NYSNA Members Fight and Win at Northwell

In February 2023, after a long campaign that included giving the hospital a strike notice and launching a public ad campaign to highlight Northwell’s greedy corporate practices, South Shore University Hospital/Northwell Nurses showed that nurses at Northwell facilities are ready to fight and win fair contracts that provide safe staffing, respectable wages and the conditions nurses and healthcare professionals need to provide excellent care to their communities.

A year later, nurses and healthcare professionals at Peconic Bay Medical Center/Northwell and Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Valley Stream/Northwell showed once again they were up to the task. They won a hard-fought campaign after weeks of escalation and a simultaneous strike notice announcement.

Because they shared a contract expiration date, NYSNA members at LIJ Valley Stream and Peconic decided to work concurrently in separate contract campaigns to show Northwell that NYSNA members across the region are united in their demands for safe staffing and fair wages that will help recruit and retain nurses and healthcare workers. Following South Shore’s success, they also launched an advertising campaign that focused on Northwell’s high executive pay, pointing out that healthcare workers at Peconic were some of the lowest paid on Long Island. The website revealed, “Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling made $7.7 million dollars in 2021 in salary, bonus and perks.”

Ready to Strike

NYSNA members at both LIJ Valley Stream and Peconic voted by a margin of 99.5% to authorize a strike after seeing little progress in negotiations. At the beginning of February, large groups from each facility marched to their hospital administrators’ offices to deliver 10-day strike notices, notifying management that they intended to strike starting Feb. 21 unless management delivered fair contract agreements. Despite the overwhelming support for striking, NYSNA healthcare professionals hoped to bargain as much as possible to reach an agreement to avert a strike.

Nurses and healthcare workers at LIJ Valley Stream and Peconic also got a boost of support from The Long Island Federation of Labor and 22 labor unions who sent their own message to Dowling. In a letter delivered to both facilities ahead of the strike notice deadline, unions took aim at private hospitals’ pursuit of profits and said, “We call on Northwell Health to immediately deliver and finalize a fair contract. Do the right thing.”


After marathon bargaining sessions at both facilities and with a strike deadline looming, Peconic reached a tentative agreement first, followed shortly by LIJ Valley Stream. On Feb. 21, both facilities ratified new contracts with over 85% voting in favor of ratification. Both three-year contracts improve safe staffing standards and wages — the key demands of NYSNA members at both Northwell facilities.

These contract victories continue the trend of NYSNA members across Long Island going up against the largest private employer in New York, Northwell Health, and winning new contracts with significant safe staffing and wage increases. These two contracts close out a total of five recent Northwell negotiations on Long Island since the beginning of 2023 and three negotiations with Catholic Health hospitals, winning measures that will undoubtedly improve healthcare for Long Island patients.

Onward to Staten Island

Now all eyes are on Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell Health, where in mid-March nurses have also voted to authorize a strike with 97.3% of the vote. Nurses at the facility have familiar demands: respectable wages and safe staffing so nurses from the Staten Island community can stay here and offer their patients the excellent healthcare they deserve.

Northwell should know by now that nurses are ready for another fight.

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