Nurses rally outside Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital on Feb....

Nurses rally outside Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital on Feb. 1. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Northwell Health reached a tentative agreement with the nurses union at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream, avoiding a potential strike at the hospital near the Nassau-Queens border, the New York State Nurses Association said. 

The union and the New Hyde Park-based health system bargained through the night Saturday and came to an agreement early Sunday, NYSNA said. The union said the agreement improves staffing standards and their enforcement, as well as pay and pension benefits. LIJ Valley Stream staff are slated to vote on the agreement Tuesday, one day before nurses had authorized a strike.

“Congratulations to our members at LIJ Valley Stream, who fought hard for safe staffing and respectful wages to recruit and retain nurses for Valley Stream patients,” NYSNA president Nancy Hagans said in a statement. “Their willingness to fight for a fair contract will ensure Northwell is investing in safe patient care.”

Hundreds of union members at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead are also scheduled to vote on a proposed contract Tuesday. Nurses, along with X-ray technicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists and lab techs, had threatened to walk off the job Wednesday but reached a contract proposal last week.

NYSNA declined to provide specifics on the proposals until after members had voted on them. The contracts would collectively cover more than 700 people. 

Northwell Health, the largest private employer in the state, said it is pleased to have reached tentative agreements. 

"From the start of negotiations, our sole focus remained on ensuring that our patients continue to receive world-class care and our dedicated nurses can continue to provide that care in the best environment," Northwell spokeswoman Barbara Osborn said in a statement. "The agreement provides competitive compensation and benefits and reaffirms our commitment to our team members and patients."

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