FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 4, 2023
Contact: Kristi Barnes | email@example.com |646-853-4489
Eliza M. Bates | firstname.lastname@example.org |646-285-8491
With an already overcrowded Emergency Room and a shuttered psychiatric unit, New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist is proposing to cut nurse staffing even further
New York, NY— On Thursday, May 4, 2023 hundreds of NYSNA nurses from NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital picketed in the rain outside of the hospital to protest cuts to care for Brooklyn patients. Nurses were joined on the picket line by elected leaders and allies. Despite other private-sector hospitals in New York City settling fair contracts with nurses, NYP-Brooklyn Methodist management wants to strip patient care protections from the nurses’ union contract and to reduce staffing levels in Labor and Delivery, Mother-Baby, Chemotherapy Infusion, and other units.
NYSNA nurses at NYP-Brooklyn Methodist, whose union contract expired on April 30th, are fighting for a fair contract that protects Brooklyn patients. Hospital management is trying to roll back patient safety protections that ensure that there is always a qualified nurse at the bedside of every patient. And NYP-Brooklyn Methodist continues to refuse to reopen an in-patient psychiatric unit Brooklyn patients depend on, leaving the emergency room overcrowded and patients without the care they need.
When NewYork-Presbyterian took over Methodist, they promised to increase investments and services to the community hospital, but they have gone back on their word to invest in Brooklyn's safety and health, and nurses are saying enough is enough.
Diane Bonet, RN at NYP-Brooklyn Methodist, said: “I love being a pediatric nurse, but understaffing throughout my hospital is so stressful. Now NYP-Brooklyn Methodist wants to cut nurse staffing even more and lower patient care standards. As hard as nurses work and as much as we care, we cannot meet a safe standard of care if our administration refuses to staff enough qualified, trained nurses in every unit of the hospital. Brooklyn patients deserve better.”
Al Crispino, RN at NYP-Brooklyn Methodist, said: “If there’s anything we’ve learned from the pandemic it’s that staffing at the bare minimum means that we aren’t prepared for a crisis. Nurses are asking for safe staffing and respect, but NYP-Brooklyn Methodist wants to keep our staffing and pay low. We’re calling on NYP-Brooklyn Methodist to listen to frontline nurses and settle a fair contract now.”
Irving Campbell, RN at NYP-Brooklyn Methodist, said: “There is a huge need for inpatient mental healthcare in Brooklyn and throughout New York, but NYP-Brooklyn Methodist refuses to reopen the psych unit they closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The loss of these beds has impacted our community and the rest of the hospital—our ER is sometimes crowded with mentally unstable patients who wait in chairs for days for care. We’re calling on NYP-Methodist to deliver the healthcare services and staffing that Brooklyn needs.”
Allyson Selby, RN at NYP-Brooklyn Methodist said: “ Whether you’re a patient in Manhattan or in Brooklyn, you deserve quality care with enough trained nurses to care for you. Instead, NYP-Brooklyn Methodist is trying to shortchange Brooklyn patients and nurses. NY Presbyterian CEO Steve Corwin is consistently at the top of the list of highest-paid healthcare CEOs, yet NYP wants its Brooklyn nurses to settle for wages below the industry standard that their own hospital system set.”
NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN, BSN, CCRN, said: “NYP-Brooklyn Methodist has no excuse not to deliver a fair contract that matches the wage increases that other New York City NYSNA nurses won in January, and uphold the safe staffing levels and other important provisions in the contract. We are united in demanding NewYork-Presbyterian stop short-changing Brooklyn nurses and patients!”
“Nurses are on the front lines of our health care system and work tirelessly to provide quality care for our loved ones. They deserve safe staffing ratios, fair pay, and workplace protections. Brooklyn Methodist management must listen to the demands of their nurses and work towards a fair contract that respects the rights of health care workers,” said NYC Comptroller Brad Lander.
“What NYSNA members at NYP-Brooklyn Methodist are asking for is simple – a fair contract that will protect them during their shifts and help provide safer care to patients through better staffing levels, protections that ensure qualified nurses at the bedside of every patient, and fair wages for their dedicated, life-saving work,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Our city is bleeding out good, dedicated nurses through the unfair treatment and dangerous conditions they are required to work in. I stand with the NYP-Brooklyn Methodist NYSNA members in their demand for a fairer contract.”
“Nurses are our City’s frontline heroes. They worked tirelessly to save our neighbors when COVID-19 ripped through our community and they continue to work day-in and day-out to keep us healthy. The bare minimum they are owed is a fair wage and safe staffing,” said Council Member Shahana Hanif. “I’m proud to stand with NYSNA nurses at Brooklyn Methodist as they demand a fair contract. It’s time for Brooklyn Methodist to put their money where their month is and bargain in good faith.”
“NYSNA and its heroic members have my full support,” said Council Member Chi Ossé. “We cannot thank them enough for their tireless work keeping us healthy and safe through the pandemic and these last several years, but we can certainly try. They deserve and need a fair contract. They should accept nothing less.”
Photos and video of the info-picket can be found on NYSNA’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nynurses
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. NYSNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United, AFL-CIO, the country's largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses, with more than 225,000 members nationwide. For more information, visit nysna.org.