Image: Photo of Judy Sheridan-Gonzales addressing the LNS regional Convergence in 2018

On January 13, 7,000 nurses at two New York City hospitals returned to work after winning their main priority — improving working conditions by adding nurses to short-staffed hospital floors where they said crowded conditions had put patients at risk and led to stress and burnout among staff.

The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), which represents more than 42,000 members, said that for nurses at Montefiore, the tentative agreement would include a 19.1 percent wage increase over three years and the creation of more than 170 new nursing positions. Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, a nurse on the negotiating committee at Montefiore and president of NYSNA, said the agreement marked the first time the hospital had agreed to nurse-patient ratios in the emergency department.

The New York State Nurses Association is well known in the LNS network as a powerful advocate for climate protection. Its president Judy Sheridan-Gonzales addressed the Labor Network for Sustainability New York Region Convergence on Labor and Climate. Their 2021 Annual Report stated:

The climate emergency is an existential crisis threatening all of humanity. As healthcare workers, NYSNA members understand the unique challenge facing the nation. They are at the bedside when patients present with respiratory challenges due to pollution or birth defects and infertility linked to fracking. Nurses and other healthcare workers appreciate that there is an ecosystem that supports quality care, and the climate crisis disrupts that system. As such, NYSNA members have been on the frontlines pushing for more aggressive action to save the environment.

 For more on strike settlement: Nurses’ Strike Ends in New York City After Hospitals Agree To Add Nurses