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Protects sick time; includes staffing and workplace safety language

Spokane, Wash. — After 14 months of negoti­a­tions with Provi­dence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion reached a Tenta­tive Agree­ment with manage­ment at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, January 7.

This Tenta­tive Agree­ment protects the benefits our members have earned and secures new invest­ments in patient care and workplace safety,” said Darryl Johnson, a cardiac inten­sive care nurse. This is a major victory for Sacred Heart nurses and our entire Spokane community.”

The tenta­tive agree­ment includes key provi­sions sought by nurses, including: enhanced language on staffing levels and workplace violence preven­tion; protec­tion of paid time off and extended illness benefits; limits on employer’s ability to raise premiums and preser­va­tion of impor­tant health benefits; wage increases of 10% over the duration of the contract; and a ratifi­ca­tion bonus of $2,100, pro-rated for part-time nurses.

Solidarity got us here,” said Nonie Kingma, a psychi­atric nurse. When we started negoti­a­tions, Provi­dence was deter­mined to cut our benefits, and refused to improve workplace condi­tions. Our members’ courage and resolve in the face of corpo­rate pressure never wavered, and in the end we won a major victory for ourselves and the people who rely on Sacred Heart.”

After months of stalled negoti­a­tions, nurses at Sacred Heart and Provi­dence-owned facil­i­ties across Washington prepared to give 10-day strike notice last week. Break­throughs in media­tion delayed the 10-day notice. In marathon sessions — including 20 hours on January 6 and 33 total hours over two days — the sides were able to reach a tenta­tive agreement.

Members will vote on the proposed tenta­tive agree­ment on January 16.

The nurses at Sacred Heart are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the commu­nity we have received over more than a year of contract negoti­a­tions,” said KT Raley-Jones, a cardiac inten­sive care nurse. This contract agree­ment gives us the support we need to continue given you the best nursing care.”


Ruth Schubert, WSNA

About WSNA
WSNA is the leading voice and advocate for nurses in Washington state, providing repre­sen­ta­tion, educa­tion and resources that allow nurses to reach their full profes­sional poten­tial and focus on caring for patients. WSNA repre­sents more than 17,000 regis­tered nurses for collec­tive bargaining who provide care in hospi­tals, clinics, schools and commu­nity and public health settings across the state.