WHHS Labor Facts

Updates on Labor Negotiations from Washington Hospital Healthcare System

Local 20 Bargaining Update – March 13, 2024

Negotiations reconvened between WHHS and Local 20 on March 13, 2024.  During that bargaining session, Local 20 made a comprehensive counter proposal addressing all outstanding items that have been put on the table by either party to date, and which included, in particular:

  • Agreement with WHHS for a proposed 3-year contract, as opposed to the union’s originally proposed 4-year term.
  • A counter proposal on across the board (“ATB”) wage increases as follows: 10% on 2/1/24 as an inflation and cost-of-living adjustment, 9% on 8/1/24, 9% on 8/1/25, and 9% on 8/1/26.
  • Local 20’s ATB wage proposal amounts to a total increase of 37% over the life of a 3-year MOU.

Local 20 provided movement on the following items from its opening November 15, 2023 economic proposal are to:

  • Withdraw its proposal to add a 15% differential for any time spent by an employee providing relief in a higher classification;
  • Withdraw its proposal to limit the use of only two travelers per department unless where agreed to by the union;
  • Reduce its proposed increase to the number of ETO days from 2 additional days down to 1 additional day, and withdraw its request for an additional Floating Holiday; and
  • Reduce its proposed adjustment to the per diem differential from 20% down to 15% of the base hourly rate for employees in the Lab, Pharmacy, and Case Management departments.

Local 20 held their position on all other outstanding economic items, including for replacement of flat rate differentials with a percentage rate, proposed adjustments to years of eligible service for step advancements and the addition of two new steps, and for a 4% market adjustment to the base rates for all represented Therapy department positions in addition to the year 1 proposed ATB and cost-of-living adjustment. 

Local 20 represented that it would accept WHHS’s proposed health plan if there is agreement on across the board wage increases.

In addition, Local 20 has made a comprehensive proposal for the newly added positions to the bargaining unit of Utilization Review RNs.  In that proposal, Local 20 proposed the following key economic terms:

  • Regular full-time and part-time Utilization Review Coordinators, Portal of Entry Coordinators, and Denials and Appeals Coordinators to remain as exempt employees;
  • Per diem Utilization Review Coordinators to be classified as non-exempt employees and paid a differential of 20% of the base hourly rate in lieu of benefits, including paid sick leave;
  • All Utilization Review RNs to be placed on a wage scale containing 11 steps with advancement for up to 30 years of service; and
  • All Utilization Review RNs, including per diems, to be entitled to 3 paid days (72 hours) per year for Mental Health Leave or Stress Leave of Absence.

During the March 13th bargaining session, there was tentative agreement to modified language to the Employee Complaints and Grievances article to add a new step 6 providing for arbitration of a grievance.

The next bargaining sessions are scheduled for March 20 and 27, 2024.  During the upcoming sessions, WHHS plans to make an updated presentation on the financial state of the hospital and further counter on economics and other open terms.  WHHS looks forward to continuing to work with Local 20 in an effort to make movement toward a new 3-year MOU.