EVERETT (April 30, 2015) — Nurses at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve a proposed tentative agreement for a new three-year contract. Fully 97% of the nurses voted to approve the deal, which covers nearly 1,400 nurses represented by UFCW Local 21.
“We came into these negotiations hoping to improve our workplace for ourselves and our patients,” said Matthew Skews, RN. “I’m thrilled that so many nurses, with support from our community, stood together and we were able to succeed in this goal. Now we need to stay active to make this contract deliver what it should for ourselves and our patients.”
Providence Everett nurses were in contract negotiations since September 2014, which included federal mediation, before a tentative agreement was finally reached on April 13. Throughout the process, nurses and community supporters held multiple leafleting actions at Providence Everett to inform the public about their struggle to win a fair contract.
“We made significant progress in all of our critical areas of concern: staffing and safety, competitive wages, health care and respect,” said RN Jane Teske after the vote was counted Wednesday.
The top priorities achieved in the new contract include language supporting safe staffing levels and a voice in the workplace, no increased costs for the health care plan, respect for nurses and their role in the workplace, and fair compensation to help recruit and retain quality nursing staff, including an across-the-board 3+% wage increase for the three years of the contract, more funds for educational expenses, and bonuses for part-time nurses.
UFCW 21 is the largest private-sector union in Washington state with more than 44,000 members working in grocery store, retail, health care, and other industry jobs, including more than 5,000 in the state’s Providence Health System. UFCW 21 is a chartered member of UFCW International with more than 1.4 million workers in North America. For more information, visit UFCW21.org.