We have a Tentative Agreement on a contract! #
Your Bargaining Team has reached a Tentative Agreement with the Hospital. The Team believes this agreement is a necessary step in light of the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. The agreement will preserve our collective voice at Sunnyside while ensuring that we have the ability to come back to the bargaining table as the hospital emerges from bankruptcy.
SUMMARY OF 2019 TENTATIVE AGREEMENT #
This short-term contract will expire on March 31, 2020. Your bargaining team did not want to commit us to a long-term contract that was negotiated at a time when the hospital did not have authority to negotiate wage increases. While there is no way to know with certainty when the bankruptcy proceedings will conclude, the best estimate is that Astria will emerge from the process around the first of the year. This agreement will have the parties back at the bargaining table at the time the employer regains control over its finances.
Once Astria filed for bankruptcy, the employer lost its ability to make financial decisions. The hospital’s bargaining team did not have the authority to make an economic proposal. Therefore, there will be no across the board wage increases during this contract. Nurses are still eligible for step increases in accordance with the terms of Section 8.1.
The following non-economic changes will go into effect upon the ratification of this agreement by WSNA members at Sunnyside.
Association Membership/Dues Deduction
WSNA nurses at Sunnyside have called for a stronger collective voice. We have made proposals to the employer to give nurses a greater say in contract negotiations, staffing decisions and other policies that effect our ability to provide care to our patients. The hospital has steadfastly rejected our proposals. The new contract will contain language that clarifies that WSNA members should communicate directly with WSNA, as opposed to communicating with the employer, about WSNA membership status. However, strengthening our membership language will be a point of emphasis in the next contract in addition to economic improvements.
New Hires From Astria Facilities
Nurses transferring from other Astria facilities will have their years of service counted for the purposes of benefits. This will not affect seniority. The new language will make it easier for a nurse to transfer to Sunnyside from Regional or Toppenish.
Seniority Based Layoff Language
The new contract will remove the hospital’s current exclusive authority to determine if a nurse is qualified to bump into a position on the Low Seniority Roster in the event of a layoff. This improvement will require the employer to make layoff decisions based exclusively on seniority.
Sick Leave Language Updates
The new contract will contain updates to the sick leave language to recognize the benefits that nurses will accrue under the Washington State Paid Sick Leave Act. Full-time and part-time nurses will not see any changes to their sick leave accruals or caps. Per diem nurses will see their statutory rights articulated in the contract.
Bereavement Leave will be increased from 24 hours to 3 regular shifts (36 hours for 12-hour shift nurses).
This contract is recommended by your bargaining team. #
The VOTE to ratify this contract will occur on
October 28 from 5:30 — 8:30 p.m.
in the Classroom at the Hospital
You must be a WSNA member in good standing to vote on the contract.