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PNS Daily Newscast - November 25, 2020 


Feeding hungry families, on Thanksgiving and beyond; and is that turkey really from a family farm? (Note to Broadcasters: The newscast has been granted a holiday for Thanksgiving, but we'll return first thing Friday.)


2020Talks - November 25, 2020 


CORRECTED 2:30pm MST 11/25 - Linda Thomas-Greenfield would be the second Black woman in US UN Ambassador role, Susan Rice was the first. Biden nominees speak; how can social media spread less misinformation and be less polarizing. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

Nurses Demand COVID Support and a Contract

Nurses at Montefiore Hospital in New Rochelle delivered a 10-day notice of their intent to strike to hospital management. (New York State Nurses Association)
Nurses at Montefiore Hospital in New Rochelle delivered a 10-day notice of their intent to strike to hospital management. (New York State Nurses Association)
November 20, 2020

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- With COVID cases rising again in New York, nurses in one of the early coronavirus hotspots say conditions at their hospital are unsafe and they're threatening a two-day strike on Dec. 1.

Nurses at Montefiore Hospital in New Rochelle have been negotiating for a contract for more than two years. At a rally outside the hospital on Thursday, nurses said they want wages that are up to regional standards and to hire more nurses to ensure adequate staffing levels, including in intensive care.

Michelle Gonzalez, a nurse on the negotiating team, said it takes four months to train an intensive-care unit nurse, but hospital management only wants to train "helpers."

"We are not asking for helpers," she said. "We have very clearly demanded that we need staff that is ICU trained and ICU prepared - because if not, these patients are getting sublevel care."

The hospital has said it has offered raises of more than 7% and called threatening to strike during a pandemic, when hospitals and individuals are struggling financially, "disgraceful."

The New York State Nurses Association, the union representing the nurses, has noted that the COVID infection rate for staff at Montefiore in New Rochelle was triple the average at other New York City-area facilities. Now, Gonzalez said, there are pressures to cut costs in ways that could threaten public health.

"Our biggest fear right now is that over on the Moses side, where I work," she said, "we're already hearing the murmurings from management, saying that they want us to reuse PPE."

She said reusing single-use personal protective equipment puts nurses and patients at risk of a variety of infections, including COVID.

As the coronavirus surges again, Gonzalez pointed out that health-care workers still are feeling the traumatic effects of the first wave. She said they need hospitals to recognize the sacrifices they make every day.

"We have hit a point where the disrespect has gotten so bad, where nurses have no choice," she said. "The nurses are talking, the nurses are organizing, and the nurses are going to fight back."

Disclosure: New York State Nurses Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY