This month, healthcare workers at UW Medical Center-Northwest and Harborview Medical Center ratified a contract with UW Medicine. Management came to us requesting to bargain an economic reopener to help the staffing crisis in our hospitals, and we fought and won a historic agreement that will truly recruit and retain quality caregivers. Our new contract includes the largest across-the-board wage increases we’ve ever won, the highest stand-by pay in the state, a commitment to partnering to address equity and racial justice in our workplace, the inclusion of Northwest security guards in our union, and more. Our unity is our power and taking action together paid off.
State nurses across Washington at DSHS, DOH and DCYF also voted to ratify a strong contract this month. Our wins include across-the-board raises, increased premiums to keep up with area hospitals and facilities, safety precautions, and better healthcare premiums. These wins follow a successful action vote and many shows of unity in order to move management at the bargaining table – from purple ups and sticker ups, to sending emails to leadership, attending action votes, and writing letters to our state legislators, we showed up for one another and stood together, and our wages and workplaces are better because of it!
Workers at Kaiser clinics across the state participated in a nationwide action this month following the 25th anniversary of the Labor Management partnership. 1199NW Kaiser workers united in the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions hand-delivered tens of thousands of short staffing and patient care messages calling on Kaiser Permanente to partner on hiring and retention before it is too late.
In other news, we officially won our lawsuit regarding MultiCare recouping their costs of accidentally overpaying us by deducting the amount from future paychecks. We filed a suit alongside UFCW and WSNA, and in October the court ruled that this practice of making deductions to recoup their costs is illegal. This is a huge win, especially for those of us who were facing drastic deductions from our checks that would prevent us from paying our rent or mortgage and putting food on the table. Because we stand strong in our union, we have the power to push back when management does something damaging and illegal.
Finally, our union siblings at DESC in Seattle reached a tentative agreement late last night and will be voting as a membership to ratify their new contract. Details to come!
Solidarity with our 1199NW siblings currently bargaining contracts at the following chapters!
- Behavioral Health Resources in Olympia
- Navos in the Seattle area
- Wellfound Behavioral Health Hospital in Tacoma (first contract since unionizing!)
- Country Doctor/Carolyn Downs in Seattle (held our first-ever bargaining session earlier this month!)
- Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw and St. Anne Hospital in Burien
- Lincoln Hospital in Davenport
- Newport Hospital in Newport
- MultiCare Good Samaritan in Puyallup
- Community Health Clinics across Pierce County