Skagit Regional Health RNs demonstrate

Registered nurses from Skagit Regional Health (from left) Chery Milhomme, Roxanne Kinney and Lisa Bond take part in a rally Jan. 22.

MOUNT VERNON — Skagit Regional Health has reached an agreement on a new contract with its nurses union, after 20 bargaining sessions that spanned about a year.

“These were long, difficult negotiations that raised serious issues about patient safety,” said Ruth Schubert, communications director with the Washington State Nurses Association. “We are pleased that the agreement we reached includes significant wage increases, vastly improved staffing language and additional significant improvements.”

The contract, which was ratified June 11, runs through May 31, 2021, she said.

According to a summary from the Washington State Nurses Association, the contract includes a 3.25% wage increase this month, another 3.25% increase in June 2020 and a 3% increase in March 2021.

It includes pay increases for nurses with graduate degrees or other additional qualifications.

The contract has language committing to minimum staffing levels, according to the union summary. Staffing was one of the major issues highlighted by nurses at a rally in January.

Skagit Regional Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

 

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