WHHS Labor Facts

Updates on Labor Negotiations from Washington Hospital Healthcare System

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.