Day 3 – Skagit Needs to Catch Up

On Friday, we proposed wages that would get us on par with nearby hospitals and that would also bring and keep nurses at Skagit – and WSNA nurses joined as observers at the table! Read on to learn how you can join us at our next session on Thursday, April 18.

We proposed wages that would bring Skagit in line

We’re sure it’s no surprise that Skagit’s wages are substantially behind those of other area hospitals. Since our last negotiations, other hospitals have been negotiating significant wage increases. We proposed to Skagit at the end of 2022 that we bargain a wage increase in between contracts so that Skagit didn’t fall so far behind; Skagit rejected that offer. Now, our wages are approximately 10% on average behind all other area hospitals, and our base wage is more than 20% behind Prov-Everett’s. We spent a great deal of time getting creative in our proposal to bring our wages in line with other area hospitals. Our proposal is innovative in two ways. First, we proposed a mixture of dollar amounts and also percentage increases. Proposing dollar amounts has a larger impact on the nurses who aren’t making so much (and who likely have a hefty student loan debt to pay) – this is one way to encourage newer nurses to stay at Skagit once they’ve worked enough to “pay back” any fees associated with residency agreements and sign-on bonuses. We also proposed compressing the wage scale. That is, we essentially forced more money into the wage scale in earlier steps – this has the effect of mid-career and senior nurses making more money earlier in their careers, which means that annual leave, retirement benefits, and sick leave are all worth more earlier in a nurse’s career.

Frankly, we’re a little irritated that the Union is in a position of having to do this much heavy lifting on wages. Some VMFH hospitals, as well as Overlake and Evergreen, agreed to mid-contract wage increases because they saw that their wages were falling behind the market. Skagit chose not to do that. As of now, Skagit’s wages are the lowest of any hospital in the area we could find. We told them at the table that this meant our proposal was going to have to be big – Skagit needs to make a decision whether it wants to hire even more travelers if nurses choose to work where they are paid their worth or if it’s going to do the right thing and invest in the nurses who have invested in Skagit and in our community.

Action items!

Here’s what every nurse can do to help make our Contract the best possible.

Solidarity placards!

Fill in the blank and take pictures with yourself and other nurses. Send the pics to: selfie@wsna.org to support our fight for a fair contract. We want a visual representation to show how much this contract matters to all nurses and to the future of Skagit Regional Health.

Placards are available by request from any bargainer, via email, sscholl@wsna.org, and in various locations and other WSNA members. Reach out to WSNA Organizer Sam Scholl at sscholl@wsna.org if you can’t find one or download one through this QR code.

  • Wsna to Skagit Placard
  • Skagit Nurses Need placard

Join us at the table as an observer!

 Do you wonder what really happens at the table during negotiations? How this all shapes out and what is actually said to each other across the table? Come witness bargaining first hand! If you would like to participate by being an observer, consider attending the APRIL 18 SESSION. Email WSNA Organizer Sam Scholl  SScholl@wsna.org with your name and department. Sam will walk you through expectations and let you know where and when to attend. This is voluntary and on your own time, but we welcome you to experience this bargaining firsthand.

Keep informed

Follow us on Instagram!

Come to our virtual Sip and Chat, every Thursday from 6-7 pm:

If you are not already, become a member!

In solidarity,
The bargaining team
Liz Rainaud, FBC, Co-Chair; Jessica Magner, Urgent Care, Co-Chair; Rachel Yates, UC, Treasurer; Kim McCann, FBC, Membership; Kyla Malean, OR; Lacey Bernick, PERI-OP

Questions or comments, contact Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org or 425.263.0522 or Organizer Sam Scholl at sscholl@wsna.org.

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