Update: 8:25 p.m., The hospital's president and CEO, Dr. Richard B. Becker, called the deal "a mutually beneficial agreement" that takes care of the nurses, "while maintaining the fiscal responsibility that is vital for the hospital’s future.”
“Our nursing staff provides exceptional care for our patients, and we are grateful for their ongoing support and commitment,” Becker in a statement.
Nurses at Brooklyn Hospital reached a deal Wednesday with management, scheduled to begin early next week.
The employees' union, The New York State Nurses Association, announced the approval of a new three-year contract including an across-the-board wage increase and a one-time bonus payout for its 500 members.
The agreement averted a strike planned for Monday, Sept. 19.
“Thanks to the nurses’ willingness to stand up for themselves, we were able to negotiate a fair contract,” said Roberta Murphy, who represented employees at the negotiating table. “We are pleased to have averted the possibility of a strike and to be able to return fully to the business of caring for our patients.”
One of the chief sticking points in the negotiations was the issue of employee pensions.
Management initially called for a raise in the qualifying age for full pension benefits from 60 to 65. That position led to weeks of negotiations, during which time the nurses' .
As part of the new contract, nurses will have their pension benefits frozen in place for three years. After that period has passed, employees will be able to again receive increased pension benefits based on seniority.
News of the averted strike comes days after the union representing faculty from nearby Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus when teachers voted to approve a new contract granting modest pay increases.
Brooklyn Hospital, an affiliate of Columbia-Presbyterian Heathcare System, did not return a request for comment.