LONG ISLAND, N.Y., Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Registered nurses at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown and St. Charles in Port Jefferson- two hospitals in the Catholic Health System on Long Island-announced today that they have overwhelmingly approved new contracts.
After marathon negotiating sessions, RN negotiating teams at both hospitals were able to reach agreements with hospital management that keep nurses at the highest levels of patient care standards, wages and benefits. The new contracts come after nurses at both hospitals voted on October 18th to authorize strikes at each facility. Among the issues resolved in the negotiations are safe staffing levels, affordable health benefits, and fair wages. The new contracts call for:
Raises in patient care standards, including additional nurses being added to shifts at both hospitals;
Increases in health benefits and wages, including a 3% wage increase,
Improved Staffing Enforcement language.
"Nurses at St. Catherine are always willing to stand up for safe patient care," said Tammy Miller, RN and executive committee member at St Catherine of Sienna. "The nurses at St. Charles hospital are happy to ratify an agreement that protects both nurses and patients," said Tracy Kosciuk, RN and President of the Local Bargaining Unit at St. Charles Hospital. "The issues were so important to our nurses that we took a strike vote that overwhelmingly passed by a vote of 96%, and were willing to hold a two-day strike. We are grateful to have a union behind us to speak up and educate the community on these important issues, and we look forward to working with the community in the future." These agreements come on the heels of contract ratifications between NYSNA and management at numerous hospitals across the state.