FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 18, 2020
Carl Ginsburg | Carl.firstname.lastname@example.org | 917-405-1060
Kristi Barnes | Kristi.email@example.com | 646-853-4489
**MEDIA ADVISORY FOR TOMORROW**
“The worst conditions it’s ever been,” says veteran RN.
NEW ROCHELLE— Nurses of the New York State Nurses Association at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital who worked through the deadly coronavirus pandemic earlier this year fear unsafe conditions as the virus reappears at the facility. They are demanding both stepped up preparations for the pandemic and a long-delayed contract covering issues of safe patient care, wages and benefits. Without concerted action by the hospital, nurses will strike for two days.
Nurse staffing levels at the hospital have reached one nurse for every nine patients (1:9) or more on the Medical /Surgery floors and one nurse to three patients (1:3) at the ICU, what nurse Kathy Santoiemma, RN, a leader and 43-year veteran at the hospital, calls “so tight as to be unsafe…. It’s terrible, the worst it’s ever been.” The nearly unanimous strike vote by the 200-nurse workforce attests to dire conditions, just as Covid-19 is reappearing.
WHO: Nurses of the New York State Nurses Association at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, community and political supporters
WHAT: Delivery of 10-day notice to strike by RNs to hospital management
WHEN: TOMORROW, Thursday, November 19 at 8:30AM
WHERE: 75 Glover Johnson Pl
New Rochelle, NY
The pandemic dealt a serious blow to staff at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital. One RN died from COVID-19 and the staff’s rate of infection was triple the average at other NYC-area facilities. Montefiore has prevented RN leaders’ access to the facility to discuss contract negotiations, implemented unlawful policies, and refused to disclose information essential to bargaining. The NLRB is currently investigating Montefiore for these potential violations of federal law.
In a letter addressed to the Montefiore’s CEO Philip O. Ozuah, MD, politicians from local, state and federal offices are calling upon the hospital to complete contract negotiations. Here is an excerpt from the letter.
“With the Covid-19 crisis still a threat to patients and staff, it is especially important that the nurses who have been there every step of the way are accorded the respect that a finalized contract memorializes. At a time when the public rightly applauded our health care workers for their dedication and support for the community and their patients, it is essential that you remain at the bargaining table and bargain in good faith over issues such as patient care, fair wages and benefits. Let’s get this contract completed.”
A full copy of the letter is here. These are the letter’s signatories:
NYS Senator Shelley B. Mayer
NYS Senator Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
US Senator and Minority Leader Charles Schumer
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
US Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson
Assembly Member Amy R. Paulin
Assembly Member Steven Otis
Damon R. Maher, Legislator, Westchester County
Terry Clements, Legislator, Westchester County
Catherine F. Parker, Legislator, Westchester County
Martha Lopez-Hanratty, Council Member, City of New Rochelle
Closing down a Maternal Care Unit at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital was turned back recently when nurses, the community and politicians raised strong objections.
VISUALS: Masking and social distancing will be strictly observed.
The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 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