New York hospital to raise nurses' pay by 27% over 5 years

Members of the New York State Nurses Association have approved a new contract with Valhalla, N.Y.-based Westchester Medical Center that boosts nurse wages.

The five-year contract covers more than 1,500 nurses at Westchester Medical Center Health Network's Westchester Medical Center, Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and the Behavioral Health Center, according to a news release. Both parties announced the approved agreement on Oct. 28.

Union members and hospital representatives said the contract will raise nurses' pay by more than 27 percent over the life of the contract; preserves existing healthcare and pension benefits; and includes a new family leave bank for nurses, as well as a new nurse practitioner salary schedule. The nurse wage increases are effective annually on Sept. 1, with this year's increase (8 percent) being received retroactively. The increase will be 6 percent in 2023, 5 percent in 2024 and 4 percent in both 2025 and 2026.  

Phyllis Yezzo, DNP, RN, executive vice president and chief nurse executive of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, said in the news release that the agreement "reflects the essential role of our nurses and their contributions to helping Westchester Medical Center deliver the best patient care, and it underscores our commitment to partnering with the union to prioritize the range of benefits that will help us continue to attract and retain the best nurses — particularly at a time when the healthcare industry is facing a labor shortage nationally."

New York State Nurses Association President Nancy Hagans, BSN, RN, said in the news release, "A new bar has been set for nurse raises and work rules with this new contract. I couldn't be prouder of our Westchester Medical Center public health defenders. They put their lives on the line to defend public health during COVID-19, and this contract respects the heroic efforts of Westchester Medical Center nurses and allows our nurses and communities to heal and turn a new leaf on public health in New York."

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