A union representing 3,000 nurses at New York’s
It’s the biggest such suit filed by a nurses’ union in the U.S. “to our knowledge,” according to Susan Davis, one of the lawyers who filed the complaint Monday in federal court in Manhattan. It seeks to force the hospital to “immediately take steps required to protect the nurses’ health and safety” pending arbitration over their collective bargaining agreement.
Montefiore said in a statement that the union’s leadership “has chosen to attack a system, and the commitment of thousands of their colleagues, who have followed the governor’s emergency orders and are selflessly doing all they can to fight Covid-19 and save lives.”
Doctors, nurses and other health care workers across the U.S., and especially in hot spots such as New York and Michigan, have tended to highly contagious Covid-19 patients sometimes without adequate protection from the virus, placing themselves and their families at risk. More than 9,000 health workers have been infected as of April 9, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and at least 27 have died, even as the nation’s health system has
The union said 84 of its nurses have been hospitalized in New York, the state hit hardest by the outbreak. At least 150 Montefiore nurses have tested positive for the virus, it said.
“The methods by which the Covid-19 virus is transmitted and the troubling death rate of this virus has created significant and persistent danger” to nurses, according to the complaint.
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(Updates with details of suit)
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