Union nurses denied entry to hospital, Albany Med says ‘not a lockout’

Albany County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany Medical Center nurses who were on strike Tuesday were denied entry to the hospital on Wednesday when trying to return to their shifts. The administration at the hospital says it’s all legitimate procedure.

The New York State Nurses Association nurses say the hospital administration showed exactly how they feel about them by hiring temporary nurses on a three-day contract to fill in while they were on strike for 24 hours. The nurses were protesting what they consider unsafe working conditions. They have also been trying to get a “fair” contract for over two years.

“They spent how many millions of dollars yesterday buying agency nurses instead of doing right by their own staff,” said Lenore Granich-Berghela, a nurse at Albany Med.

The union nurses said security turned them right around at the door Wednesday morning.

“Every single one of them showed up to work,” said Granich-Berghela, “and we were all locked out.”

Albany Med said they had to hire the temps for a minimum of three days, adding that the union nurses knew they wouldn’t be let back in until Friday. In a statement, the hospital said “this is called delayed reinstatement. It is not a lockout.”

According to the hospital, the strike notice does not protect any attempted return to work before December 4.

The president and CEO. of Albany Med, Dr. Dennis McKenna, said only 24% of their nurses were on strike yesterday. Granich-Berghela disagrees, claiming a supermajority of their workforce picketed.

“This whole entire block was lined with red, so I don’t know what he’s talking about,” said Granich-Berghela.

The nurses say they will continue trying to show up for their shifts throughout the day Wednesday.

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