NEW YORK (PIX11) — Thousands of nurses in New York City notified eight hospitals on Friday that they will go on strike in 10 days unless contract agreements are reached.
Friday was the last scheduled day of negotiations, as the contracts were set to expire on Saturday. The New York State Nurses Association, the union that represents the nurses, said it planned to continue bargaining up to the Jan. 9 strike date.
The 10-day notices are required by law to give hospitals time to arrange for alternate staffing to care for patients. A strike would include about 16,000 nurses at the eight privately-run hospitals, the union said.
“But the best way for management to protect patients is to listen to nurses and settle fair contracts that protect patient care in the next 10 days,” the union said in a statement.
The following hospitals are listed by the NYSNA as locations that will be on strike:
- New York-Presbyterian
- Mount Sinai Hospital
- Mount Sinai Morningside and West
- Richmond University Medical Center
- Flushing Hospital Medical Center
A spokesperson for the Mount Sinai Health System, Lucia Lee, said in a statement Friday night that the system’s bargaining teams are continuing “good-faith efforts to pursue a contract with NYSNA (the union) that is fair to our community and responsible with respect to the long-term financial health of our organization.”
Lee also said hospital officials are prepared for staffing changes in an effort to ensure patient care is not disrupted in case of a strike.
Alexander Lutz, a spokesperson for Richmond University Medical Center, said the hospital has a policy to not comment publicly about negotiations “other than to say that we appreciate all of our nurses at Richmond University Medical Center and thank them for the care they provide to every single one of our patients each and every day.”
Representatives of other hospitals involved in the negotiations did not immediately return messages seeking comment Friday night.
The union also represents another 1,000 nurses at five other New York City hospitals whose contracts expire Saturday.
The nurses have been calling for what they describe as safe staffing levels, fair wages, no cuts to their health coverage and health and safety protections in light of the current “tripledemic” of COVID-19, RSV and the flu.
They also want community benefits such as funding programs to recruit and train nurses from within the communities they serve.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.