Around Our Regions: RNs Picket Presby Queens For Fair Contract

January 11, 2021

Screen Shot 2021-01-11 at 4.15.25 PM.pngRegistered Nurses New York Presbyterian-Queens in Flushing held an informational picket Nov. 9 to demand that management settle a new contract that protects their healthcare and retirement benefits and provides higher wages.

Nearly 1,000 nurses work at Presby Queens and they have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic since it swept through Queens, turning some parts of the borough into New York City’s coronavirus epicenter.

“They are disrespecting us,” said Seeta Ozgur, a labor and delivery RN at the institution for over two decades.

Ozgur told AM New York that the hospital was making unreasonable demands and refusing to budge.

“After working through this pandemic, we deserve the same health care coverage that we had; instead, they want us to pay a higher cost with less coverage—seven meetings and they haven’t budged at all.”

Nurses have consistently risked their health and even their lives to care for patients and so maintain that their health and retirement benefits should be protected. The RNs made clear that they are united and have every intention of fighting to protect their pay, benefits, and pensions.

Newly elected Queens Borough President Donovan Richards joined the scores of nurses at the picket and called on Presbyterian Queens to do the right thing.

“These frontline workers need to be treated with respect and dignity— that’s why I’m here,” said Richards.

“Society shouldn’t celebrate them, and then try to cut their benefits. They need and deserve their benefits.”

NY Presbyterian-Queens RNs are clear they will hold the line and fight as long as necessary for a fair contract.

1199 Magazine | November & December 2020