WHHS Labor Facts

Updates on Labor Negotiations from Washington Hospital Healthcare System

CNA Bargaining Update – Feb. 22, 2024

Nurses Fail to Ratify Tentative 4-Year Agreement Reached Between CNA and WHHS, Leaving Generous Wage Increases and Retroactive Pay On the Table

After 8 months of tough negotiations, Washington Hospital Healthcare System (WHHS) and the California Nurses Association (CNA) reached a Tentative Agreement on a new, four-year contract during their last bargaining session on February 15, 2024.  CNA negotiators and the nurse bargaining team represented that they “unanimously and proudly recommend this agreement for full ratification vote.”  However, on February 20, 2024, the nurses surprisingly voted the agreement down.

The Tentative Agreement reached by the parties on February 15, 2024 involved the nurse bargaining team’s acceptance of WHHS’s Last, Best and Final package proposal.  Some key highlights of the Tentative Agreement the nurses voted down, which are now directly at stake and subject to either unilateral implementation or withdrawal by WHHS include:

  • 20% across the board wage increase over 4 years (which actually amounts to an average wage increase of 21.6% over the life of the contract when step advancements on the nurses’ wage scale are taken into account)
  • Delayed implementation of new health plan to July 1
  • Change of uniform color from white to navy blue with a one-time $100 stipend
  • Reduction in the number of months that disciplines remain on record
  • Paid time without a patient assignment to complete mandatory clinical in-service education
  • Increase in hourly differentials for evening shift to $7.30, night shift to $11.75, charge nurse relief to $5.00, and the nurse preceptor role to $4.00
  • Maintenance of current contract language on floating and like areas for floating.

Importantly, by failing to ratify the Tentative Agreement on February 20, 2024, the nurses have lost the opportunity to receive retroactive pay back to July 1, 2023, which amounts to an individual loss of approximately $4,000 to $6,000 per nurse, depending on hours worked.

The Tentative Agreement is an agreement that the nurse bargaining team claimed to be “proud of” as it would have guaranteed WHHS’s nurses receive market competitive compensation and benefits in addition to securing a number of other enhancements including for improved staff and patient safety and a long sought after change in uniform color.  WHHS management is very disappointed that such an unprecedented agreement could be rejected by the nurse bargaining unit.

Given that WHHS is a public entity employer and the Tentative Agreement involved acceptance of its Last, Best, and Final offer, there is now a legal process that the parties must follow before anything more can happen.

There are no additional bargaining dates scheduled between the parties at this time.  As such, the nurses will also see no wage increases for the foreseeable future.