Representatives of SEIU 1199 NW union have notified Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital of their intent to engage in “informational picketing” at the hospital on Friday, March 14. This is not a labor strike and in no way affects the quality of patient care at Memorial Family of Services.
“We are confident that we will reach an agreement with the union,” Memorial CEO Russ Myers said. “We have offered a fair pay plan with increases and bonuses commensurate with those received by other Memorial employees, and we remain committed to our employees and our community.”
Memorial is negotiating with SEIU 1199 NW to reach agreement on a long-term contract for about 535 service area employees, including nursing assistants and employees in dietary and environmental services. Memorial is working toward enactment of a multi-year agreement that reflects its continued support for employees while ensuring an overriding focus on the care and well-being of patients.
The two sides have reached agreement on a number of issues, but some key items remain undecided:
- Membership – Memorial supports employee choice and is committed to giving employees the option of whether or not to pay union dues.
- Compensation – Memorial has offered a pay plan with increases and bonuses totaling up to 4.25 percent, which is the same pay plan enjoyed by other non-union employees. Up to 2 percent is tied to high performance. SEIU has submitted a counter proposal that includes annual increases without regard to performance. Memorial believes that there are two important parts to a fair and competitive wage proposal – cost of living increases and rewards for performance excellence – and Memorial’s pay plans often exceed those offered by other Central Washington health care organizations.
- Memorial also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes a health plan, retirement savings programs, a wellness initiative, and access to a free employee health clinic.
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is a 226-bed, full-service community hospital serving Central Washington’s Yakima Valley. Its Family of Services includes more than two-dozen primary care offices and specialty clinics, including heart, orthopedic and cancer care. Memorial’s reputation for high quality care has been recognized nationally.