**MEDIA ADVISORY FOR TODAY, NOV. 18 AT 12 PM NOON**: NYSNA nurses at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers demand safe staffing, a fair contract and health equity

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

Working through the COVID-19 pandemic and under an expired contract, nurses sound the alarm about the staffing and quality care crisis at the hospital 

Yonkers, NY - Members of the New York State Nurses Association at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers will hold a speak-out outside the hospital on Friday, Nov. 18 at 12:00 p.m. The speak-out comes after nearly three years of contract negotiations. NYSNA members are demanding safe staffing and a fair contract for nurses and patients, including more investment in the hospital from CEO Mike Spicer. 

Nurses will highlight how St. Joseph’s Medical Center administration has failed to listen to its nurses and continues to violate contractual safe staffing ratios in the intensive care unit, psychiatric units, and emergency department. Nurses in the ICU often care for three patients, when the safe standard is a maximum of two patients per nurse. Long wait times in the emergency department are driving patients away, including the influx of new residents in the third largest city in New York state. 

Nurses will emphasize how understaffing makes patients less safe, and lack of investment in the hospital’s staff and equipment is an issue of health equity in some of the poorest census tracts in Westchester. Despite the crisis in quality care, hospital administrators have been trying to lower safe staffing ratios through the contract process, and through the New York State Hospital Staffing Committee process—in direct violation of the new law.  

St. Joseph’s Medical Center nurses say they are tired of being understaffed and under-resourced, often scrambling for basic equipment to serve their patients. Nurses are demanding better for their patients and themselves. Nurses at St. Joseph’s have worked through the COVID-19 pandemic under an expired contract, leaving them with the lowest overall economic compensation of any acute care facility in Westchester County. The low wages and huge disparity in pay and benefits with neighboring facilities makes recruitment and retention difficult, furthering the safe staffing crisis.  

WHAT: Nurses speak out for safe staffing, a fair contract and health equity
WHO: NYSNA nurses and allies, including Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Tasha Diaz, Assemblymember Nader Sayegh, and Westchester County Legislator David Tubiolo.
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 18 at 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: In front of St. Joseph’s Medical Center, 127 S. Broadway, Yonkers, NY 10701 (near the corner of Vark St.) 
*Media availabilities with individual nurses* 

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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, visit nysna.org.

About NYSNA

We are 42,000 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.