Contract negotiations update... Fired up and READY TO GO for a FAIR CONTRACT!

On June 30, 2022, we met with management for our 6th bargaining session. In an effort to see if we could bridge the chasm between our wage proposals and management’s proposal (which is inadequate to attract and keep nurses here), we tried something new by floating a package proposal. A package proposal is where you bundle a bunch of different proposals together – the other side has to accept the entire package or reject the entire package; meanwhile, our previous, independent proposals still remain protected. That is, you can float a package proposal but go back to your independent proposals without engaging in bad faith. We did this to both streamline our priorities and to signal to management that the focus at the table has to be on wages because that is what drives nurses to come and stay at the hospital. Better staffing? Wages. Better patient outcomes? Wages. Reduced traveler costs and increased locally based nurses? Wages.

As part of presenting our package, we shared a DM we received from a new grad who said that they really wanted to work at SCH but just couldn’t afford to live here on the wages Children’s pays. Instead, they went to OHSU. In our package, we proposed 17% the first year, then 13.5% and 9.5% (our previous proposals remain protected). We emphasized how critical student loan repayment assistance would be in attracting new nurses and in encouraging existing nurses to advance their education. We shared a comment from a nurse that the hospital’s wage progression based on hours and not years of experience is a holdover from institutionalized gender wage disparity – where part-timers (often, working moms) received less compensation. For an institution so determined to tackle DEI, this antiquated wage progression system is an embarrassing relic to cling to. Seattle Children’s management informed us that they were not going to have a counterproposal for us on wages, leaving our bargaining team extremely disappointed.

Our bargaining team was willing to stay late and keep working but management insisted on being done for the day by 1700. Management states that they want an agreement by July 31 but we aren’t seeing proposals from them that lead us to believe that they want a contract that will make Seattle Children’s a better place to work for nurses. We reached one tentative agreement on grievance procedure. However, management continues to reject our proposals on shift differentials, student loan repayment, our proposal that would make overtime easier for Ambulatory RNs to qualify for overtime, along with other economic adjustments.

Your bargaining team asked management for time on the next Seattle Children’s Board of Trustees agenda. We made it clear that many WSNA nurses are feeling disrespected by upper management and ignored by the Board.

A Superabundance of Fun Financial Facts!

Check out the first in a series of financial reports WSNA has researched and written regarding Children’s robust financial health.

Even Becker’s Hospital Review is carrying the story!

Solidarity Actions – Save the Date!

  • INFORMATIONAL PICKET at the hospital – August 9! It’s time that community members and elected officials know what we know…. Nurses are not being respected and staffing levels are often not safe at the hospital!
  • LOCAL UNIT MEETING: Be on the lookout for our informational picket pledge sheets which we’ll launch at our Local Unit Meeting. We are asking nurse to sign up to commit to attending our picket that day. On July 6 from 1700-2100 we will be having a union meeting at The Mountaineers (7700 Sandpoint Way NE Seattle, WA) the meeting will be casual and drop in. We hope to have a hybrid format available. There will be food, a negotiations update and an opportunity to sign up for the Informational picket!
  • “Sip and Chat” Sundays are here! While we are in negotiations, bargaining team members will be hosting informal virtual meetings with WSNA members on Sundays from 1930-2130. Click the button to join via Microsoft Teams or call in (206) 485-2614; Passcode: 171330812#
  • There are only 2 more bargaining dates left. Our next bargaining session is on July 14, 2022 (Bastille Day! Here’s hoping for some true financial independence.)

THANK YOU to everyone who attended our petition delivery on June 28! Nearly 60 nurses joined us in our march to CEO Jeff Sperring’s office. We had hoped to deliver the signed petitions to Dr. Sperring, however he was “not available” to accept our petitions, so we delivered them to CNO Bonnie Fryzlewics.

Window signs are still available! Ask a bargaining team member if you would like one.

Follow us on Facebook (Nursing Strong Seattle Childrens RNs) and Instagram (WSNA@SCH)

In Solidarity,
your negotiating team: Co-Chair Edna Cortez, PACU; Co-Chair Kara Yates, Medical Unit; Grievance Officer Diane Gates, PICU; Secretary/Treasurer Lindsey Kirsch, Urgent Care; Grievance Officer Erin Doyle, PATCH; Grievance Officer Samantha Lake, Operating Room; Katie Podobnik, Ambulatory; Sarah Munro, Bellevue Surgery Center; Shaina Lawson, NICU; Stefanie Chandos, ED; Annika Hoogesteraat, CVICU

Please contact Travis Elmore Nelson, WSNA Nurse Rep at telmore@WSNA.org or 206-575-7979 ext. 3117 with questions or to find out what you can do to get a fair contract!