NYSNA Nurses at Erie County Medical Center Ratify New Contract

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Contact: Diana Moreno | press@nysna.org| 917-327-2302
Kristi Barnes | press@nysna.org| 646-853-4489

NYSNA Nurses at Erie County Medical Center Ratify New Contract

New five-year contract addresses workplace safety concerns, increases nurses’ wages, and improves safe staffing measures

Buffalo, N.Y. – Late on Monday, July 17, New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) nurses at Erie County Medical Center and Terrace View Long-Term Care ratified a new contract after months of negotiations with an overwhelming majority of nurses voting to ratify.

The new five-year contract includes significant gains for nurses and patients, such as wage increases of over 23% over the life of the contract, workplace safety measures such as the installation of weapons screening technology at all public hospital entrances, and extra pay whenever the hospital does not meet contractual staffing ratios to improve safe staffing levels. In addition, the contract includes a nurse apprenticeship program with up to $3,000 offered per semester for apprentice candidates to recruit and retain nurses from the Buffalo community as a long-term solution to improve staffing levels and patient care.

The agreement comes after months of building public awareness of the workplace safety and staffing conditions that nurses and patients face. NYSNA members packed the room during bargaining sessions and mobilized for a fair contract. The resulting contract is a great victory for nurses and patients in Western New York, including some of Buffalo’s most vulnerable patients. The contract ensures nurses are compensated fairly which will help recruit and retain enough nurses for safe staffing, and it will improve safety for both nurses and patients.

NYSNA Executive Committee member at Erie County Medical Center, Lona DeNisco, RN, said “Our union never backed down from fighting for the safety of our patients and staff. We held administration to the fire and have won a strong contract with a nurse apprenticeship program to support retention and recruitment, respectful wages for our nurses, and workplace safety measures to keep ourselves and our patients safe. Nurses demonstrated that persistence will always break resistance, and that is the power of our union!"

NYSNA nurse at Erie County Medical Center, John Batson, RN, said: “This fight has always been about our patients and being able to provide them with the highest quality of care. As a veteran and a nurse of over 20 years, I am proud of having fought alongside my fellow nurses for a fair contract that addresses workplace safety. When nurses are safe from workplace violence, our patients are safe, and our hospital will become a more attractive place to work.”

NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN, BSN, CCRN said: “Congratulations to ECMC and Terrace View nurses who fought hard for a fair contract to improve patient safety. Your commitment to your patients and profession will help deliver the safe, quality care that every patient deserves.”


The New York State Nurses Association represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. NYSNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United, AFL-CIO, the country's largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses, with more than 225,000 members nationwide.


The New York State Nurses Association is a union of 42,000 frontline nurses united together for strength at work, our practice, safe staffing, and healthcare for all. We are New York's largest union and professional association for registered nurses.