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NYC Nurses Hold City Hall Vigil Calling For Contract, Pay Raises

NYC nurses want to keep their benefits and pay raises. (credit: Sonia Rincon, 1010 WINS)

NYC nurses want to keep their benefits and pay raises. (credit: Sonia Rincon, 1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Nurses from across New York City’s five boroughs brought their calls for a fair contract to City Hall Tuesday evening.

They grooved to a live band with pro-union song lyrics and held penlights instead of candles during the upbeat vigil.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Speaks With Nurses At The Vigil

The nurses are demanding that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city officials return to the table to finish negotiations with the New York State Nurses Association, which represents about 8,800 nurses.

In addition to pay raises and keeping their benefits, nurses said they want stronger language on nurse-to-patient ratio in their contracts to better protect their jobs and patients.

Grace Otto, a nurse at Bellevue Hospital, told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon she like many others have been without a contract for two years.

“We work for this city and we work very hard and we’re trying to get it across to Mayor Bloomberg especially that we need him to take care of his nurses,” she said.

Carol Wisener works at North Central Bronx Hospital and wants a just solution and the issues to be addressed.

“We’re the ones who are at the bedside with these patients. We’re the most trusted people in the workforce and yet we don’t get our [justice],” she said.

“We’re nurturing the sick — physically and mentally, the poor and the middle class — we’re laying our lives on the line, our licenses on the line every day. I think the Mayor needs to take care of us,” nurse Keisha Morris said.

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