WSNA/St. Lukes negotiations

240320 stluk

Day 2 of negotiations is complete. Your fellow nurses on your WSNA bargaining team have heard from you about the challenges you face working at St. Luke’s and the need to recruit and retain. We came into these negotiations with proposals to address these issues. We know how far behind the RNs at St. Luke’s are for wages compared to their fellow RNs at Sacred Heart and Holy Family. We have proposed significant wage increases for all classifications in the bargaining unit:

  • Year 1 – 15% increase for all classifications, plus enhancements to the step increases at the upper steps
  • Year 2 – 5% increase for all classifications
  • Year 3 – 5% increase for all classifications

We do not understand why Providence insists on paying St. Luke’s nurses so much less then it pays its nurses at Sacred Heart and Holy Family, especially when you consider the acuity of patients at St. Luke’s, and the high number of expensive travelers they employ, and the inability to recruit. Management’s wage proposal to us yesterday would serve only to increase the historical wage gap between St. Luke’s and Sacred Heart and Holy Family because it represents a much lower first year wage increase than the nurses at those two facilities recently received. Further, they are proposing different wage increases for different classifications.

We have also heard from you that proper orientation and training is lacking. We proposed sensible language to ensure that nurses have the training and equipment so that they can perform their duties safely and independently. Our proposed language is much like language Providence has agreed to at other facilities . Yesterday, Management told us that they don’t see a problem with orientation and training and refused to address the issue within the contract language.

We also know that floating is a concern. We proposed language to enhance the float pool and to increase the float pool premium. Invigorating the float pool will reduce the amount of floating other and nurses need to do and will allow St. Luke’s to more effectively address staffing issues. Providence recently agreed to float pool enhancements at both Sacred Heart and Holy Family. Yesterday, Management flatly rejected our float pool and flow premium proposals.

In other areas, we have proposed protections to nurses who are assigned to work as charge nurses, meaning they would not be assigned a patient load while serving as charge. We proposed language that would create a structured process to orientation of new hires, and other ongoing educational needs.

These are but a few of the proposals WSNA made. We have also made proposals regarding health benefits, retirement, increases to certifications and premiums, parking, PTO scheduling and accrual, workplace violence and staffing, to name a few.

St. Luke’s management came to the table with a different agenda. They proposed to eliminate contractual language protecting schedule patterns. Management’s proposal would protect schedules for only a six-week period at a time. Each new schedule could force nurses to change their days on and off for that six-week period. If agreed to, this proposal would limit predictability for our valuable RNs since the patterns would not be stable as they are today. Work patterns could change every 6 weeks under this new language.

Management proposed to remove important protections against reducing the level of health insurance benefits. During the last round of negotiations, we worked very hard to secure these protections at St. Luke’s - the same protections that other Providence RNs in Spokane have. We are disappointed that Providence wants to do an abrupt about-face on the important issue of benefits and treat the nurses at St. Luke’s as second-class citizens relative to its other nurses in Spokane.

Our next day to bargain is March 26! Wear your WSNA buttons to support your negotiation team on this day.

Buttons can be found on the WSNA boards, or by contacting Nurse Representative Jaclyn Smedley BSN, RN at jsmedley@wsna.org 

The WSNA membership of St. Luke’s =  your strength at the bargaining table. Not a member, join here.

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