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caption: Seattle Children's Hospital is shown on Thursday, November 14, 2019, in Seattle.
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Seattle Children's Hospital is shown on Thursday, November 14, 2019, in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Children's nurses hope proposed pay hikes will attract — and keep — new graduates

September 1 will be an important day for nurses at Seattle Children's Hospital. That's when Washington State Nurses Association is urging members to vote "yes" on a new contract proposal.

The tentative deal includes a $10 hourly raise for the 1,700 nurses represented by the group within the next 12 months. And by 2024, newly graduated nurses would earn $47.60 an hour— the highest starting rate in the city. Nurses on the first step of the proposed pay scale would see a nearly 50% wage increase by the end of the three-year contract.

“The best way to retain newer nurses and grow the next generation is to raise the floor,” said Pamela Chandran, labor counsel for the Washington State Nurses Association, in a written statement. “We were able to make the wage scale more equitable for nurses at the lower end of the scale while ensuring that senior nurses received increases we’ve never seen before at Children’s.”

Seattle Children's Nurses held a couple of informational pickets earlier this month, highlighting their calls for better working conditions and staffing shortages. The union says those pickets helped it win unprecedented raises for its members.

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