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Bargaining Update

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union

MultiCare is currently negotiating with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union for a new contract for our valued employees. UFCW represents approximately 2,000 employees at multiple locations in the Puget Sound region. MultiCare is committed to working collaboratively and constructively with the union to reach an agreement in good faith that supports our employees and their profession, and one that promotes our mission to provide a healing and healthy future for the communities we are privileged to serve.

We look forward to keeping our community and employees informed and will update this site throughout the negotiations process. If you are a member of the media, please call our Media Relations office at 253-403-1716.


Bargaining Updates

The updates below provide the most current information related to bargaining: We wanted to provide you with an update from the bargaining table as we continue working towards reaching an agreement in good faith that supports you, your profession and our community.

4/6/18 - Update from March 26 - April 3 Sessions

Tentative Agreement Reached on Staffing

We have reached a tentative agreement on a staffing proposal that creates a formal review process for employees to raise staffing concerns if needed. Specifically:

  • Staffing levels will be determined by management and will take into consideration the magnitude and variety of activities needed on a particular shift.
  • However, employees can bring a perceived workload or staffing issue to the attention of their immediate supervisor.
  • If the concern does not get resolved during this initial step, the matter continues through a predetermined process that escalates as appropriate.

Updated Wage Proposal

We provided UFCW with an updated wage proposal that would provide a 1% across-the-board increase in each year of the contract. This increase, in addition to an approximate average 2% - 3% step increase each year for eligible employees, means you could receive a total approximate average increase of 9% - 12% over a three-year contract.

Also, while our proposed second-tier wage scale would more closely align with our compensation philosophy, we updated our proposal so that all current employees would be grandfathered into the current wage scale as long as you remain in the UFCW bargaining unit. This means that you will continue to be eligible for our current wage scales, even if you decide to change positions and/or locations.

During our sessions, we further reiterated that any wage proposal must take into consideration the current market realities of health care, our duty to be responsible stewards of our resources in support of providing affordable care to the community and the fact that it would be irresponsible for us to go significantly above market given we already provide market competitive wages to our employees.

Next Steps

We are currently reviewing the comprehensive counter proposal the union provided us on April 3, and we look forward to responding and making progress during our next session on April 10.

Thank you for continuing to stay informed throughout this process. If you have any questions, feel free to submit them to your manager or to [email protected].

3/7/18 - Updated Economic Proposal

On February 27th, we had a bargaining session with UFCW on a new contract for you, our valued employees. During the session we had respectful, productive and engaging conversations with the union’s bargaining team and reached a few tentative agreements on some language that is common to collective bargaining agreements. We also provided the union with an updated economic proposal, and the union agreed to provide responses to all our current proposals during our next session on March 12th.

We wanted to also take this time to address some of the questions we’ve been hearing from our employees. We hope you find the below information helpful.

Q: Is MultiCare eliminating UFCW’s organizing rights?

A: Absolutely not. The right of employees to organize across the United States is protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). MultiCare not only abides by our nation’s federal labor laws, we at all times respect the rights and opinions of our employees as it relates to union representation.

We are simply proposing to eliminate a separate agreement between MultiCare and UFCW that created a very similar process to organizing as to what is already included in the NLRA. We prefer for any future union elections between MultiCare and UFCW to be overseen by the NLRB, which is how the process currently works between MultiCare and all other unions in our state.

Q: What is MultiCare’s latest wage proposal?

A: Our latest wage proposal would provide a half-percent increase in each year of the contract in addition to the current step scales. With current wages already being market competitive, it would be irresponsible for us to go significantly above market as we have a duty to be responsible stewards of our resources in support of providing affordable care to the community.

Also, while our proposed second-tier wage scale would more closely align with our compensation philosophy, we are pleased to be able to grandfather you into the wage scale for your current position at your current location.

Q: Why is MultiCare proposing to increase health care premiums?

A: While we always try to absorb the majority of any increase to our health care plans, sometimes we ask that our employees take on a small portion in the form of a premium increase. The premiums we have proposed are the same exact premiums that all other MultiCare employees in the Puget Sound region currently pay, including our employees who are represented by the SEIU and WSNA unions.

Thank you for taking the time to stay informed about the current status of bargaining. We know how important your contract is to you, and we remain committed to reaching an agreement in good faith that supports you and your profession.

We look forward to our next session on March 12th. In the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out and submit them to your manager.

2/14/18 - Response to UFCW's Proposals

On Tuesday, February 13th we resumed bargaining with UFCW to reach a new agreement for you, our valued employees. During the session we responded to some of UFCW’s proposals, while providing some proposals of our own.

Specifically, we responded to the union’s premium pay proposal and provided the union with our market analysis data (attached for your reference).

Also, we made an initial proposal to preserve the current step scales for current employees in the first year of the contract. This proposal was based on our initial compensation market analysis and would still provide eligible employees with an approximate average 2-3% in step increases in year one.

We reiterated to UFCW that:

We are committed to providing market competitive compensation and benefits so we can attract and retain top talent. Unfortunately, the union’s proposal would push MultiCare well above the current market.

It would be irresponsible for us to go significantly above market as we also have a duty to be responsible stewards of our resources in support of providing affordable care to our patients and the community.

In terms of MultiCare’s resources, UFCW recently misused the term “profits” in their February 2nd update. MultiCare, like many health care organizations, does not have profits. As a not-for-profit, we are required by law to reinvest our revenue surpluses back into the community, our organization and our employees.

Throughout these negotiations we promise to continue to focus on reaching an agreement that supports you and your profession. We know how important your contract is to you, and we will keep you updated throughout this process.

We look forward to our next session on February 20th. In the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out and submit them to your manager.

2/9/18 - General Update

We wanted to update you on the current bargaining between MultiCare and UFCW to reach a new agreement for you, our valued UFCW-represented employees.

January 31st marked our third bargaining session, and we have several sessions scheduled throughout this month. During these sessions, we have taken great care to listen and consider every proposal that has been submitted by your bargaining team. Our pledge to you throughout these negotiations is to bargain in good faith to reach a mutually acceptable agreement that:

  • Supports you and your profession;
  • Provides you with market competitive compensation & benefits;
  • Supports our community and patients by being responsible stewards of our resources; and
  • Promotes MultiCare’s mission to providing a healing and healthy future for the communities we are privileged to serve.

We are confident that, by MultiCare and UFCW working together collaboratively and constructively, we again will reach an agreement that continues to well-position all of you and our Hospitals for the future.

We look forward to keeping you informed throughout this process. However, if at any time you have questions, please feel free to reach out and submit them to your manager.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our current negotiations, but most importantly thank you for all that you do to provide the best care possible for our patients. We appreciate you.