After strike, state intervention, Swedish Health finalizes contracts with 7,700 workers

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

Healthcare workers represented by Service Employees International Union Healthcare 1199NW have reached contract agreements with Seattle-based Swedish Health Services.

The agreements cover more than 7,700 unionized registered nurses, service workers, technical workers and professional caregivers.

Under the deals, workers will receive wage increases of 13.5 percent over the life of the contracts, as well as new zero-premium health coverage for full-time employees who earn less than $60,000 annually, according to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who began working with both sides in March to restart negotiations with outside mediators.

The governor said the contracts, which run until June 2023, also include a partnership agreement aimed at improving healthcare quality, protecting employees and advancing recruitment efforts, as well as a pledge from Swedish to work with front-line employees when discussing staffing levels. Additionally, the partnership agreement includes a Joint Labor-Management Innovation Fund that Swedish will commit $1 million to over four years.

The agreements come a year after negotiations began in April 2019, according to The Seattle Times. The labor dispute resulted in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members going on strike for three days in January. Union members ratified the new contracts April 6. 

 

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