WHHS Labor Facts

Updates on Labor Negotiations from Washington Hospital Healthcare System

Hospital Receives Partial Economics; including CNA Wage Proposal

The bargaining teams for Washington Hospital and CNA met on Monday, February 1, for another negotiating session.  Since negotiations commenced in July 2015, the Hospital’s bargaining team has repeatedly requested all economic proposals — which includes wages — from CNA. Toward the end of the most recent bargaining session on February 1, the Hospital finally received a proposal on wages from CNA.

The wage proposal from CNA is as follows:

• Year one, a 13% across-the-board increase followed by another increase of 13% in the form of lump sum payments (26% increase in total for year one);
• Year two, a 5% across-the-board increase;
• Year three, a 5% across-the-board increase; and,
• Year four, a final 4% across-the-board increase.

In addition to the proposed 40% increase above, CNA also requested various increases in shift differentials and indicated they would make additional economic proposals in the future.

Beyond economics, there were also discussions with regard to additional contract language issues including: per diems, professional performance committee, training and educational leave, as well as a joint communication by the Hospital and CNA. The discussions were productive and the Hospital’s bargaining team believes these issues will be resolved.

Finally, CNA has made, without any factual support, statements that Washington Hospital has significant recruitment and retention problems. The Hospital’s bargaining team is puzzled by these assertions from CNA as Washington Hospital, like other hospitals in California, has successfully implemented the necessary staffing changes in response to fluctuations in patient census.

Our strategy to address increases in patient census during the past year, was to implement an RN training program that allowed RN’s from various areas in the Hospital to bid on and be trained for RN positions in OB, Critical Care, Cath Lab, ER and OR.  This helped the Hospital fill open positions in these areas.

To address our disagreement with CNA over its unsupported assertion of staffing and retention issues, the Hospital has made proposals to utilize the PPC (Professional Practice Committee) for one of its more important functions (i.e. address staffing issues) so that the nurses on the PPC) could be part of the solution to this perceived problem. The PPC has long been in existence for quite some time, but has not been fully utilized by CNA. We look forward to a positive and constructive response from CNA.

At this time, we don’t have a date for the next bargaining session as we are waiting to hear back from CNA with regard to their availability. As always, we will continue to keep you updated on the progress of negotiations.