Nurses union members announced nearly 100% support for a strike outside Peconic Bay Medical Center Thursday afternoon. Photo: Denise Civiletti

The New York State Nurses Association has reached a tentative contract agreement with Peconic Bay Medical Center/Northwell Health, the union announced in a press release this afternoon.

The tentative agreement includes improvements to safe staffing standards, stronger and expedited safe staffing enforcement, protection of NYSNA health and pension benefits, and major wage increases, the union said in the release.

NYSNA members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to ratify the contract, according to the press release. 

Under the terms of the tentative agreement, healthcare workers at PBMC will see wage increases from 18% to 20% over the three-year contract period, depending on job title and years of experience, according to the union. The union secured a staffing ratio of 1 nurse to seven patients, with stronger staffing enforcement, as well as protection of members’ healthcare and pension benefits.

NYSA reached the tentative agreement with PBMC yesterday after a bargaining session it described as a “marathon,” spanning two days. 

“Our NYSNA negotiating committee worked hard on this tentative agreement and are proud of the safe staffing improvements and the fact that it will take us from some of the lowest paid healthcare workers on Long Island to being competitive with other hospitals,”  PBMC local bargaining unit president Chris Honor said. “That will help us hire and retain enough nurses to provide quality care—our No. 1 goal as nurses and healthcare professionals,” he said. 

The union has not yet reached a tentative deal with Northwell’s Long Island Jewish/Valley Stream hospital, with the Feb. 21 strike deadline looming. 

Honor, who also serves as a NYSA regional director, expressed PBMC members’ “100% solidarity “ with the members at LIJ/Valley Stream, “who deserve respect and a fair contract, too,” he said. “Northwell should invest in quality care in every hospital and every community they serve.”

In an emailed statement from a Northwell spokesperson this afternoon, the health system said:
“Peconic Bay Medical Center is pleased to have reached a tentative 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.  The agreement provides competitive compensation and benefits and reaffirms our commitment to our team members and delivering safe, high-quality care.”

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor and attorney. Her work has been recognized with numerous journalism awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She was also honored in 2020 with a NY State Senate Woman of Distinction Award for her trailblazing work in local online news. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.