Nurses and health care professionals hold a rally at Long Island Jewish...

Nurses and health care professionals hold a rally at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital on Feb. 1. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nurses at Valley Stream and Riverhead hospitals delivered 10-day strike notices on Friday, alerting Northwell Health that they may go on strike as early as Feb. 21.

About 700 nurses at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream and Peconic Bay Medical Center voted last week to authorize a strike. When announcing the vote results, nurses said they had been negotiating with the New Hyde Park-based health system for weeks without meaningful progress on their requests for better patient staffing ratios, higher pay and more generous pension plans. 

The 10-day notice, a legally required precursor to walkouts, gives Northwell time to plan care for patients in case of a strike, said the nurses' union, the New York State Nurses Association. The labor group, however, said staff want to reach a contract agreement before then and avert a strike.

There's precedent for that. NYSNA announced three times last year that staff had voted to authorize strikes — at South Shore University Hospital, St. Charles Hospital and St. Catherine of Siena Hospital — only to sign new contracts before staff walked out. Yet nurses from the same union went on strike in 2023 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

Since the pandemic, nurses are more motivated to advocate for themselves and strike, if necessary, said Sandra Armstrong, a registered nurse at Valley Stream and union grievance chair.

“I don't [normally] see people dying. It was so — I had nightmares,” said Armstrong, who typically works in operating rooms, where she isn't interacting with patients as much as other nurses because they tend to be under sedation. . “But I came. We all came — every single day. That really opened our eyes. We're worth more than what they want to give us.”

Northwell, the state's largest employer, is focused on reaching a fair contract, spokesman Jason Molinet said in a statement. 

“We remain optimistic that an agreement can be reached and will continue to bargain in good faith,” Molinet said. “In the event of a strike, patient care remains our highest priority. We will continue to serve our patients and our community by providing uninterrupted world-class care.”

Trump on trial … Mascot ban … Rangers win game 1 Credit: Newsday

Urologist facing sex abuse lawsuits ... Trump on trial ... Nursing home employees may lose benefits ... Tulip festival

Trump on trial … Mascot ban … Rangers win game 1 Credit: Newsday

Urologist facing sex abuse lawsuits ... Trump on trial ... Nursing home employees may lose benefits ... Tulip festival

Latest Videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME