7,000 nurses, including 1,000 Filipinos, went on strike at two New York City hospitals Monday, reports GMA News Online.
The strikers say severe staffing shortages have hampered their ability to care for patients and do their jobs adequately.
“This is not about the money. What this is about is safe staffing. We want to ensure that we will work with enough staff because what is happening now is there are 550 vacancies for nurses,” said Lorena Vivas, NYSNA executive committee member for the Mount Sinai Hospital. “If you are in the ICU, legally, you should only take care of two patients. But we have to take care of four. Many of us work for 24 hours because we pity those who will be left behind in the next shift. In the emergency room, the ratio is 20 patients per nurse. How can you take care of them all?”
CBS News reports the walkout began at 6 a.m. involved as many as 3,600 nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and 3,500 at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.
Mount Sinai blamed the nurses for walking out of negotiations and accepting the same wage offer agreed to by nurses at eight other hospitals.
Montefiore Hospital called the strike unnecessary saying negotiators are close to finalizing an agreement.
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