Public sector nurses across the city are set to rally in front of Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx at noon Thursday, demanding their wages to be on par with private sector nurses — who mobilized against their administrators last month resulting in improved staffing levels and a 19% pay increase in their new contracts.
Lincoln Hospital, as well as Jacobi Medical Center, are two of 11-city run hospitals facing expiring union contracts Thursday, with more than 9,000 Health + Hospital and mayoral nurses — who provide direct care to the city’s first responders — across the city being represented by the nursing union NYSNA.
Understaffing is the major gripe, NYSNA officials told the Bronx Times, with reports of nurses who are either quitting or resigning after shifts due to the short-staffing.
In January, the Bronx was also a rallying ground for health care workers, as private sector nurses from Montefiore crossed the picket line rallied for three days urging administrators to implement better staffing ratios and better wage scales. With their new contracts, the pay disparity between private sector nurses and the city’s public sector nurses is around $19,000 per year.
NYSNA officials also said at the heart of Thursday’s rally is a health and racial equity issue, as public sector hospital workforce and service populations are predominantly Black and brown and immigrant residents.
State Sen. Nathalia Fernandez, along with Assemblymembers Kenny Burgos and John Zaccaro Jr. are expected to be in attendance.
The Lincoln rally is one of many demonstrations taking place Thursday, as demonstrations will be held at Jacobi Hospital, and other major Health+Hospitals facilities from 7-8 p.m.
The Bronx Times reached out to Health + Hospitals and is awaiting response.