New Contracts for Caregivers Reached Via Mediation
Governor Jay Inslee recently announced that the Swedish Medical Center and Swedish Edmonds and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW have agreed on new contract terms that affect nearly 8000 employees of Swedish.
According to the governor, the two sides met in March with Thomas Kochan, an independent mediator and professor at MIT Sloan School of Management and federal mediator Beth Schindler. Schindler is the Western Regional Director of Field Operations for Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services.
Following the completion of negotiations, union members overwhelming ratified the terms of the new contract.
According to Diane Sosne, RN, MN, and president of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, “We appreciate the governor's engagement in bringing the parties together to address the key issues for nurses and healthcare workers at Swedish. It is especially important to have this contract ratified during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The investment of dedicated funding in a labor-management innovation partnership shows a real commitment from Swedish to partner with nurses and caregivers to face present and future healthcare challenges together.”
Dr. Guy Hudson, CEO of Swedish agrees and expressed his gratitude about having moved forward through mediation. “I am grateful that we came together to finalize these agreements during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to be One Swedish to support our patients, community and each other during this crisis. I extend my thanks to Governor Inslee for his leadership to bring our two sides together and the mediators who helped find a solution we can both support.”
According to the agreement, employees will receive a 13.5% increase in wages over the life of the contract and zero-premium health coverage for any employees earning $60,000 or less per year.