New York hospital agrees to 20.5% average wage bump in contract

St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, N.Y., part of Rockville Centre, N.Y.-based Catholic Health, has reached a tentative contract with the New York State Nurses Association.

The tentative agreement was reached after 99.6 percent of voting nurses voted to authorize a strike on June 1 and delivered a strike notice on June 2, according to a union news release. Negotiations continued June 3 and ended in a three-year tentative deal.

According to the union, the new tentative agreement includes set nurse-to-patient staffing ratios to improve patient safety, expedited staffing enforcement language, and an average wage increase of 20.5 percent over the life of the contract. 

The New York State Nurses Association said the tentative deal also includes Juneteenth and Martin Luther King Jr. Day as premium holiday, improved retiree health benefits, increased education benefits and float incentive pay.

NYSNA President at St. Charles, Rob Barone, RN, said in the union release: "From the beginning, we made it clear this was a fight for patient safety. This agreement will not only improve staffing ratios, it will empower nurses to enforce safe staffing for our patients and provide us with the respectful wages and benefits we deserve. I'm proud of our committee and St. Charles nurses for fighting for and winning a contract that will ensure quality care for our patients and our community."

A Catholic Health spokesperson shared the following statement with Becker's: "St. Charles Hospital is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement that reflects the hospital’s commitment to our nurses. The tentative agreement ensures that our nurses continue to be supported with competitive salary increases and staffing improvements. Our nurses are vital to ensuring the communities we serve have access to the highest levels of care, and we are grateful for their dedication to our patients."

A contract ratification vote is scheduled for June 6. 

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