Spokane Journal of Business

Providence, nurses reach tentative agreement

Accord comes one day after miners ratify deal with Hecla

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The Washington State Nurses Association says it has reached a tentative labor agreement with management, including at Spokane's largest hospital.

The announced accord comes the day after the United Steelworkers Local 5114 says members in Idaho ratified an agreement to resolve their strike at the Lucky Friday mine.

Following 14 months of negotiations with Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, WSNA reports the tentative agreement provides for wage increases of 10% for the duration of the contract, a ratification bonus of $2,100, which is pro-rated for part-time nurses.

Members will vote on the proposed tentative agreement on Jan. 16. WSNA says it represents more than 17,000 registered nurses for collective bargaining who provide care in hospitals clinics, schools, and community and public health settings across the state.

The agreement also presents worker protections of paid time off and extended illness benefits, limits the employer’s ability to raise premiums and preserves health benefits, the WSNA press release says.

After months of unsuccessful negotiations, Sacred Heart nurses and others at Providence-owned facilities across Washington prepared to give 10-day strike notices last week.

However, a scheduled Friday morning press conference was cancelled as the WSNA, UFCW 21, and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW labor unions reported a breakthrough in contract talks.

The three unions represent an estimated 88,000 workers in health care and a variety of other sectors.

Also, on Tuesday, members of United Steelworkers Local 5114, ratified an agreement to end a nearly three-year-old strike at Hecla Mining Co.’s Lucky Friday mine, near Mullan, Idaho.

Management and workers reached a tentative agreement last month to end the strike, which began March 13, 2017. The new three-year deal is shorter than the previous contract, which was six years.

The USW says it represents 850,000 workers in a wide array of industries in North America.



Kevin Blocker
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