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Healthcare Workers Vote to Authorize a Strike at Phelps Hospital, Unless…

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May 17, 2024

Registered nurses and other caregivers at Phelps Hospital voted 98.9% to authorize a strike “if hospital management refuses to settle a fair contract that provides greater staff input on patient care,” read a statement issued by a spokesperson for 1199SEIU, the union representing some 900 Phelps caregivers.

The workers are demanding a wage increase to keep up with inflation as well as no-cost family health insurance, guaranteed pensions and funds to subsidize professional education for job advancement. “Tens of thousands of 1199SEIU members at other Northwell facilities–including nearby Northern Westchester Hospital–already have strong 1199SEIU contracts,” the union asserts.

Union members engaged in a symbolic picket line in front of Phelps’ main entrance at the beginning of May. (see: https://thehudsonindependent.com/wp-admin/post-new.php) The strike authorization vote is designed to put more pressure on the hospital’s management. The union represents over 450,000 members throughout New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, and Washington, D.C.

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For its part, Phelps says it remains “optimistic that an agreement can be reached” and says it will continue to bargain in good faith. Said Phelps spokesman Todd Dezen: “We look forward to ongoing positive and productive negotiations with 1199.”

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