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Tentative Agreement Reached In Nurses' Contract Dispute


Providence Sacred Heart and its nurses have reached a tentative labor agreement.

The pact includes key provisions sought by nurses, including enhanced language about staffing levels and workplace violence prevention and limits on the employer's ability to raise premiums. It also preserves important health benefits, provides wage increases of 10% over the duration of the three-year contract and a ratification bonus of $2,100, prorated for part-time nurses.

Washington State Nurses' Association spokeswoman Ruth Schubert says an impasse turned into a breakthrough when management agreed last Friday not to change paid time off and extend illness benefits.

“For over a year, Sacred Heart had proposals on the table that would have eliminated earned illness time," Schubert said.  "These were separate banks of sick time that could be used by nurses to care for themselves, their family members, and paid out full wages.”

Providence issued a statement Tuesday that said it is “pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA). The union will present the tentative agreement for a vote on January 16. We will wait until after the ratification vote to discuss details.”

Meanwhile, the company will continue with a second set of negotiations, with representatives from the United Food and Commercial Workers union today and Wednesday.