Nurses and hospital officials at Tacoma General Hospital are hoping a new session with a federal mediator scheduled for March 28 will help the two sides reach a new labor pact between the hospital and some 650 nurses represented by the Washington State Nurses Association.
Were certainly hopeful that we will reach new agreement that will treat us fairly and preserve patient care levels and safety, said association spokesman Anne Tan Piazza. Its our objective to work things out at the bargaining table, she said.
At Tacoma General, spokeswoman Marce Edwards said the hospital has proposed an equitable offer.
We have put forth a fair proposal and hope to reach an equitable contract that will allow us to navigate future changes to the health care industry and continue to serve our communities, she said.
The mediation session comes after nurses last week posted informational pickets outside the Tacoma hospital. The nurses contract expired at the end of last year, and they have since been working under the provisions of that document.
Piazza said the two sides have already met with a mediator four times.
The nurses group hasnt threatened a strike and hasnt taken a vote authorizing union negotiators to call a strike.
The nurses say the hospital is proposing terms that would freeze pensions for some existing employees grandfathered into a pension plan a decade ago.
The union says the hospital has likewise proposed giving hospital managers the power to move nurses between units at its discretion.
Nurses are greatly concerned about managements ability to move nurses to different units or specialties at their discretion, without procedures in place to ensure that nurses are adequately trained and oriented, the union maintained.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663