Seattle Children's nurses reach agreement with $10/hour raises

Members of the Washington State Nurses Association have reached a tentative contract that offers $10 per hour raises for Seattle Children's nurses over the next 12 months.

The union represents about 1,700 nurses at the hospital, according to an Aug. 29 WSNA news release. Seattle Children's has about 8,700 total active employees.

Union members have been bargaining for a new contract that addresses compensation, staffing and turnover. Seattle Children's spokesperson Jeanine Takala told Becker's both sides reached a tentative three-year agreement in mid-August, and WSNA-represented nurses will vote on whether to approve the new deal on Sept. 1. She said the new contract "includes measures that will enhance safety, retention and recruitment, and recognizes the dedication, professionalism and quality of the 1,700-person nursing team at Seattle Children's as well as the extraordinary circumstances they have been working under throughout the pandemic."

If the nurses approve the tentative agreement, the base rate for newly graduated nurses would be the highest in Seattle ($47.60 per hour) by August 2024, according to the union. By the end of the contract, a nurse on the beginning step of the wage scale would see a pay jump of 49.7 percent.

"The best way to retain newer nurses and grow the next generation is to raise the floor," Pamela Chandran, labor counsel for the WSNA, said in the union release. "We were able to make the wage scale more equitable for nurses at the lower end of the scale while ensuring that senior nurses received increases we've never seen before at Children's."

The tentative agreement was reached after five months of negotiations.

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