Negotiation News

A Closer Look at Swedish Issaquah

Swedish Bargaining Team

A Closer Look is a new publication aimed to provide a deeper look into some of the issues important to Swedish and our employees. As Swedish and SEIU are involved in contract negotiations around wages, benefits and other issues for RNs, technical staff and service workers, it is important to provide more in-depth information about some of the issues and topics that are surfacing as a result of negotiations.

Swedish, along with other organizations, is facing some of the toughest economic times in recent history. The perfect storm of the recession and healthcare reform have redefined our financial environment for the foreseeable future to be our “New Normal.” As a result, Swedish needs to find $200 million in savings over the next three years. The business decisions we will make as well as our SEIU contract proposals across all areas reflect this “New Normal” and its impact on our ability to remain financially stable.

We have received many questions regarding our new Issaquah hospital, especially how it fits into our future and how we paid for it.

Issue 13 - The Truth about the New Normal

Swedish Bargaining Team

On Thursday July 7, 2011, Swedish’s chief financial officer Jeff Veilleux joined negotiations to present a more in-depth look at Swedish’s finances and answer questions from SEIU members, who have expressed doubt about the severity of Swedish’s finances and the concept of the “New Normal.” The Union expressed their appreciation of Swedish’s continued commitment to transparency and sharing data and financial information in a timely manner.

Data from The Advisory Board Company, a national, healthcare-specific research firm and Swedish-specific financial information was presented at the bargaining table to provide more background about Swedish’s financials and the current economic and industry environment:

Issue 12 - Current Contract Extended Through July 19

Swedish Bargaining Team

On Thursday June 30, SEIU and Swedish agreed to extend the current contract through July 19, giving both parties more time to come to a solution that is fair for all who depend on Swedish – our patients, employees and community.

Swedish Presents Comprehensive Proposal on Rest Breaks

Swedish presented a comprehensive proposal on rest breaks. The proposal included a process for employees to alert their supervisor as soon as it becomes clear that an employee might miss their break, so solutions can be reached to ensure our employees get the rest they need, and they can continue to provide the highest quality patient care.

SEIU Members Question the Magnitude of Economic and Industry Reality

Issue 11 - Negotiations Make Progress - Swedish and SEIU Reached Agreement on more than a Dozen Proposals

Swedish Bargaining Team

On June 28, Swedish and SEIU again met at the bargaining table to respond to a number of proposals focusing on updates to existing language in the contracts. The two parties reached agreements on a number of proposals that updated language and housekeeping in the RN, tech and service contracts. This work will be continued at Thursday’s bargaining session.

Contract Extension Discussed

Issue 10 - Swedish Looking Forward to Working Creatively with SEIU to Find a Fair Solution – Three Potential Solutions Discussed Today

Swedish Bargaining Team

 In order to ensure a thriving future for Swedish, SEIU must share part of the burden for reducing expenses over the next three years. Swedish presented three potential options to show areas where SEIU could identify opportunities to narrow the gap and reduce expenses over the next three years. Potential solutions include:

Issue 9 - SEIUs Staffing Proposals Add Millions to Swedish’s Operating Budget at a Time When We Must Work Together to Find $200 Million in Savings

Swedish Bargaining Team

Swedish Demonstrates Existing Staffing Models are Safe, Given Nationally Recognized Quality and Safety Achievements

Issue 8 - Union Asks for Extra Pay for Missed Breaks

Swedish Bargaining Team

Swedish's current dependability policy is very generous; allows equivalent of 28 days of unscheduled absences per year.

Results 15-21 of 28

About the Author

Swedish Bargaining Team

Swedish Bargaining Team

The bargaining team will be posting regular updates. To see the team list (or see other information regarding bargaining, like the schedule, FAQs, and other resources), visit:

   Keep up with Swedish:

    Check out the Swedish blog

Find a Physician

              Subscribe to