More than 1,000 Brooklyn Methodist Hospital nurses deliver strike notice

brooklyn methodist hospital strike
Nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital delivered their strike notice to hospital leadership on Monday.
Photo courtesy of NYSNA/Twitter

Nurses working at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital delivered a strike notice to hospital administrators on May 29 following several days of unsuccessful negotiations. 

The New York Nurses Association — the union representing many of the hospital’s nurses — is open to negotiating with hospital administrators until June 12. If no agreement is reached by then, more than 1,000 nurses are prepared to strike.

The notice came after long periods of unsuccessful contract negotiations between administrators at the hospital and the New York Nurses Association union.

newyork-presbyterian brooklyn methodist hospital
Nurses say staffing levels have become a sticking point in contract negotiations. File photo courtesy of NewYork Presbyterian

“We don’t want to go on strike, but we will if NYP-Brooklyn gives us no other option,” said NYSNA member leader Sharonda Green-Carter, RN. Nurses refuse to accept staffing cuts or compromise the care for our Brooklyn community in any way. We hope that NYP-Brooklyn comes back to the table in good faith to deliver a contract with safe staffing that respects nurses and our patients.”

Nurses at Brooklyn Methodist say safe staffing levels have been a sticking point in contract negotiations for months, and that cuts proposed by the hospital would risk the quality of care they currently provide to patients.

The current operating contract for nurses at the hospital expired April 30, with bargaining continuing for a month to no avail. 

With nearly all union nurses participating in the strike vote, nearly 100% voted yes.

“As a long-time nurse at neighboring Maimonides Medical Center, I am outraged that NYP-Brooklyn Methodist has pushed nurses to the brink of a strike,” said NYSNA president Nancy Hagans in a statement. “If they listened to the nurses and committed to staff their facility safely, we would not be in this situation. All 42,000 members of NYSNA are in solidarity with our union siblings as they fight for a fair contract.” 

On May 4, hundreds of nurses, NYSNA members and supporters picketed outside Brooklyn Methodist to protest NYP’s proposed staff cuts, demanding the hospital  improve staffing and staff support to ensure quality patient care.

brooklyn methodist hospital strike
Brooklyn Methodist nurses picketed against staffing conditions outside the hospital on May 4.Photo courtesy of NYSNA/Twitter

NYSNA also alleges that in some instances, members of the union are experiencing interference with their union rights, with some reports of management directing members to remove union stickers from their cars, requiring management approval for union activity and more.

New York Presbyterian said the hospital hopes to reach a compromise with its nurses, but that they must always ensure patients receive the best quality care possible.

“We respect and value our nurses, who play a central role in delivering the exceptional care our hospital is known for,” a hospital rep said in a statement to Brooklyn Paper. “We’re hopeful that union leadership shares our dedication to reaching a fair and reasonable contract agreement, and we will continue to bargain in good faith. While a strike notice does not necessarily mean a strike will occur, we must always prioritize our patients and their care. We have made the necessary preparations to ensure that they will continue to receive the same high-quality care, without interruption.”