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NYSNA-Represented Nurses Ratify Westchester Medical Center Contract ‘That Will Positively Impact’ 1,500 Valhalla Caregivers - Agreement ‘Delivers Increased Wages & Creates A New Family Leave Bank’ For Nurses

Published Wednesday, November 16, 2022
by NYSNA News
NYSNA-Represented Nurses Ratify Westchester Medical Center Contract ‘That Will Positively Impact’ 1,500 Valhalla Caregivers - Agreement ‘Delivers Increased Wages & Creates A New Family Leave Bank’ For Nurses

(VALHALLA, NEW YORK) – The Westchester Medical Center and the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) have announced a newly-ratified, five-year collective contract that will benefit more than 1,500 Nurses employed at Westchester Medical Center, the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and at the Behavioral Health Center.

The agreement, which is the result of a strong working relationship and commitment to bargaining in good faith, increases Nurses’ wages, preserves existing health care coverage and pension benefits, and offers a new Family Leave Bank for Nurses.

“A new bar has been set for raises and work rules with this new contract.  I couldn't be prouder of our Westchester Medical Center Public Health Defenders.  They put their lives on the line to defend public health during COVID-19, and this contract respects the heroic efforts of WMC Nurses and allows our Nurses and communities to heal and turn a new leaf on public health in New York,” said NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, whose Statewide Nurses Union represents more than 42,000 Members.

NYSNA Executive Committee President David Long and NYSNA Treasurer Jayne Cammisa said: "This new contract will raise Nurses’ pay by over (27%) in the next five years.  This new pay structure and contract will make Westchester Medical Center a premier destination for Union Nurses in the Metro New York City area - a significant boost for recruiting Nurses and for retaining Nurses facing stress and fatigue from delivering care in a COVID-19 world.  When combined with our new Nurse-to-Patient Staffing Ratios, excellent work rules and expanded leave benefits, we will be well prepared to care for patients and protect the public’s health for years to come."

Phyllis Yezzo, who serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive for the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), said: “This agreement reflects the essential role of our Nurses and their contributions to helping Westchester Medical Center deliver the best patient care and it underscores our commitment to partnering with the Union to prioritize the range of benefits that will help us continue to attract and retain the best Nurses - particularly at a time when the Health Care Industry is facing a labor shortage nationally.”

The ratified agreement delivers substantial annual wage increases, NYSNA said.

Wages will increase September 1st of every year from 2022 to 2026 (this year’s increase will be received retroactively following its ratification), Union Officials said.

Wages will increase for all NYSNA-represented Employees each year - according to the following schedule: 8% in year one; 6% year in two; 5% in year three; and 4% in both the fourth and fifth years.

The contract also offers a variety of new incentives aimed at recruiting Nurses, including: Expanding salary increases for additional years of service - which will benefit the most experienced Nurses and new Nurses as they continue their careers at Westchester Medical Center; A New Nurse Practitioner Salary Schedule; Salary increases across all individual Nurse distinctions, such as education or certification level or working non-traditional shifts; and a new Family Leave Bank that will allow individual Nurses additional leave options to accommodate life events such as the birth of a child or caring for a sick family member.

The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed Health Care System headquartered in Valhalla, with nine hospitals on seven campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley.

WMCHealth employs more than 13,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending Physicians.

The Network has Level I (adult and pediatric), Level II and Level III trauma centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, Comprehensive and Primary Stroke Centers, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, home-care services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State.

WMCHealth is considered the pre-eminent provider of integrated health care in the Hudson Valley.

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