Providence, healthcare workers reach tentative agreement

Nurses and healthcare workers at Sacred Heart and Holy Family have postponed their strike date.
Nurses and healthcare workers at Sacred Heart and Holy Family have postponed their strike date.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Nurses and healthcare workers at Sacred Heart have reached a tentative agreement with Providence following a year of negotiations over staffing, compensation and sick leave.

“This Tentative Agreement protects the benefits our members have earned and secures new investments in patient care and workplace safety,” said Darryl Johnson, a cardiac intensive care nurse. “This is a major victory for Sacred Heart nurse and our entire Spokane community.”

The tentative agreement includes enhanced languaged on staffing levels and workplace violence prevention, protection of paid time off and extended illness benefits, limits on employer’s ability to raise premiums and preservation of important health benefits, wage increases of 10 percent over the duration of the contract, as well as a ratification bonus of $2,100, pro-rated for part-time nurses.

The Washington State Nurses Association and UFCW 21 were prepared to announce a strike date last Friday, but progress in negotiations moved them to postpone an announcement.

Members will vote on the proposed tentative agreement on January 16.

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READ: Sacred Heart nurses vote overwhelmingly to go on strike