Heading into spring and reflecting on the year so far, we’re making our voices heard, standing united, and raising standards for healthcare workers across WA. Read through our recent wins and actions below.
We united across the VMFH system for worker and patient safety! Healthcare workers at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw and St. Anne Hospital in Burien overwhelmingly voted YES to ratify our new contracts that include higher wages, safety and staffing, racial justice, and more. After bargaining for months, and taking action including informational pickets back in November, we finally have a contract we can be proud of.
At Valley Medical Center in Renton, we ratified a strong contract for job classes included in phase 1 of bargaining our wage reopener. Phase 1 includes RNs, IR Techs, Surgical Techs, Lab Support, Pharmacy Techs, and Medical Assistants. We won unprecedented wage increases that put us at or near the top of the wage scale compared to local hospitals.
However, our work at Valley isn’t done. Phase 2 of bargaining is in progress; we are now negotiating wages for all other job classes not included in phase 1. Unfortunately, Valley has not brought acceptable proposals, and they aren’t showing the same sense of urgency as they did to the first phase. We are standing united in our message that we will not leave any of our coworkers behind – we are all essential. We’ll continue to put pressure on management until they respond to our proposals with percentages closer to what we deserve.
Workers at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup voted YES to authorize an unfair labor practice strike back in February. Striking is never our first choice by any means, but we were prepared for a 1-day strike. Fortunately, at the first bargaining session after our strike vote, management came to the table with proposals that align with what we need to recruit and retain. We reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, and the next step is a vote to ratify! Stay tuned.
Most recently, workers at EvergreenHealth Kirkland ratified historic contracts with NO takeaways and the largest wage increases we’ve ever seen at EVK! We secured raises of 15-20% for everyone over the next 16 months, ratification bonuses, past experience recognition, a personal holiday, and more. Our unity and willingness to take bold collective action is what moved Evergreen administration to settle the contract we need to recruit and retain.