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Progress is positive on union contract | IN OUR OPINION
Harrison Medical Center and UFCW 21 met in mediation June 17-18 and reached agreement on a tentative contract. That they were able to do so is a credit to their willingness to put aside differences and find middle ground.
UFCW members were scheduled to meet June 26-27 to review and vote on the proposed contract. We hope it is approved.
Negotiations, undoubtedly, were not easy.
This is a time of significant change at Harrison. In the past year, the hospital affiliated with Franciscan Health System and announced plans to move acute care from Bremerton to Silverdale.
Meanwhile, the professional and technical, or ProTech, employees have been without a contract since September. Earlier this month, union employees voted to authorize a one-day strike.
We won’t replay all of the differences between Harrison and the ProTech employees here. What’s important at this point is that an agreement is in sight. And we appreciate the efforts of both sides to restore their relationship and restore employees’ confidence in their future.
Hopefully, employees and management can now concentrate their energies on their life’s work: Ensuring the community has access to quality medical care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Thousands of people in this region count on Harrison for health care and medical care, and it’s important that those services continue unabated.
Harrison CEO Scott Bosch said on the eve of mediation, “We recognize how important we are to this community. We’re here 24/7, 365 [days] because that’s what our community needs. It is imperative that we have excellent employees because it is all about the employees. It really is.”