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'Demanding Better': Nurses In Westchester County To Rally For Safe Staffing, Fair Contract

The speak-out will be held at St. Joseph's Medical Center, where nurses will demand better staffing practices and a fair contract.
The speak-out will be held at St. Joseph's Medical Center, where nurses will demand better staffing practices and a fair contract. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

A group of nurses in Westchester County will soon rally to demand safer staffing practices and a better contract from the hospital they work at.

The speak-out will be held on Friday, Nov. 18 at noon in Yonkers in front of the St. Joseph’s Medical Center, according to the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA).

There, nurses will highlight how the hospital has violated contractual safe staffing ratios in the intensive care unit, psychiatric units, and emergency department by often assigning three patients to nurses instead of the safer standard of two, according to the NYSNA. 

The nurses will also protest against understaffing and a lack of investment into the hospital's staff and equipment, which they say is an issue of health equity in Yonkers, which has some of the poorest census tracts in Westchester County, the association said. 

"St. Joseph’s Medical Center nurses say they are tired of being understaffed and under-resourced, often scrambling for basic equipment to serve their patients. Nurses are demanding better for their patients and themselves," officials from the NYSNA said. 

The speak-out comes after three years of contract negotiations with the hospital. Nurses worked through the COVID-19 pandemic with an expired contract, according to the NYSNA. 

"The low wages and huge disparity in pay and benefits with neighboring facilities makes recruitment and retention difficult, furthering the safe staffing crisis," NYSNA officials said. 

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