By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA – The Philippine Consulate General in New York on Tuesday expressed support on the calls of Filipino American nurses employed in two hospitals in New York for better wages and working conditions.
The statement came as thousands of nurses employed at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan went on a strike on Jan. 9 (New York time) after contract negotiations stalled over better pay and improved staffing standards.
“When New York City became the epicenter of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, our kababayan nurses stayed true to their oath to care for the sick and the dying, sometimes at the expense of their very own lives,” the consulate said. “For their compassion, dedication, and selflessness, their call for better employment terms and conditions should be heeded.”
The consulate expressed hope that the parties involved would soon have a “mutually acceptable” resolution.
“We look forward to a mutually acceptable resolution to the strike and hope that all dispute resolution avenues be exhausted to ensure the healthcare of New Yorkers and the recognition of the indispensable role of our nurses who are at the forefront of patient care,” it said.
Local reports said more than 7,000 nurses from the two hospitals participated in the strikes staged at three locations in Bronx and one in Manhattan.
In a previous statement, the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) said its main issue is the “crisis of chronic understaffing that harms patient care.”
“Safe staffing is about having enough nurses to deliver safe, quality care to every patient. It is the issue that our employers have ignored, made excuses about, and fought against us,” NYSNA President Nancy Hagans said.
“The time is now to settle fair contracts that help nurses deliver the care that all New Yorkers deserve. We are fighting to improve patient care and will do whatever it takes to win,” she added. (PNA)