Tentative Agreement Reached: Deaconess/Valley Strike Avoided - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Tentative Agreement Reached: Deaconess/Valley Strike Avoided

UPDATE: Press Release Received from Deaconess Medical Center/Valley Hospital and Medical Center:

SPOKANE, Washington (August 11, 2010) – Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital and Medical Center announced today that they have reached a tentative agreement with the SEIU Healthcare 1199 NW on new collective bargaining agreements for hospital employees represented by the union. 

The agreements were reached as part of a mediator-recommended settlement and end the union's plans for a one-day strike at the hospitals on August 11. The agreements require ratification by union members. The ratification vote is expected to take place this week. 

Approximately 950 hospital employees, including registered nurses at Valley Hospital, and medical technicians and service workers at both hospitals, are covered by the collective bargaining agreements. The hospitals have approximately 2,300 total employees. 

"We value all of our employees and are very glad to have reached mutually acceptable agreements for those covered by collective bargaining agreements," said William Gilbert, chief executive officer of Deaconess Medical Center. "We look forward to ratification of these contracts and to moving forward in our commitment to serve the healthcare needs of our communities." 

"Throughout this process, our employees have remained focused on the care of their patients," said Dennis Barts, chief executive officer of Valley Hospital.  "We are proud of their professionalism and appreciate the contributions they make to our hospitals."

UPDATE: Voting on the tentative agreement is expected to take place Thursday morning

SPOKANE, Wash.- KHQ has just learned that the union for nurses, service, and technology workers at Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital have reached a tentative agreement with the hospitals to avoid a planned strike today. Look for more information throughout the morning on KHQ Local News Today.

The SEIU represents service and technology workers at both hospitals, and the registered nurses at Valley Hospital. Service workers include health unit coordinators, nursing assistants, food service workers, and housekeepers. Technology workers include respiratory therapists and radiologic, ultrasound, medical laboratory, and surgical technologists. In total, the hospitals have approximately 2,300 employees, with approximately 950 of them represented by the SEIU. The strike would have included just over 1,000 of the union members.

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