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St. Luke's-Roosevelt Nurses Plan to Strike in New Year

By Tom Liddy | December 22, 2011 7:15pm
Hundreds of Montefiore nurses in the Bronx picketed on Nov. 18.
Hundreds of Montefiore nurses in the Bronx picketed on Nov. 18.
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NYS Nurses Association

MANHATTAN — The gloves are set to come off at St. Luke's-Roosevelt.

More than 1,000 nurses who work for the Manhattan hospitals are planning to strike early next year after intense contract talks broke down early Thursday morning.

“The hospital’s response to our concerns about affordable health care did not meet our members’ needs. We are now mobilizing in the hospital for the January 3 strike,” said Nancy Kaleda, the New York State Nurses Association bargaining director, in a statement Thursday.

“While we made some progress on staffing issues in the talks, the healthcare issue carries huge weight for our members and their families.”

The 1,300 nurses who are planning to walk out at St. Luke's-Roosevelt, which has campuses near Columbia University and Columbus Circle, are among some 10,000 across the city who are represented by the union in contract negotiations.

They have been working without a contract since last December and have been through 25 bargaining sessions in an effort to reach an agreement, according to the union.

After a marathon 18-hour session that ended at 4 a.m. Thursday, the nurses announced the strike.

Contract negotiations are ongoing at Montefiore and Mount Sinai hospitals, both of which have authorized strikes.

Representatives for nurses at St. Luke's said that the hospital wanted union members to pay up to $100 more per month in health insurance premiums and did not make a sufficient pay offer.

Continuum Health Partners, which owns the consortium of St. Luke's, Roosevelt and Beth Israel hospitals, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.