CNA Bargaining Update — Dec. 4, 2023

Washington Hospital Healthcare System (WHHS) is pleased to provide an update on the progress of our labor negotiations with CNA.

Negotiations continue between WHHS and CNA for a new 4-year Memorandum of Understanding. We have been negotiating for a new contract since May. Significant progress has been made since then in a number of areas. Our last bargaining session was on Nov. 14, 2023. Though earlier dates were offered by WHHS, the next bargaining session will be Dec. 14.

We have reached tentative agreements on a number of non-economic items, including:

  • Updated language to provide meal and rest breaks
  • Updated bereavement leave
  • More detailed language regarding infectious disease prevention
  • A new section on workplace violence prevention
  • The addition of an article that permits up to four nurses per year to participate in the Registered Nurse Response Network
  • A revision to the letter of understanding governing 12-hour shift schedules to provide the ability to adopt mixed units of 12-hour and 8-hour shifts
  • A change in the seniority definition for per diem nurses, providing one year of seniority credit for each 2,000 hours worked (currently one year of seniority credit is awarded for each 3,000 hours worked)

Additionally, we have reached a tentative agreement on In-Service Training:

  • CNA has accepted WHHS’s proposed modifications to in-service training, including that (a) nurses’ mandatory clinical in-service education will be held during uninterrupted time not in conjunction with a patient or work assignment; and (b) nurses will be eligible to receive up to two (2) hours of straight time pay outside of the nurse’s work schedule to complete the mandatory clinical in-service education (not including annual hospital-wide mandatory education), with approval of the nurse manager, in the event that a nurse is not allocated sufficient designated time during the work schedule without a patient assignment to complete such education.

We continue to bargain on several economic items including:

  • Across the board wage increases
  • Proposed modification to floating procedures and clinical competency safeguards
  • Proposed changes to the Employee Health & Welfare Benefits plan

Below is a summary of where we stand on several remaining open items:

Across the Board (ATB) Increases: On Nov. 14, WHHS offered ATBs of 4.5% year 1, 4% year 2, 4% year 3, and 3.5% year 4.
Floating: On Nov. 14, WHHS modified its proposal to adjust the previously proposed “like area” grouping for perioperative services in response to some of the concerns expressed by the nurses. WHHS has further proposed an increase to the float premium from $2.50 to $4.00.
Benefits: WHHS continues to bargain in good faith towards an agreement that provides a competitive Health & Wellness Benefits Plan aligned with the market.

Since 2015, health coverage premium (benefit) rates have:

  • Remained the same at WHHS
  • Increased between 3 and 4 percent annually across the United States
  • Increased greater than 8 percent annually on average across California

WHHS has worked diligently to design employee health plans that will allow employees to choose options that best meet their unique, individual and/or family health care needs. The proposed health plan has a core plan that is no cost to the employee and offers reduced contributions at all other levels. Employees will also have optional “buy up” opportunities for medical, dental, and vision benefit plans, depending on employee and family needs. (See FAQ document for exact amounts.)

Medical/Rx Program Enhancements
Some important points regarding the proposed health plan:

  • There are no changes in the Blue Shield provider network.
  • Additional WTMF providers (105 providers vs. 39 today) are added to Tier 1 (Washington Hospital Healthcare System Tier)
  • Each employee can receive at no-cost specialty footwear at Haller’s Pharmacy (1 pair per year)
  • Addition of hearing aid coverage
  • Addition of Telehealth through Teladoc
  • Addition of Tier 1 pharmacy – Haller’s Pharmacy
    – Lower out-of-pocket copayments
  • Addition of wellness programs
    – Wellness programs include tobacco cessation; diabetes management; musculoskeletal; weight loss plan; mental/behavioral health – custom for each member!
    – Addition of employee discount program – discounts on electronics, exercise equipment, amusement park tickets, gym memberships, and more.

Additionally, the portable employer paid life insurance for employees has been increased from $10,000 to $50,000, and Long Term Disability (LTD) that is also employer paid increased from $1,500 to $2,000.

WHHS values our dedicated CNA staff and continues to work towards a new Memorandum of Understanding with our nurses. In doing so, WHHS must balance our fiduciary responsibility to continue to provide high-quality care aligned with the market while maintaining jobs that contribute to a vibrant local economy. We are hopeful that together we will reach an agreement in the coming weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions re: WHHS 2024 Health Care Benefits Program

Q1: Why is the medical care benefit plan changing?

A1: The medical care benefit plan currently offered by WHHS is not in line with the market.  Board policies require that our benefit plans fall within the market range.  The new plans show progress to better aligning us with the market range.

Q2: I do not live in Fremont, and cannot receive care in the Washington Hospital Healthcare System.  How will the benefit plan changes impact me?

A2: There will be no change from the current benefit plans.  Blue Shield has been the Tier 2 provider network for many years, and will remain the Tier 2 network.  Therefore, you will be able to continue to access your Blue Shield provider(s) the same as you do today.

Q3: Is the Blue Shield provider network changing?

A3: No, we will continue to use the same Blue Shield network used under the current WHHS medical care benefit plans.  You will be able to continue to see your current doctor(s) as long as he/she continues his/her relationship with Blue Shield.

Q4: What is the difference between Tier 1, 2 and 3?

A4: The Tiers do not change from the current benefit plans.  The Tier differences are:

Tier 1 = Washington Hospital Facilities (including surgery centers), outpatient clinics, hospital affiliated providers (i.e. Dr. Dearborn and Dr. Sah), Washington Hospital based providers (i.e. Washington Radiology Medical Group, Sound Physicians) and Washington Township Medical Foundation Providers.

Tier 2 = Blue Shield of California PPO Providers and Facilities

Tier 3 = Providers not in Tier 1 or 2

Q5: How much will my bi-weekly contribution be with the new plans?

A5: The bi-weekly contribution for the new base benefit plan (Core Choice) will be slightly less than what the majority of employees are currently paying for their WHHS benefit plans.  Bi-weekly contributions for the Core Choice plan are as follows:

There will also be a “buy-up” option (Choice Plus) available.  More information related to the Choice Plus plan will be available during Open Enrollment.

Q6: What if I don’t make a selection during the Open Enrollment session?

A6: We encourage all employees eligible for the open enrollment to actively select a plan. Employees that do not select a plan during the January – February 2024 Open Enrollment session will automatically be enrolled in the Core Choice Plan.

Q7: How do the plan options differ from my current WHHS Employee plan?

 A7: The Plan designs are very similar to your current plan but there are some differences from the current plan.   For example, all WTMF physicians are included in the WHHS Tier 1, which means you will have a fixed copayment for all WTMF Physicians and none of the services you receive from a WTMF physician will be subject to deductibles. 

At your request, we can further discuss changes.  Please submit any specific inquiries to

Q8: How will the plan options differ if I use WHHS services, such as lab or imaging?

A8: With the exception of ER services, both new plans will be similar to your current plan.  When an employee or dependent receives services at a Washington Hospital Facility, the facility co-pay will be $0.  Copays for lab, x-ray, and urgent care at Washington Hospital will continue to be $0.  As in the past, you will still be responsible for the copays associated with other physician services, such as physician office visits.

Q9: Is there a change with Delta Dental, VSP Vision Plan, or the Rx Plan?

A9: No, all these plans remain as part of your benefits. However, there will now be Dental and Vision buy-up plans available.

Q10: Can I enroll my dependents into one plan and enroll myself into the other plan?

A10: No, dependents must follow the same plan as the Employee.

Q11: Is there a copay for annual preventive care?

A11: There is no charge for certain covered annual preventive care received from a Tier 1 or Tier 2 provider, including

• Routine physical exam
• Ear/eye exam for dependent child through 18 years of age
• Immunizations according to age schedule
• Routine mammograms

Q12: Can I change plans if I have a new baby (or adopt), lose other coverage or marry before the next open enrollment session?

A12: Yes, qualifying life events such as marriage, birth/adoption, or loss of other coverage enable employees to make mid-year benefit changes.

Q13: If I don’t like the plan I select, when can I switch plans?

A13: After open enrollment in January – February 2024, Employees will have an opportunity to reassess plan options and switch during the next open enrollment, which takes place in November 2024 for a January 1, 2025 effective date.  However, qualifying life events such as marriage, birth/adoption, or loss of other coverage enable employees to make mid-year benefit changes.

Q14: Can I opt out of Washington Hospital health benefit plan options if I can receive health benefits through another source (like my spouse)?

A14:  WHHS provides coverage for all benefit eligible employees.  At this time there is no waiving of coverage for our employees.   However, WHHS employees do have the option to waive coverage for a spouse or certified domestic partner.

Q15: Does out-of-state coverage change?

A15:  No, the out-of-state coverage does not change.

Q16:  How can I find an in-network provider for medical, dental, and vision services?

A16:  You can find instructions on how to search online for in-network providers on our intranet:

            –Path:  Employees > Human Resources > Benefits

            –Hyperlink:  Benefits – Home

Q17:  If WTMF doesn’t have a physician trained in a specialty that I require and I am referred to a non-WTMF doctor, will the services be covered as Tier 1 or 2?

A17: In this instance, the physician would be covered at the Tier 2 level if the physician is a participating provider in the Blue Shield network.

Tentative 3-Year Agreement Reached Between SEIU and Washington Hospital

Washington Hospital and SEIU have reached a Tentative Agreement on a new, 3-year contract, following negotiations on a new labor contract.  SEIU has announced it will hold a contract ratification on September 15, 16, and 17, 2020, which we encourage members to support.

A summary of the key terms of the Tentative Agreement is available by clicking here.  We believe the wage increase in the Tentative Agreement represents a fair economic proposal. 

In late March, and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington Hospital and SEIU agreed that it was in everyone’s best interests to expedite negotiations in order to avoid the lengthy negotiations of the past, which have often taken many months to complete.

As a result of this mutual understanding, Washington Hospital and SEIU representatives met on three occasions in June to negotiate the terms of a new labor contract.  During these negotiations, the Hospital and SEIU representatives expressed their intent to reach a fair and fast resolution with a focus on wages, so that our employees would not have to wait for lengthy negotiations to conclude and would have some welcomed certainty during times of significant uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Washington Hospital and SEIU reached a tentative agreement during these abbreviated negotiations on June 9, 2020.  SEIU held a contract ratification the week of June 25th.  Unfortunately, the members did not ratify a new contract based on the terms tentatively agreed to by the Hospital and SEIU in June.

As a result, Washington Hospital and SEIU immediately resumed negotiations, starting on July 9, 2020.  During these resumed negotiations, the Hospital and SEIU again remained committed to a focus on wages in addition to discussion of issues and concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Hospital and SEIU reached a new Tentative Agreement on August 31, 2020.

We believe the wage increase in the Tentative Agreement represents a fair economic proposal. The Hospital’s financial position is publicly available and demonstrates the significant operating losses and increased expenses that the Hospital continues to suffer as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  While we have started to resume services that were suspended early in the pandemic, we know that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon.  Washington Hospital Healthcare System is continuing to work through pandemic-related issues that is creating a new “normal” for everyone involved which will have significant long-term impacts to the Healthcare System and the healthcare industry in general.

This Tentative Agreement is consistent with terms reached with other employee groups at Washington Hospital and will secure a 3-year contract for the Hospital and SEIU bargaining unit employees.


The Parties have reached a tentative agreement, subject to ratification by the membership and ratification by the Board of Directors of Washington Hospital, on the following terms for a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Parties for the period of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023:

Article 3. Association Membership – The Parties tentatively agree to replace the current Articles 3 and 4 with a single Article 3 that conforms the contract to be accordance with the Janus law.

Article 7. Employee Rules – The Parties tentatively agreed to include progressive discipline within the body of this provision.  The following language was also added: 

“The Hospital shall use a process of progressive discipline which includes verbal warnings, written warnings, suspension and/or termination.”

Wages – Across the Board (ATB) Increases to Their Base Rate of Pay As Follows:

All increases would be effective the first pay period on or after the specified dates below:

  • 1.5% ATB increase the first pay period beginning on or after July 1, 2020
  • 1.25% ATB increase the first pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2021
  • 1.5% ATB increase the first pay period beginning on or after July 1, 2021
  • 1.5% ATB increase the first pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2022
  • 3% ATB increase the first pay period beginning on or after July 1, 2022

Article 8 – Preceptor Pay – Agreed to add Respiratory Care Practitioner to the list of job classifications eligible to perform precepting and be paid the $2.50 per hour preceptor premium.

Article 10. Special Duty Differential – Add the statement “Employees with the job title Washer Operator will be paid the Heavy Duty Differential.”   This differential is $2.50/hour.

Article 26. Seniority – The Parties tentatively agreed to update the language in the seniority clause for the awarding of position vacancies to include per diem employees from within the department first, then to include full-time, part-time and per diem employees from the facility.  

Article 37. Term – The Parties tentatively agree to a 3-year term of the MOU from July 1, 2020 to June 30 2023.

Appendix H. Per Diem Availability Requirements – The Parties tentatively agree to current contract language subject to the Parties’ agreement to meet and confer on department specific issues.

Spousal Coverage for Hospital Health Plans – The Parties tentatively agreed to add the language regarding a Spousal Waiver Credit of $70/pay period.

Side Letter re: Pandemic Proposal – The Parties tentatively agreed to a side letter regarding the hospital’s response to a pandemic specifically how information is disseminated and the availability and distribution of PPE.

Ratification.  The Union will be voting to ratify the contract on September 15, 16, and 17.  

Board of Directors Approved Ratified Contract with Local 6

The Washington Township Health Care District Board of Directors approved a 3-year contract with Local 6 at its June 10 meeting. The agreement was ratified by Local 6 members on Thursday, May 14, 2020. 

“The Board is committed to ensuring that our International Longshoremen & Warehouse members, which include radiology and cath lab technologists, are paid the best possible rates given the Hospital’s financial situation,” said Kimberly Hartz, CEO of Washington Hospital Healthcare System. “Despite the financial challenges created by COVID-19, the new contract will allows us to recruit and retain qualified technologists to care for the residents of our district.” 

Contract terms include: Across-the-board wage increases, including 1% in year one; 2.5% in year two; 2.5% in year three. Call back differential increased to $350 in year two for those not already on-call. Additional step increase to a newly created Step 7 after 15 years of service in year two of the contract.

Local 39 Rescinds Strike Notice; Will Vote on Last, Best and Final Offer

While the data shows that the Hospital’s Last, Best and Final offer to Local 39 would place its members at the top of the market in terms of compensation, the Union’s negotiators indicated that they were disappointed in the proposal.  They plan to put the Hospital’s offer to a vote of its members, without the Union’s recommendation, on Wednesday, Oct. 5.  On a positive note, the Union rescinded its strike notice, that would have had its members on the picket line shortly after the current agreement expired on Friday, Sept. 30.

The Hospital’s bargaining team looks forward to the Union’s members accepting the Hospital’s Last, Best and Final offer on Wednesday.

Data Shows Engineers Would Be Paid Best in the Area with Last, Best and Final Offer to Local 39

Negotiations between Washington Hospital and Local 39 continued on Thursday, Sept. 29, with both parties meeting throughout the day and late into the evening in an effort to reach an agreement on a new contract. After several proposals were exchanged, the Hospital gave the Union its Last, Best and Final Offer. The wage increases offered for the base wage are as follows:

Effective 10/1/2016 – 3.5% ($53.58)

Effective 10/1/2017 –  3.5% ($55.46)

Effective 10/1/2018 – 3.5% ($ 57.40)

Effective 10/1/ 2019 – 3.0% ($59.12)

In addition, the Hospital’s offer includes an increase in the shift differentials for the PM shift, the Night shift and the Relief shift to $2.25 and the Hospital has also agreed to increase the contributions it makes to the training fund by $20 a year. Click here to view the Hospital’s proposal.

The Hospital also handed the Union across the table its market data showing that these increases place the wages of Washington Hospital engineers above all other hospitals in the area. The document containing the data which was provided to the Union is attached here.

The current contract expires at midnight today, Sept. 30. The Union has not responded to the Hospital’s the Last, Best and Final offer.  The Hospital told the Union it believes this offer to be fair and competitive and has asked the Union to have it voted on by its members and let the employees decide for themselves.  Additional updates will be provided as they are available.

Local 39 Bargaining Update — Sept. 28, 2016

Since the last blog update on August 17, the Hospital and Local 39 representatives have met three times (Sept. 8, 15, 21).  At the Sept. 8 bargaining session, the Hospital’s Negotiating Team put across the table a comprehensive economic proposal for Local 39 represented employees.  The Hospital also discussed the union’s proposal to create a new pension plan and provided the Local 39 with information about the legal obstacles that exist which do not permit the formation of a new pension plan. During the bargaining session on Sept. 21, the Hospital informed the union that it was disappointed that the union had failed to provide a counter proposal to the Hospital’s economic proposal.  The Hospital and the union also spoke about the fact that the Hospital would be meeting directly with Local 39 members and sharing all proposals that were made by both the Hospital and the union pursuant to the Local 39 negotiations.

The Hospital’s bargaining team met with the members of Local 39 on Sept. 22, and was very surprised to hear that proposals put forth by both the Hospital and the union were never presented to any of the employees represented by Local 39.  As a result of the questions that the Hospital received from these employees, Hospital representatives took time to provide Local 39 members with all proposals exchanged between both parties.

To further the disappointment, during the Sept. 22 meeting, Local 39 members conveyed to the Hospital that the union had threatened them with job loss if they did not honor a labor action (i.e. strike) should Local 39 and Washington Hospital not reach agreement on a new MOU before the contract’s expiration date on Sept. 30, 2016.

The Hospital reminded Union representatives in writing that state and federal laws prohibit threats and coercion by either party with respect to strike activity and such action by the union amounts to an unfair labor practice (click here for attachments).  The Hospital reaffirmed its commitment to Local 39 represented employees that the Hospital will not take any adverse action towards any employee(s) who do not honor a union sponsored strike.

Local 39 Bargaining Continues

We commenced negotiations with Stationary Engineers, Local 39 on July 29, 2016. The contract expires on September 30, 2016. Today, August 17, 2016, was the fourth meeting of the two parties and the Hospital presented its entire economic proposal (a copy of the wage proposal is hereby attached). In advance of the Hospital’s presentation today, Washington Hospital also shared with the union and the bargaining team its wage survey results that solidified Hospital wages for Local 39 employees as higher than the market. The Hospital’s survey involved reviewing 13 local hospitals. Despite the existing higher wages, the Hospital’s initial offer is a 9% increase to base wage rates over the course of a four year agreement. Washington Hospital also gave the union the same medical benefits proposal that now exists throughout the Hospital for all other employees, including employees represented by the five other unions. In addition, the Hospital advised the union that it was rejecting their proposal to move Local 39 employees to the Local 39 Pension Plan; in part because the new California law under PEPRRA (which covers public entities and became effective January 1, 2013) does not permit the Hospital under these circumstances to switch some of its employees to a new pension plan. The Local 39 employees are currently covered by the same pension plan that is in place for all Washington Hospital employees, including employees represented by the five other unions. In addition, the Hospital agreed to increase the stipend for safety shoes and incur the cost of laundering employee’s uniforms; the parties signed a tentative agreement on this.

The next scheduled negotiations session is set for September 8, 2016. The Hospital has offered to meet on additional date(s) between now and the scheduled September 8 meeting (both parties are checking their respective schedules to see if there are any available dates).The parties are prepared to meet on numerous other occasions in order to ensure negotiations occur between now and the end of September when the Local 39 contract expires.