonatal intensive care units to other area hospitals because of a strike notice, saying the hospital was disappointed by the union’s “reckless” actions.

“As a labor and delivery nurse who helps mothers bring babies into this world, it is 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, regional director of the coalition.

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“Mount Sinai’s refusal to address unsafe staffing in our NICU and other units of the hospital is uncalled for but is now causing fear for our NICU babies in contract negotiations,” he said.

In a statement Saturday, NYSNA BronxCare and nurses at Brooklyn Hospital Center reached tentative agreements that will improve safe staffing levels and enforcement, pay increases of 7%, 6% and 5% annually over the course of their three-year contract and retain them. Their health benefits.

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

“Voting on whether to ratify a treaty is an important aspect of federal democracy. As in any democracy, there is rarely 100 percent consensus,” Hagans said in a statement.


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