SEIU Healthcare 1199NW today announced that its members overwhelmingly ratified a new labor agreement negotiated with Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.

More than 600 nursing assistants, dietary and housekeeping staff and other service workers won across-the-board wage increases, a $15 per our minimum, more security in health benefits, and staffing and quality improvements.

“We won huge strides forward for security — in our health benefits, in our time off, and in our jobs,” said union spokesperson Randi Lumbert, a health unit coordinator.

Among the new standards are agreements that Providence will not unilaterally change health benefits or vacation time accrual and usage policies.  It also increases protections for workers, should layoffs be necessary.

Members had been bargaining to reach this new agreement for more than a year and participated in an informational picket in spring.  The new contract will expire in 2020.