Nurses strike and hold a rally outside of Mount Sinai Hospital on Monday. The union representing the nurses said the strike ended Thursday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The New York State Nurses Association announced Thursday an end to strikes two New York City hospitals after reaching tentative agreements addressing salary and staffing.
The union said nurses at the Mount Sinai and Montefiore Bronx hospitals would return to work Thursday morning after reaching deals to ensure "concrete enforceable safe staffing ratios."
"Today, we can return to work with our heads held high, knowing that our victory means safer care for our patients and more sustainable jobs for our profession," NYSNA President Nancy Hagans said.
The nurses had been on strike since Monday, charging that hospitals were putting the lives of nurses and patients at risk because of staffing shortages that left its members overworked and shifts unfilled, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hagans said that new staffing ratios for all inpatient units at Mount Sinai would take place immediately, ensuring "there will always be enough nurses at the bedside to provide safe patient care."
At Montefiore, nurses reached a deal to provide new safe staffing ratios in the Emergency Department, staffing language and financial penalties for failing to comply with safe staffing levels in all units, community health improvements and nurse-student partnerships to recruit Bronx nurses to stay on as union nurses.
The union added that nurses at Wyckoff Hospital also reached a tentative deal Wednesday night and withdrew their 10-day strike notice.
"This is a historic victory for New York City nurses and for nurses across the country," said Hagans. "NYSNA nurses have done the impossible, saving lives night and day, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and now we've again shown that nothing is impossible for nurse heroes."
More than 7,000 nurses took to the picket line as negotiations at the hospitals. The union, which represents 42,000 registered nurses, had negotiated at least tentative agreements with many of the city's hospitals.
The nurses union had won support from state and local public officials going into the strike, including Gov. Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia Janes, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and New York City council member Gale Brewer.