New York City Nurses Authorize Strike

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

Thousands Of NYC Nurses Could Soon Be Going On Strike

March 07, 2019 - 4:01 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Thousands of registered nurses at three New York Cit hospitals are threatening to go on strike.

Registered nurses from Mount Sinai, New York Presbyterian and Montefiore Medical Center for months have been complaining about a slew of issues, including staffing shortages and inadequate space, which they claim puts patients at risk. 

Now, they have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike, which would affect over 10,000 registered nurses.

"It doesn't mean we will strike, it means that we now have the authority to call for one," said union president Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez.

Nurses can now give hospitals 10-days notice at any time.

"They're at the table but they're doing nothing. They're not bargaining in good faith," Sheridan-Gonzalez said. "If the hospitals continue behaving in the way they behave there will be a strike."

According to a Daily News report, one nurse, Anthony Ciampa, had to choose recently between feeding an elderly patient at New York Presbyterian and treating several acutely ill patients because there weren’t enough other nurses on duty.

Vontel Dozier is a nurse at Mount Sinai and she said she recently worked a shift with three nurses for 43 patients. There should be six nurses.

"You end up acting like a robot. You know, it's time to make the donuts. You're not really giving care," Dozier told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

"There is great potential for harm to patients because we don't have enough staff. Patients are in jeopardy," Robin Krinski, a nurse at Mount Sinai, said.

Over 42,000 across New York are represented by the Nurses Association, but they are hoping that the strike won't happen. 

The hospitals contend staffing levels are safe and union leadership is engaged in political brinksmanship.