Contract bargaining update

September 28, 2022 - After a grueling 14-hour session yesterday, the negotiation team is on the verge of finalizing a deal that would bring historic wage increases to both campuses. The negotiation team and the employer exchanged nearly a half-dozen proposals, focused on economic issues and addressing the UWMC’s nurse shortage. The team is committed to reaching a tentative agreement with the best possible wages and benefits for members of the bargaining units. We are continuing our work today so that we may respond to a late-night proposal we received from UWMC. We were encouraged by the movement the employer made at the table and believe we are close to a wage and benefit package that will make us more competitive with other area hospitals.

Wage Proposals

WSNA last proposed a wage scale containing a 5% increase on January 1, 2023, a 10% increase on July 1, 2023, and 3% on July 1, 2024. When combined with the 5% increase we received August 1, 2022, for recruitment and retention, this would total 23% in a twenty-three month period. The employer has countered with 4% January 1, 2023, 9% July 1, 2023, and 3% July 1, 2024, this combined with the 5% from August 1, 2022, is a total of 21% across the board increases. UWMC has proposed an additional increase for nurses in Steps 1 through 5.

Incentive Shift MOU

The current MOU for the lump sum premium will expire on September 30, 2022. The employer has elected not to renew, despite the WSNA bargaining team’s repeated objections. In its place they have proposed a more restrictive Incentive Shift MOU version that our team is still working to modify in order for it to be effective.


The team fought long and hard for several different premiums including but not limited to, extra steps for the pay scale, night shift differential and stand by pay. We expect the final Tentative Agreement will contain several improvements, though not as many as we want to see. Given the unprecedented size of the wage increases, UWMC resisted investing in certain premiums.

  • Double time premium for all hours worked over 12-hours was accepted for Northwest.
  • Shift differential premium will now be paid for the shift you work the most hours in, i.e., if you work nights (1900-0700) you will get the night premium for the whole shift (this is new for NW)
  • Standby pay has been increased to $7 for all areas
  • The Montlake resource team premium is increased to $5/hr from the existing $4/hr
  • The employer proposed that NICU Resource RNs will receive a premium of $1.50. We asked for this to include the Labor and Delivery Resource Nurse but were denied by the employer. This is a proposal we are still working to modify.
  • The employer has agreed to a single step increase for RNs at Northwest with a Masters degree (current practice at Montlake)
  • They denied a true-up for the neighborhood clinic nurses
  • They declined a night shift premium increase
  • The employer agreed, to remove in its entirety, the Emergency Department Mandatory Standby MOU

WSNA proposed 2 additional steps to top of the wage scale, but this was rejected by the employer.

Possible Tentative Agreement

The team is committed to bringing the best possible contract to the nurses at the UWMC and are bargaining in good faith with management. In the spirit of this we will be meeting as a team today, September 28, 2022, at 1600 to discuss the employer’s last proposal. We have seen what was accomplished at both Children’s and Swedish and want to carry that momentum to the UWMC as well.

When we fight, we win!

In solidarity,

Your contract bargaining team,

UWMC Northwest team of registered nurses:

Liz Tassani – Emergency Department

Kari Christianson – Outpatient Surgery Center

Josef Mansour – Emergency Department

Grace Jones – Intensive Care Unit

Heidi Glendenning – Childbirth Center

Jerrome Sicat - Outpatient Surgery Center

UWMC Montlake team of registered nurses:

Teresa Wren- Labor and Delivery

Chris Jakubowski- Cardiovascular Procedures

Jan Bower- Operating Room

Doug Harper- Neonatal Intensive Care

Erika Speckhardt- 5SA

Lizzy Ryden- Emergency Dept

Bri Leenders- Emergency Dept

Questions? Contact one of the WSNA Nurse Representatives - Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org, Sara Frey at sfrey@wsna.org or Stephenie Troftgruben at stroftgruben@wsna.org.