More than 30k nurses, building cleaners may strike by years' end

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amny

Thousands of disgruntled building cleaners and city hospital nurses and are contemplating walking off the job at the end of the year.

Approximately 10,000 nurses at Montefiore, Mount Sinai, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt and New York-Presbyterian hospitals may strike just before Christmas, according to New York State Nurses Association spokesman Bernie Mulligan. Their contract expired months ago and little progress has been made in negotiations, he said, adding that the nurses want more affordable health care, increased staffing levels, and higher wages.

Bruce McIver, who serves as president of the League of Voluntary Hospitals and is negotiating on behalf of Montefiore and Mount Sinai hospitals, said it’s too early to tell if a strike will happen, but that nurses have to give at least 10 days notice before they strike.

“Hospitals would have to make preparations to make sure their patients are covered and that patients are safe,” McIver told amNewYork. “I’m sure they all have plans that they’re working on.”

In addition, more than 22,000 workers who clean business offices in Gotham — many of them in midtown — are voting Thursday to strike as soon as the New Years’ Eve ball marks midnight in Times Square, when their contract expires. They oppose a new contract that calls for a two-tier system that would pay new employees less, saying it could lead to employers choosing the cheaper workers in the future.

A strike “would likely disrupt business and cause major inconveniences to tens of thousands of New Yorkers,” said their union president, Mike Fishman, in a statement.

The Real Estate Board of Labor Relations counters that the workers are the highest paid in the country, and that the real estate industry isn’t as strong as it was in 2007, when their last contract was negotiated.

Tags: News , Labor , Strike , Nurses , Building cleaners

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