When healthcare and mental health caregivers unite and take action, we have the power to make our facilities prioritize patient and client care. In 2015, more than 15,000 members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW bargained new contracts with some of the biggest health systems in our region—Swedish-Providence, UW Medicine, CHI Franciscan, and more. Through our unity and action we showed the true union difference. We stopped management-proposed cuts to our healthcare or retirement security and advanced new standards for quality care and good jobs in our community.
We could not have won these improvements without the support of our community. We shared with you the challenge of raising standards and protecting patients in our community when decisions at sine health systems are being made by out-of-town executives, but your support has helped us build one united voice for high standards at our community hospitals. From pickets to bargaining team meetings, you have stood with us and now we celebrate this victory together.
More than 7,000 nurses and healthcare workers at Swedish-Providence campuses in Seattle, Redmond, Edmonds, and Issaquah stood together to raise the bar for quality care at Swedish. After thousands of us picketed on July 1, we were able to make huge strides for quality care and good jobs that included:
- Staffing to keep patients safe. Staffing will be set at or above California’s statewide nurse-to-patient ratio law. Charge nurses have the power to call in more staff when needed.
- Infection control improvements. Housekeeping staff will now specialize in one area of the hospital, allowing them to specialize and improve infection control.
- Affordable healthcare for healthcare workers. Swedish will pay 100% of employees’ healthcare cost for families at 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL) or below and will pay 50% of employee healthcare premiums for families under 400% FPL. Swedish staff maintain their PPO plan for at least four years, guaranteed, and will not be forced onto a high-deductible catastrophic plan.
- Immediate implementation of $15/hour minimum and raises to keep up with the cost of living. Across-the-board raises totaling a minimum of 7% in the first nine months of the contract for a total of 12.25% over the 4-year life of the contract. Long-tenured service workers receive an additional 2.5% raise immediately with the addition of a new top wage step.
See the new Swedish-Providence contracts here.
At Harborview, Valey Medical Center, and Northwest Hospital, more than 4,600 nurses and healthcare workers stood up for improvements to our jobs and the care we give. Our unified strength in advocating for our patients and families allowed us to enhance patient safety and improve industry standards.
- A commitment from management to improve staffing by providing break relief nurses for every acute care unit on day shift by June 2017. This will allow nurses to take needed breaks, keeping us refreshed, while making sure there are enough nurses on the floor to cover for us.
- Good wages for everyone in our bargaining units in our two year contract, keeping Harborview competitive with other hospitals and.
- Market-driven wage adjustments that will improve recruitment and retention for the critical job classifications that were below market rate: social workers, electroneurodiagnostic technologists, healthcare specialists, and research and Hall Health nurses.
The Harborview Medical Center contracts are still being signed and printed – when ready, they will be posted here.
At Valley Medical Center, we won:
- Better patient care through improved staffing Improves and strengthens our voice in staffing decisions, giving us the opportunity to improve our patients’ care,
- Secure healthcare and retirement to recruit and retain the best staff. Our new contract maintains affordability healthcare and retirement security for hospital staff, and
- Immediate implementation of $15/hour minimum and raises to keep up with the cost of living. Creates a $15/hour minimum wage for all workers at Valley Medical Center.
See the new Valley Medical Center contracts here.
At Northwest Hospital, we won:
- Recruitment and retention wage increases that will ensure the most qualified caregivers can stay right here at Northwest Hospital. Our patients have come to expect the highest quality from UW Medicine, and we make that care possible.
- Continued investment in our training fund, which provides classes and training for us to advance our skills and continue to improve patient care.
- Maintenance of our current healthcare plans, with guaranteed premiums through 2017, and improvements to our retirement security. As frontline healthcare workers, we need to be able to provide for our own families so we can continue to care for Northwest Hospital patients.
The Northwest Hospital contracts are still being signed and printed – when ready, they will be posted here.
At CHI Franciscan – Highline Medical Center and Regional Hospital in Burien, more than 700 nurses and healthcare workers stood up against the giant national CHI system and won higher standards for our community hospitals. Through our unity and action, we advanced the quality of care and jobs in our community.
- More affordable health benefits. Caregivers will have a say in designing our health insurance plan, and we won’t be stuck on CHI’s unaffordable cookie-cutter, high-deductible plan.
- Immediate implementation of $15/hour minimum and raises to keep up with the cost of living. Immediately brings all Highline Medical Staff to a $15/hour minimum wage.
- Better patient care through improved staffing. Our new contract gives nurses and healthcare workers a stronger voice to ensure our patients have safe staffing.