MYNORTHWEST NEWS

UW Medicine nurses reach early contract agreement

Oct 19, 2022, 7:54 AM | Updated: 8:43 am

nurses...

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

UW Medicine nurses at the Montlake and Northwest campuses reached a tentative contract agreement Sept. 30, even though their contract does not end for another nine months.

The Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA), the union representing the 2,460 nurses on the campuses, reached an agreement that includes a 21% raise for nurses over the next two years, alongside demands for standby and training pay.

Seattle Children’s and nurses reach tentative agreement on $10 per hour raise

As hospitals in the region recover from a series of other nursing strikes, and with many hospitals already facing understaffing, the speedy contract agreement is a way to quickly meet nurses’ demands to prevent them from moving to other more lucrative positions at another hospital or as a travel nurse.

“We still are working side by side with travelers who don’t know the intricacies of our system, and they make more money. But I’m hoping this will bring a little more stability, and we don’t lose as many people now,” Janet Bower said, an operating room registered nurse.

If approved, these would be the biggest raises for UW Medicine nurses, according to WSNA.

Ed Zercher, a representative from WSNA, says this agreement would put UW Medicine on par with other hospitals in the area.

“Stagnation in registered nurse wages is something of the past,” said Zercher. “There’s such a competition for bright skilled nurses that facilities are having to make themselves more attractive … This is long overdue. The hospital’s opening wage proposal was 10% in new money but ended up being at 21% in total wage increases.”

Washington state’s hospitals are losing a significant amount of money, operating under large deficits, with the highest cost being staffing. The Washington Hospital Association reported a collective $1.75 billion loss across the state. That includes spending more than $1 billion on travel nurses alone, compared to 2021, which was only $305 million.

The contract vote is set for Oct. 19 with results to be announced at 9 p.m.

KIRO Newsradio has reached out to UW Medicine for comment but hasn’t heard back yet.

MyNorthwest News

Auburn shooting...

Sam Campbell

Auburn Police search for suspect in overnight shooting that left one woman dead

Police are looking for a suspect after a woman in her 30s was shot and killed in Auburn overnight.

9 minutes ago

Vashon Island ferry...

Micki Gamez

Vashon Island struggling economically due to state ferry crisis

The community of Vashon Island said they're in crisis because of the state ferry system, demanding officials address the problems.

2 hours ago

Columbia City fire...

Lisa Brooks

Fire in Columbia City overnight injures Seattle firefighter

A Seattle firefighter was injured Tuesday night, while battling a 2-alarm fire in the city's Columbia City neighborhood.

2 hours ago

echo glen...

Kate Stone

Three teens who escaped Echo Glen detention center have violent criminal histories

The King County Sheriff's office said all three were captured in a matter of hours after the initial search began shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday night.

3 hours ago

(Photo from United States Coast Guard)...

KIRO 7 News Staff

Derelict boat with troubled past sinks off Orcas Island

Tens days later, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies are continuing their efforts to reduce environmental impacts from a boat that sunk off Orcas Island on Nov. 18.

3 hours ago

officer involved shooting...

L.B. Gilbert

Officer involved shooting in Puyallup leaves one suspect dead

The suspect is deceased and all deputies are ok, according to KIRO Newsradio. The suspect killed was wanted for a violent felony.

15 hours ago

UW Medicine nurses reach early contract agreement