Negotiation Update – January 26, 2017

As you know, your collective bargaining agreement with LIJ Valley Stream (LIJVS) expired on December 31, 2016. While we have been working hard to negotiate with the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) over 14 bargaining sessions, there are still major issues outstanding. When we met with NYSNA last Thursday, we began the day by proposing a comprehensive package that included significant modifications to our health and pension proposals, as well as agreeing to some of the union’s outstanding proposals.

Perhaps our greatest disappointment throughout these negotiations is NYSNA’s refusal to provide a counter-proposal to the LIJVS wage proposal presented on October 27. It has been three months and NYSNA continues to maintain a wage proposal that provides for less than a 0.5% increase for a substantial number of nurses. While NYSNA may believe it is fair to shortchange such a large number of nurses, LIJVS is committed to providing ALL of its nurses with a fair wage increase.  The nurses at LIJVS have not had a wage increase in over a year, and unless and until a settlement is reached, that period of time will become even longer.

We are hopeful that NYSNA will finally provide a counter-proposal on wages and the remainder of our comprehensive package at our next session on February 8.

We remain optimistic that after our next session, LIJVS will be able to report that progress has been made toward reaching a final tentative settlement. Please continue to check your email for updates, and if you have any questions about the negotiations, do not hesitate to speak with your manager or site human resources department.

Negotiation Update – December 5, 2016

As we enter the final month of 2016, we are proud to look back at how much Long Island Jewish Valley Stream accomplished this year. We continued to achieve high-quality outcomes for our patients, and aim to build on them in the coming year. You – our nurses – play a critical role in these successes and we thank you for all that you do.

We have now had twelve bargaining sessions with the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), and we continue to work toward a fair and equitable contract for our nurses. We have made significant progress in these negotiations and while we would like to have a new contract agreed upon before the December 31, 2016, expiration of the current contract, we only have one more negotiation date scheduled this month.

We will make every effort to reach a deal at our next negotiation session on December 8, however major issues such as wages, health and pension are still outstanding. NYSNA has also proposed a change to staffing that would cost the hospital approximately $13 million a year. Several nurses have attended negotiations and shared their experiences with us, and we have had many discussions with NYSNA’s negotiation committee about alternative ways to address our nurses’ concerns while avoiding this tremendous cost.

Our primary concern throughout these negotiations is ensuring our nurses have sufficient retirement and health benefits. Keeping in mind the incredible rise of costs in these areas, we will focus our discussions at our next sessions to evaluate solutions that will ensure our nurses have the generous benefits they deserve while also addressing the rising costs in these areas.  In addition, we eagerly await NYSNA’s counter-proposal on wages that has been outstanding since our October 27 negotiation session.

Although these significant issues remain open, we determined to continue our progress and work toward reaching an agreement before December 31. Please continue to check your email for updates, and if you have any questions about negotiations, please do not hesitate to speak with your manager or site human resources.

Negotiation Update – September 13, 2016

Our facility has had a very exciting year and with the dedication and commitment of you – our nurses – LIJ Valley Stream is ready to take on the challenges ahead of us. We solidified our place within Northwell Health’s central region and achieved significant increases in our quality of care scores. Together, we have an opportunity to be the premier community hospital in the central region. The nurses here at LIJ Valley Stream show their professionalism each and every day toward every patient, and for that we thank you.

You are all aware that we began negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) on June 13, 2016. We are excited to work with NYSNA to reach a fair and equitable contract and together make the changes necessary for our future growth and success.

While we are only in the beginning stages of bargaining, the two parties have met on five occasions and through amicable discussion we reached agreement on several proposals. Our goal is to have a tentative agreement for you to vote on before the December 31, 2016, expiration of the current contract. We firmly believe that taking care of you, our nurses, puts you in the best position to take care of our patients. That guiding principle is in our mind throughout these negotiations.

Two of the major issues we are discussing are your health benefits and pensions. Both LIJ Valley Stream and NYSNA proposed changes in these areas, and it is clear that both parties are committed to ensuring your continued entitlement to these benefits. However, there is a difference of opinion as to the best way to do that.

An ongoing concern of ours is ensuring that all of our nurses have access to high-quality care for your own medical needs and ample retirement benefits for your post-work lives. To that end, we provided NYSNA with proposals on these issues at Friday’s negotiation session. We proposed a valuable retirement benefit, under which you are immediately vested in your employee contributions. More importantly, it is a retirement benefit that will not disappear, as the current plan does today, if you choose within a few years to grow your career in another Northwell Health facility or outside of this organization.

The employees at LIJ Valley Stream and throughout Northwell Health provide world-class care to our patients. Our proposal on health benefits recognizes the confidence we have in the care our organization provides and maximizes the benefit of using Northwell Health facilities. In addition, our health plans offer cost-saving incentives that promote employee wellness. As the nature of health care continues to change, we do not want to continue increasing our employees’ cost toward their own health insurance, but rather provide incentives to use Northwell Health’s exemplary services.

We will present more details about our retirement benefits and health insurance proposals to NYSNA at an upcoming negotiation session, and look forward to having a constructive dialog about these key areas as we continue the negotiation process.

Thank you for your time and interest in these negotiations.  Please continue to check your email and this site for updates and other information about our collective bargaining with NYSNA.

Message from Stephen Bello, Executive Director

Thanks for visiting our LIJ Valley Stream Nurses website. We created this site as part of our commitment to keeping our employees and managers informed during contract negotiations with the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). I hope you will find it a useful resource.

We are committed to bargaining in good faith with NYSNA, the labor union that represents LIJ Valley Stream’s nurses. Our goal is to reach a fair contract that balances the needs of all parties, particularly as we continue the process of healthcare reform and the ongoing challenges facing the healthcare industry.

Contract negotiations provide an opportunity to consider and learn about many of the issues important to nurses and other employees, patients and their families, hospitals and healthcare provides. We are putting in place a robust communications process so that you can get factual information and regular updates about these discussions and negotiations.

We encourage you to stay informed by:

  • speaking with your manager
  • watching for Negotiations Updates and other information shared on this site; and
  • communicating with union delegates.

We look forward to productive negotiations as we seek agreement on a fair, feasible contract for our more than 250 dedicated nurses.


Stephen Bello
Executive Director
Long Island Jewish Valley Stream