More than 85 percent of union nurses and healthcare workers at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and Long Island Jewish Valley Stream voted to ratify new contracts with Northwell Health this week, avoiding a strike that New York State Nurses Association members had planned to begin Feb. 21.

NYSNA said the new three-year contracts “improve safe staffing standards and wages— the key demands of NYSNA members at both Northwell facilities.”

According to the union, the Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) contract, in effect Jan. 1, 2024 to Dec. 31, 2026 achieves improvements to safe staffing standards, including ratio and staffing level improvements to cardiac catheterization, telemetry, and emergency departments; stronger, expedited safe staffing enforcement; enhanced language to ensure members get meals and breaks, protection of NYSNA health and pension benefits; eligibility to participate in the employer’s pre and post 65 retiree health insurance; increased tuition reimbursement, an average wage increases of 18 to 20 percent over three years, depending on experience and job title and a greater voice in epidemic and pandemic preparation and safety, including participation in the Infection Prevention Committee.  

NYSNA represents approximately 300 registered nurses at LIJ Valley Stream and approximately 400 RNs, x-ray technicians, lab technicians, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals at Peconic Bay Medical Center.

“We are thrilled to win a contract that respects healthcare workers and patients in Suffolk County, said Chris Honor, RN, BSN, CAPA, local president at Peconic Bay and NYSNA Southeastern Regional Director. “The wage increases will help make Peconic Bay competitive, so we can hire and retain enough staff for safe patient care. We were so excited to work with our union siblings at LIJ Valley Stream for the first time and look forward to continuing to advocate for our patients and build worker power together.”  

The hospital said in a statement that it was pleased to have reached an agreement with NYSNA.

“From the start of negotiations, our sole focus remained ensuring that our patients continue to receive world-class care and our dedicated nurses and allied health professionals can continue to serve in the best environment to provide that care,” according to Peconic Bay Medical Center. “The agreement provides competitive compensation and benefits and reaffirms our commitment to our team members and patients.”

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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