Management gave us their wage proposal...We weren’t impressed

Childrens negotiating team 6941

Management’s proposal is inadequate to recruit and retain nurses

Apparently, management thinks this is a year like any other and not that we are exhausted after more than two years on the COVID frontlines, not that we are grossly understaffed (20% of RN positions are vacant!), and not that Children’s nurses are leaving either for traveler jobs, to work in higher paying hospitals out-of-state, or to pick up a $20,000 signing bonus at another local hospital.

On May 26, 2022, we met with management for our 4th bargaining session. The Chief Financial Officer gave a brief presentation before we received their economic proposal. In short, we were told that our financial presentation last week was correct and that Children’s – like everyone – has taken a hit in the stock market in 2022*.

We were shocked with how little they offered given all that we have been through and how profitable they have been during the pandemic. Frankly, their proposal seems tone-deaf and divisive. Management is proposing:

  • 5% increase for steps 1-5 and a 4% increase for steps 6-36 after ratification
  • 2% in 2023
  • 2% in 2024
  • 0% in 2025 (That’s right ZERO – even though they proposed extending the contract for an additional six months into 2026)

They also proposed that management could make unilateral wage increases (even to individuals!) that WSNA members would not be allowed to vote on; rejected our proposals on shift differentials, float differentials, and student loan repayment; proposed a $0.50/hr increase to float pool premium; proposed to increase the ECMO premium by $2/hr; proposed a $0.50/hr longevity differential; a $1/hr inpatient premium while denying traditional overtime or a reassignment differential to ambulatory nurses, creating unnecessary divisions in our bargaining unit. The economic proposal from management is not acceptable. We are going to need to stand UNITED IN SOLIDARITY to get the fair contract we deserve!

SCH fun financial fact #2!

Children’s assets are roughly equal to the GDP of Montenegro, where Casino Royale was filmed!#

The Covington Report and the Myth of Transparency and Inclusion

We expressed our disappointment that only 15 RN's out of approximately 1800 registered nurses identify as Black, roughly the same as a decade ago. If Children’s is sincere about hiring more Black and brown nurses, they need to pay wages that will convince nurses who cannot afford to live near the hospital to make a lengthy commute. We also discussed the Covington Report and were told that *no one at Children’s and no one on the Board of Trustees possesses the Covington Report*. We are having difficulty stomaching that answer, especially since OHSU recently hired Covington & Burling LLP to conduct an internal workplace investigation and released the entire report. A news story this past week noted that the Covington firm billed OHSU $2,295 per hour^. We expect that Children’s paid a similar hourly rate and are incredulous that no one in the organization has a copy of that report. We intend to pursue the full Covington Report. EDI means nothing without the full acknowledgement of fault and a sincere commitment to change.

Our next bargaining session is on June 16, 2022

Ask a bargaining team member if you need a window sign! Yard signs and a petition are coming soon! Let us know if you want to get more involved – our strength comes from our numbers.

Follow us on Facebook (Nursing Strong Seattle Childrens RNs) and Instagram (@schnurses).

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!

*$2.4 billion in investments according to SCH’s fiscal year 2021 financial statements.

# SCH’s fiscal year 2021 financial statements; IMF GDP database, 2021. https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/NGDPD@WEO/SAU

^ Reuters, “Lawyer’s $2,465 hourly rate draws objection in J&J talc bankruptcy case.” May 24, 2022. https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/jj-bankruptcy-trustee-balks-neal-katyals-2465-hourly-rate-2022-05-23/