Contract bargaining update

Today, we completed our third day of negotiations. After the second session, we left feeling hopeful that we had made a powerful enough appeal towards creating a contract that honored and respected all our hard work especially in these "unprecedented" times. We candidly spoke about the incredible stress nurses have been experiencing for nearly two years. We told Management that they have to step up and support our fellow nurses, as we have been supporting EvergreenHealth during these troubled times.

Management told us they “heard us.” But at the end of today’s session, we are frustrated by the slow progress on the issues that are most important to you.

WSNA came into negotiations raising serious concerns around staffing, recruitment, and retention of nurses.

Our proposals include, among other things:

  • Retention bonuses
  • Significant wage increases that will recruit and retain nurses at EvergreenHealth
  • Increased premium pay
  • Appropriate, safe staffing 24/7, including meal and rest breaks
  • Staffing levels that enable nurses to take vacations
  • A Float Pool that is sufficiently staffed to respond to emergent needs
  • Improved health insurance
  • Improved overtime provisions
  • Fair holiday pay

We are disappointed that the employer came back with proposals that will have a detrimental effect on the recruitment and retention of nurses.

  • Extending probationary periods which would allow the employer to terminate nurses without Just Cause.
  • Reducing the amount of compensation paid to nurses who work without the required rest between shifts.
  • Proposing four and six hour shifts which would require nurses to work more shifts to be eligible for benefits.
  • Proposal to replace the existing Vacation and sick pay system with a problematic PTO/EIB system.

We feel that these proposals, to say the least, are a bit tone deaf to the plight of nurses at EvergreenHealth. Management wants to make it easier to fire nurses and to pay them less when they work nurses without proper rest!

We expect a better outcome next session as they ended the day with promises to directly respond to our economics and staffing at the next session. We strongly believe that you nurses deserve actual staffing proposals that help at the bedside.

We will continue to fight to get you what you deserve!

In Unity,

The Bargaining Team
Alicia O’Neal – Hospice Center
Beth Volk – 7 Silver OSN
Holly Baker – ED – Local Unit Treasurer
Jamie Amick – PACU
Jennifer Wilson – OR
Karen Lasota – Home Hospice
Lexi Overa – ED
Sandy Gott – FMC – Grievance Officer
Theresa Blazer – FMC – Local Unit Chair