WHHS Labor Facts

Updates on Labor Negotiations from Washington Hospital Healthcare System

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.