Montefiore Hospital nurses demand to return to work after lockout
Nurses at Montefiore Hospital in New Rochelle are demanding to return to work after some were locked out following a strike.
“The second surge of COVID is coming, and we need to work together. Please stop the madness and settle this please,” says Montefiore ER Nurse Peggy Siconan.
The New York State Nurses Association says when the nurses ended their two-day strike last Thursday, they were planning to get back to work.
MORE: Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital nurses plan to strike Tuesday over concerns of understaffing, inadequate PPE
They say Montefiore then changed their schedules, leaving about 33 nurses unable to return to their jobs.
Montefiore management says 167 of the 200 nurses who went on strike are already back at work, but nurses say they are still understaffed.
“Our co-workers are desperate for more staff, even more disturbing Montefiore is cohorting COVID and non-COVID patients together on one unit disregarding basic infection control practices,” says nurse Kathy Santoiemma.
The nurses union says it plans to return to the bargaining table with Montefiore leadership on Thursday.
News 12 is told nurses are frustrated by the prolonged negotiations and feel as though they’re being retaliated against for rallying and making their voices heard.
“It feels like our administration is not hearing us, we don't know what else to do,” says nurse Shalar Matthews. “We’ve been in negotiations for two years. Nothing has been done.”
Officials at Montefiore issued a statement saying in part, “NYSNA Leadership operated irresponsibly by walking out on the New Rochelle Community. Their misleading tactics seek attention instead of results and is precisely the reasons all nurses are not back at work today.”
However, nurses say they’re calling on their employer to do the right thing. “It just makes me sad that I have to walk out of here and think to myself, OK there weren't enough of us, so did we do the right thing? We need staffing,” says nurse Dianne Pierpont.