Kadlec Labor Negotiation News

Kadlec News Team



Nov. 30, 2022

Collective bargaining update - Nov. 29, 2022

The Kadlec and WSNA bargaining teams met again on Nov. 29 and continued making progress toward a complete tentative agreement. Both parties made proposals on wages and other outstanding issues, such as the definition of charge nurse and the related premium, education benefits, short-term disability benefits, premiums, bulletin boards and the PTO scheduling process. We’re happy to report that after a lot of discussion, the parties reached a tentative agreement on a new process for PTO scheduling. The Kadlec team is hopeful that this new contract language on PTO scheduling will increase nurses’ satisfaction and lead to an easier-to-understand and administer PTO request and approval process.    

The teams still remain apart on wages and other economic items, but both made moves toward each other at this session. The Kadlec team has proposed (as part of a complete package) the following: a significant revision to the step schedule, which will result in sizeable and immediate wages increases (an average of 8.6% and an excess of 11% or more at certain steps) and an additional across-the-board increase of 1.75% in July 2023. Kadlec also proposed adding a new step 31 to the existing schedule, which currently “tops out” at step 29. Combined, Kadlec’s first year across-the-board increases would total at least 10.35%. For years two and three, Kadlec proposed 3% for both years. Nurses would receive, in total, an average of 16.35% in wage increases + annual step schedule increases (on average, up to 6%) during the agreement. In addition to moves on premiums already made during previous sessions (all of which were maintained), Kadlec, as part of a package, proposed increases for premiums or bonuses in several new areas: a .25 cent increase to evening differential (making it $2.50 per hour); a new $50.00 bonus for charge nurses in units with less than five patients when those nurses work six (6) hours or more during their shift with no HUC/CNA/tech per that unit’s staffing plan; a new $25.00 bonus for any nurse who transports patients to/from other Kadlec facilities; a new $150.00 bonus for OR, cath lab, PACU and endo nurses who work call back in excess of 16 cumulative hours on a weekend, and a $200.00 bonus for nurses who are SANE-qualified and who perform a SANE exam during a work shift.  

The parties have scheduled their next bargaining session for Dec. 19. The Kadlec team is optimistic that the parties can bridge their differences and reach a final recommended tentative agreement before the end of the year – getting wage and premium increases into nurses’ pockets as soon as possible.  

Upcoming bargaining dates:  
Monday, Dec. 19 

Nov. 18, 2022

Collective bargaining update - Nov. 17, 2022

The Kadlec and WSNA teams met on Nov. 17 for a sixth day of negotiations. We are happy to report that after productive dialogue during prior sessions, the teams reached tentative agreements on a number of additional articles, including a faster timeline for per diem nurses’ step progression, preceptor and orientation periods and low census. 

 In recognition of the WSNA team’s desire to address concerns about the competitiveness of wages for nurses who fall within the mid-point of the step schedule (along with wages for all nurses), the Kadlec team presented a revised year one wage proposal with a new step schedule design going into effect after contract ratification. For certain steps, nurses’ base wage rates would exceed wages at local market competitors by approximately $5.00 per hour. The Kadlec team looks forward to continued dialogue on how we can improve the existing step schedule and provide a meaningful increase for nurses at every level, including new and more senior nurses. Kadlec has every intent to be the market leader for nursing wages in the Tri-Cities’ area, but also must take into account that a labor contract which far outstrips wages at other local hospitals is not in the best interest of the community and could hurt continued access to care for those living in our fast-growing Tri-Cities area. 

 In addition to Kadlec’s new proposed step schedule, Kadlec made a package proposal that increased premiums in a number of areas, including nights (to $4.50 per hour), charge ($3.50 per hour), weekends ($4.00 per hour) and a new bonus for nurses who perform SANE exams during their regular shifts. Kadlec also proposed a package that, amongst other subjects, included an increase in on-call pay to $4.25 per hour ($5.25 on holidays) and an increase in the bonus for on-call hours worked in excess of 1,000 hours.  

Upcoming bargaining dates:  
Tuesday, Nov. 29 

Nov. 15, 2022

Collective bargaining update - Nov. 14, 2022

The Kadlec and WSNA bargaining teams met on Nov. 14 for their fifth bargaining session. In response to WSNA’s latest proposals, the Kadlec bargaining team made significant movement on wages and other issues important to nurses at the medical center. 

On wages, the Kadlec team proposed the following: 

  • Effective the first full payroll period following ratification, the entire wage schedule would be reset to begin at a base of $36.00 per hour. That means the entire schedule shifts up, and each and every nurse would see a meaningful increase. This change, in total, amounts to a 5.3% increase.  

  • The first full payroll period in July 2023, every nurse would receive a 3% across-the-board increase. 

  • In January 2024, every nurse would receive a 3% across-the-board increase. 

  • In January 2025, every nurse would receive a 2.5% across-the-board increase.  

  • In addition, nurses who are employed at time of ratification would be eligible for a $1,000 bonus (pro-rated by FTE), and a second retention bonus of $3,000 (pro-rated by FTE) if they are still employed in January 2024.  

Remember, in addition to these across-the-board wage increases, nurses continue to receive their step increases, which average more than 2%. Taken together (step advancement and proposed across-the-board increases), this means a full-time nurse could receive more than 19% in wage increases during the life of this contract.  

In addition to its proposals on wages, the teams exchanged proposals on all outstanding matters like leaves, bulletin boards, floating, committees, orientation periods and benefits. These exchanges resulted in additional tentative agreements on functional assignments, bereavement leave, work restructures and committee-related articles.  

The Kadlec team looks forward to the next bargaining sessions with the WSNA team on Nov. 17 and 29. 

Upcoming bargaining dates:  

Thursday, Nov. 17
Tuesday, Nov. 29 

Nov 8, 2022

Collective bargaining update - Nov. 7, 2022

The Kadlec and WSNA bargaining teams met again on Nov. 7. We are happy to report that the teams reached a number of tentative agreements on a variety of subjects, including a new per diem bonus for nurses who work 864 hours or more per calendar year, work scheduling workgroups, voluntary reduction of FTEs, paydays, and the extra shift/premium shift letter of understanding.  

The WSNA team also made a revised economic proposal with modest decreases in the across-the-board increases during the second and third years of the contract. The Kadlec team will be preparing its counter and looks forward to additional discussions on wages and other economic items, such as premiums and shift differentials.  

The Kadlec team appreciates all the hard work by everyone involved in these negotiations. 

Upcoming bargaining dates:  
Monday, Nov. 14
Thursday, Nov. 17
Tuesday, Nov. 29 

Oct. 28, 2022

Collective bargaining update - Oct. 27, 2022

The Kadlec and WSNA bargaining teams met again on Oct. 27, 2022, to negotiate terms for a new contract. The teams have reached a number of tentative agreements on various subjects, including some leave-related provisions, seniority reinstatement, dental insurance, credit for experience for nurses who obtain their training and experience in different countries, and on-call bonuses for over 1,000 hours. The teams also had productive discussions on work schedules and other issues important to the WSNA team.  

After the Kadlec team had provided a complete initial comprehensive proposal during the parties’ last bargaining session, the WSNA bargaining team responded, stating they intended to maintain their first economic proposal, with no changes to their proposed across-the-board wage and premium increases. The Kadlec team was disappointed by the WSNA team’s decision not to counter Kadlec’s economic proposal. Based on information we’ve gathered, Kadlec’s economic proposal is more consistent with local market wages. Other nursing contracts are not settling at 34% (which is what WSNA has proposed). Further, the WSNA team’s proposal does not take into account where Kadlec’s nursing wages start – near or more than the wages of other Tri-Cities hospitals.  

The Kadlec team fully intends to negotiate a contract that maintains Kadlec nursing wages at top of market. We understand labor market conditions have changed. That’s why Kadlec’s first  proposal was more than what was agreed to in the last contract. The Kadlec team will continue to meet and discuss terms in good faith. We sincerely hope that the parties can continue to make progress in our upcoming scheduled bargaining sessions.   

Upcoming bargaining dates:  

Monday, Nov. 7
Monday, Nov. 14
Thursday, Nov. 17
Tuesday, Nov. 29 

Oct. 20, 2022

Collective bargaining update - Oct. 19, 2022

Yesterday, the Kadlec bargaining team responded to WSNA’s initial set of proposals. Its comprehensive responses covered nurses’ compensation, benefits, premiums, committees, education dollars and more. 

Kadlec’s initial proposal provides for more aggressive wage increases compared to past contract cycles; we are starting with more than what WSNA and Kadlec settled at in the last contract. We believe, based on the data we’ve seen to date, it places Kadlec nurses’ wages above those at other hospitals in the Tri-Cities.

In year one alone (again, as part of its very first proposal), Kadlec is proposing a 4% increase, split between a 3% increase at ratification and another 1% in the spring of 2023. Then, in years two and three, despite the fact that some economists are predicting a nearly 100% chance of a recession in the coming year, Kadlec is proposing to match the final across-the-board percentage increases that the medical center and WSNA agreed to during the prior contract, with a 2.5% proposed increase in year two and a 2.0% proposed increase in year three. Kadlec’s bargaining team made clear that this is its initial proposal – not its final proposal – and that it intends to continue bargaining in good faith to reach agreement. 

The Kadlec team recognizes there is a significant divide between its initial compensation proposal and WSNA’s initial proposal of 18% (year one), 8% (year two), and 8% (year three), which is more than four times greater than the parties agreed on for the prior contract. Despite that divide, the Kadlec team is hopeful that the teams can reach a compromise that will both continue Kadlec’s historic position as market-leader for nursing wages and ensure the sustainability of its operations for the future.

In addition to wage increases, Kadlec responded to proposals on several premiums proposing to increase nights, weekends, charge and clinical educator premiums. And, for per diem nurses working more than 864 hours per calendar year, Kadlec proposed that these nurses be recognized with a $1,000.00 bonus.

For benefits, Kadlec proposed, during the first quarter of 2023, nurses have access to enhanced short-term disability benefits, covering 100% (coordinated with state paid family leave benefits) of nurses’ wages for eight weeks (after the seven-day waiting period) when nurses are unable to work because of a serious health issue. Kadlec also committed to cap medical premium increases to 10% each year and maintain the zero-premium caregiver-only medical plan option. 

Kadlec strongly believes that all caregivers should have access to meaningful tuition assistance benefits and education dollars to advance their careers in health care. That’s why Kadlec is proposing that nurses participate in the expanded tuition assistance program coming online in 2023, which will cover up to $5,250.00 (pro-rated by FTE) per year in eligible education expenses. This program covers BSNs, MSNs and select certificate programs and more than doubles previous education dollars. 

Kadlec’s initial proposal represents a substantial investment in nurses and their families. The team is hopeful that mutually agreeable terms for a new contract with WSNA can be reached quickly, enabling Kadlec to maintain its position as the Tri-Cities market-leader in nursing wages and benefits. 

Upcoming bargaining dates: 

Thursday, Oct. 27
Monday, Nov. 7
Monday, Nov. 14
Thursday, Nov. 17
Tuesday, Nov. 29

Oct. 4, 2022

Key points from yesterday’s session 

  • The WSNA and Kadlec bargaining teams met yesterday for a very productive first day of contract negotiations.   

  • The WSNA team presented a comprehensive set of proposals covering wages, benefits, leaves and other topics.    

  • The Kadlec bargaining team anticipates providing a complete response to the WSNA team’s proposals during our next scheduled day of negotiations on Wednesday, Oct.19.     

Have questions? Please contact your core leader.  

Sept. 27, 2022

Collective bargaining sessions scheduled

Background: The collective bargaining agreement between Kadlec and the Washington State Nursing Association (WSNA) expires on Oct. 31, 2022. Representatives from Kadlec and WSNA will meet in bargaining sessions to review issues of concern to our nurses, including compensation, benefits, retention, staffing and other topics. What’s next: Kadlec and WSNA have scheduled the first bargaining session for Monday, Oct. 3. At this meeting we will officially begin discussion over the terms of the agreement.  Additional bargaining sessions are set for Wednesday, Oct. 19, and Thursday, Oct. 27. We’ll keep you informed as subsequent sessions are scheduled. While some of the topics we negotiate may be challenging, Kadlec intends to foster open and constructive discussion as we work to come to an agreement that best serves our caregivers, our patients and our organization. We are committed to working with the union to develop an agreement that reaches our shared goals – providing competitive wages and benefits for our staff and ensuring we are positioned to provide patients with high-quality, affordable care. We are committed to providing timely and accurate information about each session. Information about each session will be posted on a webpage accessible to all. After the first session on Oct. 19, we expect to be able to offer a summary of the key issues under discussion. Who’s involved: The members of the Kadlec bargaining team are:

  • Kirk Harper, chief nursing officer
  • Kathy Christensen, director of nursing
  • Christina Mackey, director of nursing
  • Anne Eerkes, manager of surgical services
  • Andrea Dixon, manager of FSED
  • Toby Sutton, chief human resources officer
  • Rachelle Wills, VP, senior labor employment counsel

Representing our nurses at the bargaining table are:

  • Meri Bukovinsky, CDU
  • Jamie Woodall, FSED
  • Vanessa Douglas, CCU
  • Anita Dennis, PAU
  • Kat Banks, PAU
  • Michelle Killebrew, pre/post CV
  • Andrew Blake, cath lab
  • Kelsi Duncan, NICU
  • Laurie Robinson, WSNA nurse representative
  • Danielle Franco-Malone, labor counsel
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