Thousands of New York City nurses strike

The New York State Nurses Association urged patients to still seek medical care regardless of the demonstrations.
Nurses strike, New York City, Jan. 9, 2023

More than 7,000 nurses at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center went on strike Monday after contract negotiations stalled.

The nurses have been facing "unimaginable conditions including short staffing, which were only exacerbated by the pandemic," New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento wrote in a statement. "The hospitals treatment of these nurses is proof that all their words of adulation for their healthcare heroes during the pandemic were hollow."

The New York State Nurses Association, the union organizing the strike, urged patients to still seek medical care regardless of the demonstrations. "[G]oing into the hospital to get the care you need is NOT crossing our strike line," the group said. "In fact, we invite you to come join us on the strike line after you've gotten the care you need."

Montefiore, whose emergency department is one of the busiest in the United States, said it offered nurses a 19.1% compounded wage increase and committed to create more than 170 new nursing positions, but the union "leadership has decided to walk away from their patients."

The hospital is remaining open but has rescheduled all elective surgeries.

Mount Sinai said the union agreed to the 19.1% wage increase over three years at eight other hospitals, including two Mount Sinai branches, but the group refused to accept the offer at the flagship institution. Mount Sinai said "most outpatient appointments and procedures are going forward, or assume your scheduled appointment is still on unless you hear from your provider."

The strike comes as flu cases are declining in most areas, but still elevated overall, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID hospitalizations are expected to remain stable.