NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City's first crisis of 2023 may already be on the horizon - a nurse's strike.
16,000 nurses spread across eight hospitals say they will walk off the job in nine days - unless they reach a contract deal before then.
They are all represented by the 'New York State Nurses Association.'
Among the hospitals impacted -- New York Presbyterian, Mount Sinai, Montefiore and Maimonides.
The union says it is giving advance notice so the hospitals can prepare.
Nurses say hospitals are short-staffed and are not doing enough for patients as COVID, RSV and the flu run rampant.
"Many of us were traumatized by what we saw and by the conditions we have been working under since the pandemic began," psychiatric RN Ari Moma said. "Understaffing makes everything worse."
The NYSNA held a vote over a week ago in which nearly 99% of nurses voted to authorize the strike.
The union claims the hospitals have increased fees for healthcare services, but not filling staffing gaps or properly paying nurses for their work throughout the pandemic.
"Right now, we are facing a tripledemic of COVID, flu and RSV. Our pediatric ER is overflowing and short-staffed on almost all shifts," pediatric ER nurse Aretha Morgan said. "It is unbearable to see children suffer because we don't have enough staff to provide safe patient care.
Mount Sinai released a statement Friday night in response to the planned strike:
"The Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Morningside, and Mount Sinai West have received notice from the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) that the union intends to strike on Monday, January 9, if a settlement is not reached. Our bargaining teams continue to make good-faith efforts to pursue a contract with NYSNA that is fair to our community and responsible with respect to the long-term financial health of our organization. Mount Sinai nurses deserve the best possible working environment, wages, and benefits, and we're tirelessly pursuing these to all our employees' advantage. The Mount Sinai Health System also remains committed to ensuring our patients receive the highest quality care under all circumstances. We are prepared for staffing changes, and we will do our best to ensure our patients' care is not disrupted and will do everything possible to minimize inconvenience to patients."
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