After more than a year in contract negotiations with the union representing mostly its service staff, Providence St. Peter Hospital (PSPH) today declared that the talks have reached an impasse.

The Catholic-affiliated hospital system presented the union with what it called its last, best and final offer. Even without a union vote accepting it, the employer plans to include wage increases from the offer in paychecks later in July.

The service workers represented by SEIU Local 1199NW – including housekeepers, food service workers and nursing assistants – have not received an across-the-board pay increase since July 2011.

“Justice is one of our core values as an organization,” said Susan Meenk, vice president of Human Resources for PSPH. “And after careful deliberation, our leadership concluded that we cannot let our employees go any longer without raises.”

PSPH encouraged the union to take this final offer to employees for a vote, but also said that, either way, the hospital will move forward with implementation effective July 8 so that employees can begin receiving their wage increases in the following pay check.

Union representatives were quoted this morning as disputing the “impasse” declaration. Both sides seem to agree a revised health coverage plan for covered workers is at the heart of the disagreement.