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News / Business / Clark County Business

Washington Kaiser workers ratify contract that includes 17-25% pay increase for every union member

By Chrissy Booker, Columbian staff writer
Published: November 9, 2023, 2:02pm

Members of the union representing Kaiser Permanente workers across Washington have voted to ratify a new contract agreement, the union announced Thursday.

The ratified contract agreement comes two weeks after the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions — which includes Service Employees International  Union Healthcare 1199NW and SEIU Local 49 — reached a national contract agreement.

Both the national agreement and the newly ratified state agreement will apply to Kaiser Permanente workers in Washington.

Of the almost 85,000 union members, 98.5 percent voted in recent weeks to ratify the contract, the coalition said in a press release. Represented Kaiser workers will see a 17-25 percent wage increase in the next 12 months, and between a 27-35 percent wage increase by the end of the contract. Both contracts will expire Sept. 30, 2027.

Specific increases include a 30 percent total raise for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and most techs, a 27 percent increase for advanced practice registered nurses, and a 35 percent increase for environment service workers.   

A three-day strike that began in early October was a part of a nationwide walkout with over 75,000 health care employees, who picketed for increased wages and staffing at Kaiser facilities.

Around 300 members of the Service Employees International Union Local 49, which represents more than 15,000 health care employees across Southwest Washington and Oregon, joined the thousands of health care workers across the nation.

The union coalition represents 40 percent of Kaiser Permanente’s non-physician workforce and includes medical workers, including EMTs, X-ray technicians, nursing assistants and respiratory care practitioners.

“This new contract with Kaiser Washington is a win for both health care workers and patients,” said Jane Hopkins, registered nurse and president of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.