NYC nurses picket for better staffing ratios

The New York State Nurses Association held informational picket lines in front of 13 New York City hospitals on Feb. 13, six weeks after their 2015-18 contract expired on Dec. 31. The contract is with the New York City Hospital Alliance, a bargaining group that includes Montefiore, Mount Sinai and New York-Presbyterian, as well as three independent NYC hospitals. On top of wanting a raise, the nurses are demanding adequate staffing ratios and caseloads, which presently are “overwhelmingly high in both volume and acuity.” Statistics were compiled from nearly 3,800 official “protests of assignment” signed by over 20,000 nurses from January to December 2018. (, Feb. 13)  The union says this situation “challenge[s] the dedicated registered nurses who work tirelessly to protect and advocate for the patients, families and communities they serve.”

The union has not yet held a strike vote.

Meanwhile, the NYSNA-supported Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, with a proposed nurse-to-patient ratio of 2 to 1 in intensive-care units, failed to pass the state Legislature in 2018. (Crain’s NY Business, Feb. 13) Stay tuned.

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