The following is from the Washington State Nurses Association:
RICHLAND, Wash. (Jan. 27, 2016) — By an overwhelming majority, the WSNA-represented registered nurses at Kadlec Regional Medical Center have ratified a new three-year contract.
During nine months of negotiations, the bargaining team fought off a number of damaging proposed takeaways and reached an agreement that supports nurses in giving patients their best each and every day. Wins included:
■ 3% wages increases for the next three years, with retroactive pay to October 2015
■ The outrageous medical insurance premiums Kadlec started charging the nurses this month will revert to 2015 rates and Kadlec will subsidize to make up the difference until transition to the new plan
■ Overcame proposals to take away significant PTO accrual – nurses will retain existing PTO accrual rates at all levels.
■ Nurses will be able to accrue more Paid Time Off hours than before – the accrual cap went from 300 hours to 480 hours
■ Any EIB, or earned illness bank, hours a nurse has already accrued remain in place, with no expiration date for using the hours.
“All of us on the negotiating team want to thank the community and our fellow nurses for all of the support they showed us during these difficult negotiations,” said Kelsi Duncan, RN, a member of the bargaining team. “We bargained hard, and we know the tremendous support from nurses and the community got us a far better contract than we would have gotten without it. This is a fair contract that supports great patient care. The bargaining team is happy our fellow nurses voted to ratify the contract.”
A tentative agreement was reached on Jan. 13, after nine months of bargaining and following a strike advisory vote in December, 2015 that garnered a 90 percent “yes” vote from the hundreds of Kadlec nurses who voted.
For over a century, WSNA has proudly represented Registered Nurses and the nursing profession across Washington state. Today, WSNA is the voice for more than 75,000 licensed Registered Nurses including staff nurses, nurse educators, nurse practitioners, school nurses, public health nurses, long-term care nurses, nurse managers and nurses in many other practice areas. Learn more about WSNA here.