Providence Registered Nurses Bargaining Update #5

Nurses Pack the Room for Bargaining
At our bargaining sessions on March 28 & 29, AaNA nurses showed Providence that SOLIDARITY is more than just a word. It was a sea of red in the East Auditorium on Thursday, 3/28 as over 150 nurses packed the room to demand safe staffing and fair compensation.

The standing-room-only crowd brought an energetic and inspiring ambiance to our bargaining session, sending a clear message that AaNA nurses are prepared to fight for a contract that reflects the value of our work.

Thank you to all the observers who took time out of their day to attend negotiations. Your overwhelming support was deeply meaningful to our team and showed management that nurses stand united in our bargaining priorities.
Our Current Asks
Before we dive into the details of bargaining, here are three ways you can do your part — right now — in our fight for a fair contract:

1) Take our Community Connections survey! As our contract campaign continues to heat up, we’ll be connecting with our community to build support and share our concerns about safe staffing. Filling out this brief survey helps us see all the ways PAMC nurses are involved and connected with our Alaskan community.
Community Connections Survey
P.S. With community outreach, it’s vital that we all stay “on the same sheet of music” so that our message is not diluted or misconstrued. If community outreach is somewhere you will shine, please let Zach ( or Jefferson ( know!
2) Become the CAT you’ve always wanted to be. Our organizers Zach and Jefferson are coordinating with our CAT (Contract Action Team). To join the team or get info on your unit’s CAT people, reach out! Maybe this is your calling 🙂

3) We need YOUR stories about patient safety and staffing. We know it takes a lot of bravery to tell these stories in public, but your stories are so important. Our biggest ask is willingness to tell them in person, but we’re also coordinating with a videographer, and need more written stories as well. If you have a story you’re willing to share, please email your written story to Zach ( and indicate if you’re also willing to tell your story in person and/or on video.
Fighting for Nurses’ Top Priorities
There are two major issues left at the bargaining table: safe staffing and the economic package. These issues speak directly to our top priorities of increasing retention and recruitment and improving the quality and safety of care for our patients.

We know that improved staffing means improved patient care. It means reducing burnout, improving retention, and creating a safe and supportive work environment. It means respecting our profession by treating us as professionals and respecting our mission to provide Alaskans the care they deserve.

When we take a look at where things stand, it’s clear that Providence has little desire to meaningfully address nurses’ top priorities. Management needs to make significant movement on the outstanding issues if we are going to reach an agreement nurses will support.
Management’s Staffing Solution? It’s a Mystery

Unsurprisingly, Providence once again flatly rejected our safe staffing proposal. Management actually said it would be “irresponsible” to have prescriptive staffing language in our contract since it’s unlikely they’d be able to follow it.

Their reasoning? Management claims they can’t implement nurse-to-patient ratios because there are too many variables day-to-day such as sick calls, injuries, and fluctuations in census and acuity.

It’s fascinating that Providence is somehow able to maintain staffing ratios in their facilities covered by staffing laws in the Lower 48 — yet it’s apparently impossible to provide Alaska’s patients and nurses with the same common-sense safety standards.
A huge THANK YOU to Lynne Gallant (NICU) and Cynthia Phillips-Johnson (Float Pool), who shared their powerful stories highlighting the dangers of unsafe staffing during our session on March 28.
Economic Proposals Exchanged
We presented our latest economic proposal on Thursday, 3/28 and received a counter from management on Friday, 3/29. There were both encouraging and disappointing aspects to this round of proposal exchanges.

Scale Adjustments
On the one hand, both teams maintain a shared interest in expanding the parity and equity of our wage scale. Data has demonstrated that our more experienced nurses are being paid far less competitively than our newer nurses. To address this, both teams continue to propose adjustments to our wage scale. Under our proposal, steps would increase by 2.99% on average, and management’s would result in a 2.3% average increase.

Across-the-Board Increases
On the other hand, Providence continues to propose below-market wages that are far lower than those offered to our system colleagues in Washington and Oregon. With a scale adjustment and across-the-board annual increases, our team’s total pay proposal represents a 28.5% average increase in pay over three years for nurses, while management’s current proposal comes out to a 10.7% average increase in pay over three years.

Registry and APRN Wage Scales
We also presented wage scale proposals for registry nurses and APRNs. Both scales in their current forms present problems with equity.
Step increments on the APRN scale are irregular and don’t match the RN scale. The five-step registry wage scale provides extremely inconsistent pay boosts for registry nurses (1 year of experience gets you a 33.5% premium over the regular wage; 30 years’ means you lose 12¢ an hour).
Our team put tons of energy into crafting smart and comprehensive APRN and registry scale proposals that promote fairness. Management’s counterproposals didn’t attempt to fix the scale issues and felt more-or-less like an afterthought.

Differentials & Benefits
We also traded proposals on premiums and differentials, as well as increasing short-term disability to 100% of pay and expanding the RISE education benefit to all nurses, regardless of FTE. Even though both teams have taken the same position on short-term disability and education benefits, Providence keeps lumping these pieces into an economic “package proposal” (an all-or-nothing mega-proposal linking several things together) which has prevented us from reaching an actual agreement on these benefits.
Upcoming Bargaining Sessions
We return to the table on April 22 & 23, this time with the assistance of a federal mediator, who can offer suggestions and help get past roadblocks in reaching an agreement. Mediators are neutral and cannot impose a settlement or determine contract terms.
Now, more than ever, we need to show PAMC management our unity and strength. Please complete our asks in this email and be on the lookout for more action opportunities coming your way!

In solidarity,
Your PRN-AaNA Bargaining Team
(Left to Right) Caitlin Smiley, Terra Colegrove, Jane Erickson, Joey Peacott, Stacey Sever, Jennifer Hazen, & Jessy Hilliard

Read all the latest updates from your Providence Registered Nurses Bargaining Unit