Nurses’ union says strike authorized if negotiations fail

Jun 3, 2015, 10:30 AM
President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, at podium, of the New York State Nurses Association, addresses a ...
President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, at podium, of the New York State Nurses Association, addresses a news conference, in New York, Wednesday, June 3, 2015. The union representing more than 18,000 registered nurses at 14 of New York City's private hospitals says members have voted to authorize a strike if contract negotiations aren't carried out in good faith. The New York State Nurses Association says the main issue for its members is staffing level at the hospitals. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — Leaders of the union representing 18,000 nurses at 14 private hospitals in New York City said Wednesday the nurses could go on strike over staffing levels if negotiations with management fail.

“We need more nurses,” said Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, president of the New York State Nurses Association. “Our patients’ well-being, their very lives, depend on real staffing standards that enable us to simply do our jobs, to deliver safe, quality care.”

The New York City Hospital Alliance denied that its hospitals are understaffed and said its hospitals have put together contingency plans in the event of a strike.

“We are extremely disappointed that NYSNA is taking proactive steps towards a completely unnecessary strike that is clearly not in the best interest of nurses, patients or the hospitals,” said Farrell Sklerov, a spokesman for the alliance, a consortium of private hospitals.

Nurses who attended a news conference at a Manhattan hotel said inadequate staffing levels at the hospitals where they work makes it difficult to do their jobs.

“Basically, I am asked to make miracles on a daily basis,” said Nancy Hagans, a registered nurse at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. “For the past few years we’ve been asked to do more constantly with less.”

Union members also charged that hospital managers have tried to intimidate them to keep them from talking about the staffing issue.

Karine Raymond, a nurse at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, said she was threatened with arrest last month when she started talking about staffing levels with co-workers during a breakfast celebrating Nurses Week.

“My director of nursing asked me to leave and told me that I had to prearrange these meetings,” Raymond said. “I was surrounded by at least six security guards who told me I had to stop speaking with the nurses, leave, or risk being arrested.”

In a statement from the hospital alliance, Sklerov said: “Rigid staffing ratios are an ineffective and outdated practice that takes control out of the hands of health care professionals and overlooks the modern, team-based approach that hospitals have adopted.”

Risa Heller, also speaking for the alliance, said Raymond’s account of being threatened with arrest was “completely false.”

Four days of negotiations started Wednesday. The nurses have been without a contract since around the beginning of the year.

The hospital alliance includes Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, all in Manhattan. About 9,000 members of the nurses association work in those hospitals, the union said.

The union said the other hospitals affected include New York Methodist Hospital, Interfaith Medical Center, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn; Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center; Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Queens; and Staten Island University Hospital and Richmond University Medical Center.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Health

In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Senior Airmen Andrew Whitener and Tyler Glodgett 341s...
Associated Press

Nuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of launch officers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of officers who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The illnesses became publicly known this week after The Associated Press obtained […]
21 hours ago
FILE - With the U.S. Capitol in the background, anti-abortion demonstrators march toward the U.S. S...
Associated Press

Ohio city rewrites abortion ban, advocacy groups end lawsuit

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Groups advocating for professional social workers and abortion rights said they have succeeded in forcing a small Ohio city to significantly narrow its ban on conducting or recommending abortions and so have ended their legal challenge. The lawsuit by the National Association of Social Workers and the Abortion Fund of Ohio […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Tubes direct blood from a donor into a bag in Davenport, Iowa, on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.  Th...
Associated Press

FDA moves to ease rules for blood donations from gay men

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is moving to further ease restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men and other groups that typically face higher risks of HIV. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday announced draft guidelines that would do away with the current three-month abstinence requirement for donations from men who have […]
21 hours ago
FILE - An employee adds drops of water-soluble CBD, or cannabidiol, an essential component of medic...
Associated Press

Hong Kong to ban CBD, label it a ‘dangerous drug’

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong will ban CBD starting Wednesday, categorizing it as a “dangerous drug” and mandating harsh penalties for its smuggling, production and possession, customs authorities announced Friday. Supporters say CBD can treat a range of ailments including anxiety and that, unlike its more famous cousin THC — which is already illegal […]
2 days ago
Passengers coming from China arrive at the Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, o...
Associated Press

South Korea extends restrictions on travelers from China

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says it will continue to restrict the entry of short-term travelers from China through the end of February over concerns that the spread of COVID-19 in that country may worsen following the Lunar New Year’s holidays. South Korea in early January stopped issuing most short-term visas at its […]
2 days ago
Brittany Lampkin of Yazoo County, extolls the Mississippi Black Women's Roundtable legislative agen...
Associated Press

Maternal deaths and disparities increase in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Deaths from pregnancy complications have become more prevalent in Mississippi, and racial disparities in the health of those who give birth have widened in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Health. The Mississippi Maternal Mortality Report shows that the maternal mortality rate increased by […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Nurses’ union says strike authorized if negotiations fail