LOCKED OUT NEW ROCHELLE NURSES DEMAND TO RETURN TO HOSPITAL AND CARE FOR PATIENTS

For Immediate Release: December 6, 2020

Contact: Kristi Barnes | Kristi.barnes@nysna.org | 646-853-4489

Carl Ginsburg | carl.ginsburg@nysna.org | 917-405-1060

**MEDIA ADVISORY FOR TUESDAY, DEC 8**

Continued Lock Out and Scheduling Chaos at Montefiore New Rochelle Leaves Hospital Understaffed, Patients at Risk

Nurses Speak Out to tell Montefiore: Reopen the Units and Bring Back Our Nurses!

New Rochelle, NY—When nurses at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital ended their two-day ULP strike at 7 a.m. on Thursday, December 3, they were planning to get back to work caring for patients.

Montefiore management had a different idea. They emailed and called nurses to change their schedules, leaving some nurses locked out and unable to return to work. Although patient volume has returned throughout most of the hospital, two units remain closed—a COVID unit and a post-surgical unit. Approximately 35 nurses work on the closed units and continue to be locked out.

Nurses working inside the hospital report understaffing on several of the open units, including in the Emergency Room.

“I got called to work on Friday, even though I was not scheduled to work. Our staffing was actually worse than it was when we went out on strike, and the patient acuity was so high, I was scared,” said Peggy Sinkonen, RN, a nurse who has worked in the Emergency Room at Montefiore New Rochelle for 32 years. “There weren’t enough nurses to have a dedicated triage nurse at night to screen patients with emergent needs. Wait times were up to two hours, when they’re usually 15 minutes. COVID positive patients were waiting for hours, along with our other patients, before they could be moved up to the floors because the floors were understaffed, too. I don’t understand why Montefiore is putting people’s health at risk like this.”

“My unit on the fifth floor was converted to an all-COVID unit in the spring, and we have taken care of COVID patients ever since,” said Suja Vettuchirayil, RN. “Recently, we began seeing more COVID patients come through our doors, including younger patients like in the spring. Before the strike, our unit was full of COVID patients. I’m concerned that our unit remains closed, and COVID patients are being mixed in with vulnerable post-surgical and non-COVID patients, which increases the risk of spreading infection. The nurses trained to handle COVID are still locked out, and the negative pressure rooms are still closed. Montefiore needs to bring back our nurses, reopen our unit, and prepare to deliver care to our community!”

WHAT: NYSNA Nurses Speak Out: Bring Back Our Nurses

WHO: Montefiore New Rochelle nurses

WHEN: Tuesday, December 8 at NOON

WHERE: Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital

75 Glover Johnson Pl, New Rochelle, NY 10801

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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. 

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