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Protects sick time; includes staffing and workplace safety language #

Spokane, Wash. — After 14 months of negoti­a­tions with Provi­dence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion reached a Tenta­tive Agree­ment with manage­ment at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, January 7.

This Tenta­tive Agree­ment protects the benefits our members have earned and secures new invest­ments in patient care and workplace safety,” said Darryl Johnson, a cardiac inten­sive care nurse. This is a major victory for Sacred Heart nurses and our entire Spokane community.”

The tenta­tive agree­ment includes key provi­sions sought by nurses, including: enhanced language on staffing levels and workplace violence preven­tion; protec­tion of paid time off and extended illness benefits; limits on employer’s ability to raise premiums and preser­va­tion of impor­tant health benefits; wage increases of 10% over the duration of the contract; and a ratifi­ca­tion bonus of $2,100, pro-rated for part-time nurses.

Solidarity got us here,” said Nonie Kingma, a psychi­atric nurse. When we started negoti­a­tions, Provi­dence was deter­mined to cut our benefits, and refused to improve workplace condi­tions. Our members’ courage and resolve in the face of corpo­rate pressure never wavered, and in the end we won a major victory for ourselves and the people who rely on Sacred Heart.”

After months of stalled negoti­a­tions, nurses at Sacred Heart and Provi­dence-owned facil­i­ties across Washington prepared to give 10-day strike notice last week. Break­throughs in media­tion delayed the 10-day notice. In marathon sessions — including 20 hours on January 6 and 33 total hours over two days — the sides were able to reach a tenta­tive agreement.

Members will vote on the proposed tenta­tive agree­ment on January 16.

The nurses at Sacred Heart are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the commu­nity we have received over more than a year of contract negoti­a­tions,” said KT Raley-Jones, a cardiac inten­sive care nurse. This contract agree­ment gives us the support we need to continue given you the best nursing care.”

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Contact
Ruth Schubert, WSNA
206 – 713-7884
rschubert@wsna.org

About WSNA
WSNA is the leading voice and advocate for nurses in Washington state, providing repre­sen­ta­tion, educa­tion and resources that allow nurses to reach their full profes­sional poten­tial and focus on caring for patients. WSNA repre­sents more than 17,000 regis­tered nurses for collec­tive bargaining who provide care in hospi­tals, clinics, schools and commu­nity and public health settings across the state.