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Brooklyn's Nurses Plan to Strike for Safe Staffing, Affecting Almost All BK Hospitals

NYSNA nurses delivered 10-day strike notices at eight hospitals and counting.
Nurses are planning to strike at eight major NYC hospitals if new contracts aren’t reached in 10 days. Photo: Provided/NYSNA.

More than 16,000 NYSNA nurses have prepared to go on strike at eight hospitals and counting. Nurses say the key issue is understaffing, which harms both nurses and patients. This would be one of the largest private-sector RN strikes in the history of the United States.

If the strike begins, all but two hospitals in Brooklyn will be affected. There is currently no contingency plan, said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. Reynoso said he hopes the nurses can get a new contract before the deadline.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiations, our bosses have given us no other option than to exercise our right to strike," said Nancy Hagans, RN at Maimonides Medical Center and President of the New York State Nurses Association.

"Striking is always a last resort, and we will continue to work around the clock to try to settle our contracts by January 9th. But we are prepared to strike if our bosses give us no other option. We have been through hell, risking our lives throughout the pandemic, and yet our bosses are still fighting against COVID nurse heroes, we don’t need anyone to clap for us now. We need fair union contracts that protect nurses and our patients.”

The strike would begin Jan. 9, in at least eight hospitals unless they can reach fair contract agreements. The 10-day notices give hospitals time to plan care for patients while nurses are on strike.

The hospitals involved include NewYork-Presbyterian, Montefiore, Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Morningside and West, Maimonides, BronxCare, Richmond University Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center.   

“It’s sad. We’ve been talking about nurses as heroes. For them to be preparing for a strike because we can’t pay them well…They’re understaffed and we’re losing them to hospitals outside New York City,” Reynoso told PIX11 Morning News.

Reynoso said he hopes the nurses can get a new contract before the deadline.