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August 4, 2023

Union Nurses at Logan Health Vote to Ratify Contract, Including Historic Wage Increases of 20% Over Two Years

Ahead of the merger with Billings Clinic, new contract will address short-staffing issues, recruitment and retention

More than 600 nurses at Logan Health united in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW ratified an agreement this week that raises wages by 20% over the next two years, including 11.5% upon ratification — the largest one-time wage increase won by Montana nurses in recent memory. Over 23 months, the nurses will see a minimum 20% cost-of-living increase in addition to wage step increases for most.

While nurses across the state have been leaving the industry in droves since the pandemic, this agreement at Logan Health marks a strong commitment to recruiting and retaining local, experienced healthcare workers in the Flathead Valley to better care for the communities that Logan Health serves, instead of relying on expensive temporary contracts for traveler staff.

“We have faced severe staffing shortages in the wake of the pandemic and were behind the rest of the state in terms of wages,” said Cindy Hinzman, a nurse and member of the bargaining team. “We persevered and came together to win a contract that will allow us to recruit and retain nurses from around the state and nation.”

The newly ratified agreement gives nurses an immediate 11.5% raise, plus additional raises of 4% in July 2024, and 3.5% in July 2025. Additionally, the nurses won increases to differentials and premiums, including $6/hour on-call pay for all surgical services nurses; new protections against increases in health insurance costs; expanded preceptor pay; credit for past experience; and strengthened language to allow union delegates and organizers access to hospital facilities.

The nurses believe that the new contract addresses some of the major issues that contribute to short-staffing. The contract expires in July 2026.

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About SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is a union of nurses and healthcare workers with over 31,000 caregivers throughout hospitals, clinics, mental health, skilled home health and hospice programs in Washington state and Montana. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW’s mission is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all.

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