Around The Union

One Monte Nurses Unite and Win!

For the first time, NYSNA nurses from Montefiore Lower Hudson Valley Hospitals Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Nyack came together around a common contract expiration date and contract campaign. They held speak-outs at Mount Vernon Hospital on Nov. 14 and Nyack Hospital on Dec. 31 calling for fair contracts.  

One Monte nurses demonstrated they were ready to do whatever it takes when they voted to authorize a strike. The following week, the hospitals settled, with Nyack finally reaching a tentative agreement after a marathon 24-hour bargaining session on the eve of their contract expiration. 

Nurses at all facilities improved safe staffing and enforcement, and Nyack nurses won safe staffing ratios in their contract for the first time. All nurses won historic wage increases that bring them in line with pay standards of local hospitals and Montefiore Bronx facilities. Mount Vernon and New Rochelle nurses improved healthcare benefits and upheld the NYSNA pension at no added cost, while Nyack nurses won entry into the NYSNA pension for the first time. Congrats to One Monte nurses for capping off 2023 with this amazing victory! 

Nurses at A.O. Fox Speak Out for a Fair Contract

On Dec. 12, A.O. Fox Hospital nurses held a speak-out to sound the alarm on an unprecedented 50% nurse vacancy rate and demand management hire and retain local nurses. The hospital is facing severe understaffing and has been spending millions on agency nurses. The hospital faces more departures each day as it struggles to retain nurses due to poor working conditions. Nurses are demanding a comprehensive plan to recruit and retain nurses. They were emboldened by the community and labor support at their speak-out and the heavy media coverage of their campaign, including on the front page of the local Oneonta Daily Star newspaper.

Ellis Medicine Nurses Turn Up the Heat for a Fair Contract

NYSNA nurses from Ellis Hospital and Bellevue Woman’s Center in Schenectady have been fighting for a fair contract with safe staffing. Nurses have launched a community petition, lawn signs and billboards throughout the capital region to send a message to Ellis Medicine leadership. They are calling on leadership to listen to nurses and deliver a fair contract. On Dec. 17, the Sunday Albany Times Union featured their struggle for safe staffing.

On Dec. 20, nurses held a candlelight vigil and speak-out along with the community and labor allies. Their action got wide press coverage, including a supportive column in the Daily Gazette. Ellis Medicine nurses are keeping the momentum for a fair contract!

Enforcing Our Contracts

Neonatal intensive care unit Mount Sinai nurses made history in May by becoming the first nurses in the nation to win financial remedies for chronic understaffing. Mount Sinai Morningside emergency department nurses, Mount Sinai Hospital cardiac surgery and cardiovascular intensive care unit, and med-surg and step-down nurses soon followed. 

Montefiore nurses won their first staffing arbitration victory in November at the busy 8 North telemetry unit at Montefiore Weiler. The arbitrator ordered a monetary remedy for 27 different shifts during a two-month period and directed Montefiore to cease and desist from violating the contract and to continue its efforts to hire and retain nurses.

The financial remedies are a new contract enforcement tool that nurses are using to hold hospitals accountable, disincentivize the hospital from understaffing units, and build pressure to recruit and retain enough nurses for safe patient care. 

Mount Sinai South Nassau Nurses Begin Bargaining

On Oct. 6, the bargaining committee at Mount Sinai South Nassau started contract negotiations. Although management set a troublesome tone by restricting members’ participation in negotiations and moving negotiations miles away from the hospital, nurses were not deterred! 

The past few months have been a testament to the unity and resilience of South Nassau nurses who have overcome several obstacles to begin negotiations. Management tried to stall bargaining by filing legal appeals, but the National Labor Relations Board gave the final ruling to certify NYSNA as the Mount Sinai South Nassau nurses’ union. Nurses will continue to build solidarity and are moving full steam ahead on bargaining a fair contract!

Albany Medical Center Nurses Fight Contract Violation and Win

NYSNA nurses at Albany Medical Center (AMC) won a grievance over the process for how NYSNA members select their vacation time. AMC’s chief nursing officer released a memo to staff outlining a process of vacation selection during “prime time” periods, in violation of the contract. In response, NYSNA filed a grievance, and NYSNA members and AMC management reached a settlement in a victory for nurses! The late Patricia Pinho, RN, initially spotted the issue and filed the grievance, leaving behind a beautiful legacy of fighting for nurses until the very end.

NYSNA & 1199SEIU Say Build Brooks Now!

Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk is an outdated hospital and the only healthcare facility available to the Northern Chautauqua County community. Plans to build a new modern hospital in neighboring Fredonia have been delayed for almost seven years. NYSNA and 1199SEIU members have been pushing the New York State Department of Health to release the grant money that Brooks was awarded to build a new hospital in the area. Healthcare workers launched a petition, organized a speak-out, spoke to news reporters, and did more to raise awareness about the issue. NYSNA and 1199SEIU are keeping up the momentum and won’t stop until New York state follows through on its commitment to fund a new Brooks Hospital!

MVHS Wynn Hospital Nurses Speak Out Against Cuts

Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Wynn Hospital nurses have been fighting for a fair agreement to help safely staff the new hospital in downtown Utica. Nurses held speak-outs ahead of the Oct. 29 opening date at Wynn Hospital to demand a fair agreement. Nurses also highlighted the lack of respect in the current proposal, which seeks cuts to nurse pay and benefits, increase healthcare premiums and reduce the employer’s retirement contributions — all in the middle of a staffing crisis. The Mohawk Valley region deserves quality care with enough nurses, and the united Utica nurses won’t stop until they win a fair agreement!

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