Local 20 Bargaining Update – Jan. 31, 2024
Negotiations reconvened between Washington Hospital Healthcare System (“WHHS”) and ESC/IFPTE Local 20 (“Local 20”) for a new Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) on January 31.
Back on November 15, 2023, Local 20 made a comprehensive opening proposal that included over 30 individual economic asks, including significant increases in differentials, accelerated step movement with additional proposed steps, and proposed across the board (ATB) wage increases that alone amounted to a 50% increase in base wages over a proposed 4-year contract period.
During the January 31 bargaining session, WHHS made its opening economic counter proposal for a 3-year MOU, which included, in particular, a counter proposal on ATB wage increases of:
- 4% in year 1,
- 3.5% in year 2, and
- 3.5% in year 3.
WHHS has offered for the wage increases in this proposal to be effective on February 1 of each year of the MOU. Notably, these are the largest wage increases that WHHS has presented to Local 20 in recent history.
WHHS did not make any other notable economic counter proposals at this time due to the significant number of opening economic proposals made by Local 20, their related costs, and the lack of market data to support them. As such, WHHS strongly encouraged Local 20 to prioritize its economic asks so that WHHS will be in a better position to respond and put its valuable dollars into the areas that will truly add value to Local 20 members and the hospital.
During the January 31 session, WHHS also made a comprehensive proposal addressing proposed modifications to the sections governing Work Schedules and Hours of Work in each of the represented departments (i.e., Section 10 of each of Appendix A-E). In addition, the parties reached another tentative agreement on revised language for the Labor Management Committee, previously referred to in the MOU as the Professional Practices Committee.
The parties are also continuing to make movement on other open items, including proposed modifications to the following sections of the MOU:
- Employment Categories,
- Earned Time Off,
- Educational Leave,
- Bereavement Leave, and
- Employee Complaints and Grievances.
Finally, at the parties’ next scheduled bargaining session on February 14, WHHS plans to make a presentation on a newly proposed health plan that it has worked diligently to design over the last year.
WHHS values its dedicated Local 20 staff and is committed to continuing to bargain in good faith toward a new MOU with Local 20. In doing so, WHHS must balance its fiduciary responsibility to continue to provide high-quality care aligned with the market while maintaining jobs that contribute to a vibrant local economy.