PHOTOS: Over 100 NY Nurses Demand Northwell Health Increase Staffing Levels and Wages and Provide Paid Leave at Rally in Upper East Side

For Immediate Release: September 5, 2018
Contact: Courtney Holsworth, courtney@balestramedia.com, 989.572.8162

PHOTOS: Over 100 NY Nurses Demand Northwell Health Increase Staffing Levels and Wages and Provide Paid Leave at Rally in Upper East Side

On 30th Anniversary of Historic Strike by Lenox Hill Hospital Nurses, Firefighters, Carpenters, and Residents Show Solidarity with Nurses Ahead of 2018 Contract Negotiations

Today, nurses and nurse practitioners represented by the New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU) rallied to kick off their 2018 contract negotiations with Northwell Health. Two days after Labor Day, members of the nurses union detailed issues at Northwell Health facilities in the Upper East Side-- Lenox Hill Hospital, Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, and Lenox Health Greenwich Village. The nurses union was joined by members of the New York City Fire Department, other local union members in healthcare and trades sectors, local politicians, and area residents.

Speakers at the rally connected their current contract negotiations to the 30th anniversary of NYPNU’s historic strike, which resulted in the first safe patient limits. NYPNU is demanding Northwell Health update these safe patient limits to align with current national recommendations as well as acknowledge the economic realities that New York City nurses face, including burdensome student loan debt and higher costs of living.

View photos from the rally here

“For the past eight months, the nurses in maternal child health have warned management that staffing levels for mothers and their newborn babies are half of what we know to be safe minimums,” said Maureen Curran, 30-year RN at Lenox Hill Hospital in Maternal Child Health. “As long as Northwell Health makes decisions that endanger patients, we will continue to raise our voices until they address this issue so that patients receive the care that they deserve.”

Northwell Health continues to pay nurses the lowest wages in privately-owned hospitals in Manhattan despite continuing to provide VIP suites costing up to $1,750 a night and recently announcing a planned expansion on the site of today’s rally.

“Rather than taking care of the nurses dedicated to taking care of our communities, Northwell Health has tried to water down wages and benefits for nurses,” said Kathleen Flynn, RN JD, President of the New York Professional Nurses Union. “This race to the bottom must end when it comes to ensuring that all residents have access to nurses who are continuing to provide the highest standard of care to their patients despite being overworked, underpaid and struggling to make ends meet for their own families.”

“There cannot be any sacrifices when it comes to the health of our communities, and shortchanging the medical professionals on the frontlines is unacceptable,” said New York City Council Member Benjamin Kallos. “Our nurses are asking for fairness and better treatment for their patients and their colleagues, and we should all stand with them until they receive it.”

For interviews with the New York Professional Nurses Union, please contact Courtney Holsworth at courtney@balestramedia.com or 989.572.8162.

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The New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU) is a union by nurses and for nurses. The diverse group of staff that we exist to protect include staff and per diem registered nurses, case managers, nurse practitioners, and lactation specialists. Collectively, we fight for better working conditions and benefits, and for increased safety and quality care for our patients. We use inter-generational activism to build a broad-based, member-led movement to demand respect and change for our members at the Northwell Health-owned Lenox Hill Hospital, Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, and Lenox Health Greenwich Village.