Nurses at New York hospital approve deal with 23% wage hike

Nurses at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital in Smithtown, N.Y., have approved a new contract with management.

On Aug. 22, 89 percent of nurses voted in favor of ratification, according to a news release from the New York State Nurses Association, which represents the workers.

The union said the agreement includes set nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, expedited staffing enforcement language, and an average wage increase of 23 percent over three years. It also includes Juneteenth and Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a premium holiday and float incentive pay, among other provisions.

The agreement comes after nurses voted to authorize a strike earlier this month. Union members and the hospital reached a tentative deal Aug. 18, and nurses approved the agreement Aug. 22. 

NYSNA President at St. Catherine Tammy Miller, RN, said in the release: "From the beginning, St. Catherine of Siena nurses made clear what this was all about: Safe staffing for our patients and respect for our nurses. With improved staffing and wage increases that make us competitive with other Long Island hospitals, St. Catherine will be able to recruit and retain more nurses to ensure quality care for every single patient that walks through our doors."

St. Catherine, in a statement shared with Becker's, said the hospital "is pleased to have reached an agreement that reflects the hospital's commitment to our nurses. The 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."

St. Catherine is part of Rockville Centre, N.Y.-based Catholic Health.

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