According to NBC New York, nurses at NYC’s private hospitals are preparing to potentially go on strike soon, a move that could turn the current tridemic into a full-blown crisis.
The New York State Nurses Association tells News 4 that ballot boxes have been deployed at hospitals across the city for members to vote on a strike authorization ahead of their contracts expiring on Dec. 31.
The association has 17,000 members at 12 hospitals subject to that looming expiry; ballot boxes have been deployed already to facilities covering 14,000 of them. The rest will get the chance to vote this coming week.
Nancy Hagans, the president of the association, said that at the hospitals where votes have already been counted, support for a strike is running well ahead of the two-thirds threshold needed.
Voting could end at some hospitals this week, after which the union would have to give a hospital a 10-day strike notice before taking any action. That suggests strikes could begin relatively quickly in the New Year.
The union says members are upset about staffing ratios at the local hospitals, contract proposals that they feel dramatically worsen their healthcare benefits, and Mayor Eric Adams’ recent move to forcibly hospitalize psychiatric patients.
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office said they are “monitoring the situation.”
All of this comes as the city deals with what is being called a tridemic – simultaneous and serious spikes in infections with COVID, the flu, and the respiratory condition RSV.
The city has already issued an advisory (but not a mandate) suggesting that people go back to wearing masks indoors.