WHHS Labor Facts

Updates on Labor Negotiations from Washington Hospital Healthcare System

Mediator to Help Reach New Contract with Local 6

As was stated previously regarding the Local 6 negotiations, the Hospital’s bargaining team is interested in keeping everyone updated on the status of the negotiations following the membership’s failure to ratify the tentative agreements that the Hospital and the union signed on April 14.  As a follow up, a joint meeting with the Hospital’s bargaining team and the union was held on June 9, to further negotiate. Since neither side was able to reach resolution at that meeting, the Hospital asked the union whether or not the union wanted to use a mediator to help reach a new contract. On June 10, the union responded that they wished to engage in the mediation process to resolve what the union now believes are the remaining issues. To that end, the Hospital’s bargaining team and Local 6’s bargaining team agreed upon a mediator and the mediator has offered the following mediations dates: June 28, June 29 and July 8. The Hospital has informed both Local 6 and the mediator that the Hospital’s bargaining team is available to meet on June 28, 2016. The union has not yet responded with regard to its availability.

While the Hospital is still hopeful on achieving an agreement with Local 6, it is important to note that both the Hospital’s bargaining team and the union’s bargaining team actually reached an agreement settling all issues for a new contract on April 14.  When reaching this agreement, both sides indicated that they would recommend this contract to their respective constituents.  Both parties agreeing to make a positive recommendation for ratification to their constituents is exactly what happens at the conclusion of any bargaining session when final tentative agreements are signed.  In fact, at the conclusion of the bargaining session on April 14, both sides shook hands and thanked the other side for its cooperation during more than four months of bargaining.  After both sides exhibited such good will towards one another, it was disheartening to now hear the union take the position that Local 6 never actually agreed to recommend ratification to their membership of the very same tentative agreements that they signed on April 14.  The Hospital respectfully disagrees and remains hopeful that through the mediation process, an agreement can be reached and then ratified by both bargaining teams.