Hospitals & Facilities

Staten Island University Hospital nurses reach tentative contract deal

A contract would avert a strike at the hospital.
article cover

Westend61/Getty Images

· 3 min read

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.

Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) nurses reached a tentative deal with Northwell Health in the final hours of negotiations on March 30, averting plans to strike, according to the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), which represents about 1,300 nurses at the facility.

The new, three-year contract, which will take effect immediately after ratification, addresses two key concerns for NYSNA: wages and safe staffing. Under those terms, the hospital would increase nurse wages, hire additional staff, and allow nurses to invoke arbitrator remedy rights if patient-staff ratios fail to meet the established standard.

“Staten Island nurses and patients deserve the same high standards as the rest of New York City,” NYSNA President Nancy Hagans said in a statement. “Congratulations to SIUH NYSNA nurses for their fierce patient advocacy.”

According to NYSNA, a central focus of the negotiations was closing the pay gap for nurses at SIUH. At other NYSNA-represented hospitals, the base pay is about $110,000. Under the new contract, the starting salary for new nurses will jump to $107,411—up from about $98,000. Nurses will also receive a 22.12% wage increase over the next three years, according to NYSNA.

“Staten Island University Hospital nurses have struggled to stay on our island because our pay was so much lower than what we could make for doing the same work in Brooklyn or Manhattan,” John Vuolo, an SIUH nurse and member of the NYSNA bargaining committee, said in a statement. “Now that we’ve won pay parity, we can afford to stay here in our community.”

NYSNA estimates that Northwell will hire more than 100 new nurses across 18 units at the hospital, including labor and delivery, oncology, and mental health, once the contract takes effect.

Beyond increasing the number of nurses at SIUH, the contract includes “legally binding arbitration,” NYSNA spokesperson Kristi Barnes told Healthcare Brew. In case of a staffing violation, nurses could involve a third-party mediator to resolve the issue.

“The agreement provides our valued nurses with market competitive compensation and benefits and ensures a safe, supportive working environment that enables them to provide exceptional care that our patients and community have come to trust,” SIUH spokesperson Jillian O’Hara said in a statement emailed to Healthcare Brew.

The nurses will vote on ratification between April 3 and April 5.

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.