For the first time in their union contracts at Mount Sinai and Montefiore.
Nurses have won enforceable nurse-to-patient staffing ratios with expedited arbitration and potential financial penalties that lessen the financial incentive for hospitals to understaff.
Nurses won this unprecedented victory after a three-day strike. Both facilities improved upon existing staffing standards—in some areas exceeding California nurse-to-patient ratios.
Both contracts have stronger, precedent-setting staffing enforcement mechanisms, including expedited arbitration of staffing disputes and a new approach of including potential financial penalties payable to nurses when employers fail to uphold contractual safe staffing standards. NYSNA members at both hospitals voted to ratify their contracts by 98 percent last week.
Voting concluded at Mount Sinai late Wednesday and at Montefiore on Friday.
The two hospitals that went on strike before reaching contract agreements are the latest in a series of NYC private-sector hospitals that campaigned together for new contracts.
All of the facilities, including BronxCare Health System, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, Montefiore Bronx, Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Morningside and West, NewYork-Presbyterian, Richmond University Medical Center, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center won better staffing standards and enforcement, protected healthcare benefits, and increased salaries by 7 percent, 6 percent and 5 percent during the three-year contract period. Only One Brooklyn Health facility Interfaith Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center continue to be at the bargaining table.
NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN released the following statement:
“With their historic victory, NYSNA members at Montefiore Bronx and Mount Sinai Hospital sparked a national movement to win wall-to-wall enforceable safe staffing ratios to make sure there are always enough nurses at the bedside of every patient at every hospital across the nation. Although it will take time for nurses and patients to fully implement this victory on the hospital floors, change begins now. The new staffing standards in our contracts must now go to the New York State Department of Health and will become the new staffing standards to be enforced by law, as well. These improved standards won’t just be on paper because nurses won concrete enforcement, including expedited arbitration and enhanced remedies, including potential financial penalties for the hospital if they fail to follow the staffing ratios.”
The New York State Nurses Association represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. NYSNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United, AFL-CIO, the country’s largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses, with more than 225,000 members nationwide.
For more information, visit nysna.org.