Bronx Nurses Threatened and Removed from Hospital Over Safe Staffing

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2015

(Bronx, NY) -- Registered Nurses at Montefiore Medical Center’s Weiler Hospital in the Bronx were threatened with arrest and escorted out of the hospital today after speaking out about staffing shortages. The nurses, who are members of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), were attending a breakfast to celebrate National Nurses Week in the Weiler Hospital cafeteria when, in the midst of discussions with fellow nurses about staffing conditions in the facility, were told to keep quiet and were escorted out of the hospital. Seven nurses were removed from the facility.

“There are not enough nurses and caregivers to do the job, to provide the care patients expect and deserve,” said Karine Raymond, an RN at Weiler Hospital and one of the nurses removed this morning. “That’s what the hospital wants to keep quiet.” Weiler nurses say that many floors are experiencing staffing shortages, with nurses in the Emergency Department and the Labor & Delivery Unit especially understaffed. “By law, we are advocates for our patients,” said Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, Emergency Room RN and NYSNA president. “Staffing conditions are a serious problem at Montefiore and in many hospitals in metro New York. These conditions need to be addressed.” NYSNA is in negotiations with Montefiore and 13 other NYC private hospitals. Safe staffing is a key issue in the talks.

The silencing of the nurses today comes after NYC and Westchester nurse rallies and informational pickets on April 16 in which thousands of RNs spoke out for safe staffing. It follows a successful Lobby Day in Albany on April 21 where 1,500 NYSNA nurses and supporters met with legislators to discuss safe staffing and a bill, the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, that would guarantee safe staffing. Another Lobby Day, with several unions of nurses and other caregivers calling for safe staffing, will take place on May 12.

WHO: Montefiore Medical Center nurses

WHAT: Press Conference: Nurses will not be silenced about safe staffing

WHEN: Friday, May 8th starting at 12 NOON

WHERE: In front of Main Entrance Montefiore Weiler Hospital Eastchester Road & Sackett Avenue, Bronx, NY

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 37,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit our website at www.nysna.org.

About NYSNA

We are 40,000 nurses working together to win safe staffing, keep hospitals open for care, stop the Wall Street attack on our patients, and win healthcare for all.