The more than 7,000 nurses on strike at two hospitals in New York City drew messages of unity from a top state lawmaker on Monday as well as labor leaders in New York.
But a group that represents physicians in New York statewide noted the situation is a concerning one not just for workers, but hospitals.
About 7,100 nurses at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx are on strike after negotiations broke down with the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA).
"I stand firmly in solidarity with over 7,000 NYSNA nurses who went on strike this morning at Montefiore and Mount Sinai hospitals," said Senate Health Committee Gustavo Rivera. "Nurses deserve a dignified and fair labor contract. Period."
Rivera in a statement noted patients can still receive care and emergency procedures are in place so they do not cross a picket line.
Labor leaders, though, announced they are backing the striking nurses.
“These nurses are dedicated professionals who provide quality patient care under unimaginable conditions day in and day out that were exacerbated by the pandemic," said New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento. "Now they are faced with the added challenge of short staffing that has reached critical levels and could compromise their ability to provide the best quality care to their patients."
Health care networks have faced the strain of the COVID pandemic over nearly three years. The Medical Society of the State of New York in a statement called for a swift resolution of the strike.
“As nurses in New York City begin their strike, the Medical Society of the State of New York acknowledges this difficult situation for both the hospitals and the nurses we work alongside every day. We hope the issues are resolved soon," said Parag Mehta, the organization's president. “As always, our concern and focus are on ensuring that patients in New York receive the best possible medical care.”