Harrison, ProTech workers still don’t have deal

Harrison Medical Center and members of UFCW Local 21, representing about 800 Professional and Technical (ProTech) employees, met at the bargaining table late last week, but have not reached agreement on a new contract.

Last week’s meeting was the first time both sides have met since Harrison had provided its last and final offer in January.

“Unfortunately, things still remain in the same place they had been before with many of the same issues,” said UFCW 21 Spokesman Tom Geiger.

Geiger said union members would be leafleting on Wednesday and Thursday in Bremerton and Silverdale. On Friday afternoon, union members plan to be out along Wheaton Way doing even further public outreach.

In a letter to employees on Monday, Human Resources Executive Director Marie LaMarche wrote that the hospital offered to increase the amount of the ratification bonus that employees will receive after ratification.

“Harrison would like to achieve a fair contract and has made many concessions over the past months of bargaining,” LaMarche wrote. “Harrison hopes the enhanced bonus offer will make that happen. We have asked the union to vote on Harrison’s offer so that you, the employees, can decide if this is a fair contract offer.”

LeMarche also broke down what the hospital’s latest offer will mean in dollars and cents for workers.

“The increased bonus amount will more closely approximate the pay increases employees would have received if the contract had been approved when the old contract expired,” LaMarche wrote. “Harrison’s proposal is to calculate the bonuses based on increased wage rates under the proposed new agreement, multiplied by 1,100 hours, and multiplied by FTE (multiplied by 300 hours for per diem employees).

LeMarche explained that a full-time employee making $25 an hour, would make $25.50 after ratification and the initial wage increase. In addition, the employee would receive a $550 ratification bonus.

According to LaMarche, UFCW 21 countered the hospital’s proposal with the following:

• Harrison pay the ratification bonus to employees who no longer work for Harrison.

• Additional annual wage increases above and beyond both the union’s original proposal and the parties’ discussions in December, in effect reopening wage negotiations.

• Increasing the amounts Harrison agreed to contribute to the cost of the Sound Health and Wellness healthcare plan, with new proposed contributions even higher than the Union’s earlier proposal.

• Reverting to the old contract language for management rights, even though the union’s negotiator had indicated a willingness to accept the new language.

• Rejecting all meaningful changes to the no-strike clause, even though Harrison offered to agree to the language from any of at least nine other UFCW contracts as alternatives to the current language that does not protect Harrison from work stoppages.


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