Bargaining Update – Day 2

TG Negotiation team

Today’s theme: you know you *need* nurses to stay here, right?

At yesterday’s bargaining, we were shocked that Management proposed several takeaways which would have significant negative impact on how we work and on how much money we make. Nearly every employer WSNA has bargained with during the past two years has avoided proposing takeaways because, well, they’re trying to hang on to their nurses and don’t want to further anger them. To propose several takeaways of this magnitude at this point in time leaves us wondering how in touch TG is with its nurses. These changes include:

  • Article 5.14. Significantly undermining/eradicating clinical service lines for floating purposes, deleting the enumerated clinical service lines in the Contract, and leaving all new Clinical Service Lines up to the Staffing Committee’s determination – this takeaway promotes the "a nurse is a nurse is a nurse" approach towards service lines and floating; our patients would suffer under this proposal.
  • Article 5.12. Proposing to redefine “regular rate of pay” to strip it of cert pay, charge nurse pay, and premium in lieu of benefits. Imagine how that will impact your overtime, callback, or any other premium pay you receive which is based on your regular rate of pay.
  • Article 5.3. Changes to charge nurse language that would allow Management to do all charge duties (that is, bargaining unit work) in addition to whatever other management duties they’re supposed to do and reassign any bargaining unit charge nurses to straight patient care.
  • Article 5.4. Adding increased responsibilities for preceptors as well as a significantly greater need for the number of preceptors.

Our wages are not only way behind the market, they’re way behind other MultiCare facilities, too

We prefaced our economic package by saying that we are driven by two things that we truly hope are shared goals with the Hospital: retention and recruitment. We had done a deep dive into MultiCare’s finances and explained that – like every other entity with money invested in the stock market – we knew their assets had dropped, and we pointed out that with the Yakima acquisition, the $75 million Astria loan, the new planned Good Sam building, etc., MultiCare was truly investing in its future. But merely because it’s investing now does not mean there is no money to pay nurses (after all, we are the ones who create this Hospital’s revenue). We walked Management through what “the market” looks like now after 1) Auburn received a 13% raise last year retroactive to August ’21, 2) Children’s received historic raises that reset the Seattle market, and 3) UW Montlake, UW Northwest, and Swedish all recently received significant raises that boosted nurses’ wages by double digits. We shared wage comparisons between TG’s wages and these other hospitals and showed Management how far behind TG is (we are still approximately 8.5% behind Auburn!).

To address these gross inequities, and to ensure that nurses will stay here and will come here, we presented an aggressive economic plan that includes pay raises of 18% for 2023, 15% for 2024, and 10% for 2025. While we are aware that this is our opening proposal and we will continue bargaining in good faith, 18% is within the realm of what “the market” is paying nurses locally. We refuse to be the caboose any longer.

We also proposed:

  • Increase the Employer’s retirement contribution match from 6% to 15%,
  • Increase all standby pay to $8.00/ hour,
  • Offer Less Rest to nurses who are on standby or are taking call,
  • Increasing shift differentials, call-back premium, charge nurse pay, and weekend diff to match those at Auburn (these premiums and diffs are all higher at Auburn; we are only asking for parity),
  • Proposed a new student loan program that offers nurses up to $400 per month free of taxes to pay back their loans.

Our next negotiation date is Friday, November 4.

Here’s what you can do to help win a fair and just contract and tell Management you won’t tolerate takeaways

Pick up your FREE WSNA T-shirt during Cafeteria Time this Wednesday, 1700-1900 for Blue Friday Kick-off on Nov. 4! Show solidarity with your negotiation team by wearing your shirt every Friday throughout negotiations.

Join your negotiation team virtually for TG Thirsty Thursdays - a casual virtual get together every Thursday from 2000-2100 starting next week on Thursday, November 3. This is your opportunity to hear directly from your officers and negotiation team from the comfort of your own home in a virtual “happy hour” format. Keep an eye out for details!

Any questions about these activities, or to get more involved with our fight for a fair and just contract, contact WSNA organizer Crystal Doll at CDoll@wsna.org or (206) 334-8388.

Follow us on Facebook (Tacoma General RNs) and Instagram at @tg_nurses.

In solidarity,
Danielle O’ Toole, Local Unit Chair, Resource
Liz Leske, Secretary, PACU
Michelle Stevenson, Grievance Officer, Med Surg
Matt Dustin, NT ICU
Mallory Gregoire, Med Onc
Liana Delacorte, ED
Cherrie Griffith, Grievance Officer, Med Surg
Jess Oyler, OR
Cameron Warriner, NICU
Brenda Bowhay, Grievance Officer, FBC
Colin Bishop, PULSE

If you have additional questions, please contact your nurse rep, Brenda Balogh at bbalogh@wsna.org.