Montefiore in the Bronx failed to hire nurses to fill 760 vacancies, Ms. Hagan said. Some nurses often swamp 20 patients at a time — especially the emergency room, where “overcrowded patients are admitted to beds in hallways instead of hospital rooms,” she said.
On Sunday, two other Manhattan hospitals operated by Mount Sinai Health System — Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West, both on the West Side — reached a tentative settlement with the union that included a 19.1 percent wage increase over three years.
Hospital officials said they have made the same offer to nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital on Fifth Avenue, giving each nurse an additional $51,000 in cash compensation and $19,500 in medical billing benefits over three years.
Contract of nurses in a dozen private hospitals in the city on Dec. Expired on the 31st, the union sanctioned the strike and sent a 10-day notice to the hospitals.
In recent days, the union reached tentative contract agreements with most hospitals, including NewYork-Presbyterian, Maimonides Medical Center, University of Richmond Medical Center, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, BronxCare and Brooklyn Hospital Center.
Mount Sinai officials said Monday’s decision to strike was irresponsible and would affect patients.
In recent days, Montefiore and Mount Sinai scrambled to prepare for the strike, including safely evacuating all patients they could, bringing in replacement nurses, postponing several elective surgeries and diverting ambulances to other hospitals.