Members of the Chelan-Douglas Health District (CDHD) ratified a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with their employer that will for the first time provide Longevity Pay. In addition, a five percent Supervisory Pay increase will be provided, as well as the seventh step in the pay scale going up to a full five percent. Most importantly, the Health District has agreed to complete a comprehensive salary survey and return to the table next year to discuss market adjustments for many of the CDHC job classifications.

The road to this MOU started in negotiations for the 2023-2025 contract last year. Although cost-of living increases were agreed to, the employer asked to postpone talks about additional market adjustments until they were able to update job descriptions. As it was clear that CDHD was not willing to address the classifications that have salaries below market wages, the Bargaining Team was able to pivot the discussion and get more money into the contract in other ways. 

But, four days after a Tentative Agreement was reached, things dramatically changed. That’s when the CDHD Board announced a 14 percent pay increase for the CDHD Administrator. While the raise was overdue because he himself hadn’t received a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) or wage increase in a couple of years, the optics were terrible. The PROTEC17 Bargaining Team quickly changed their recommendation for ratifying the MOU from ‘Yes’ to ‘Neutral’ and the MOU was voted down by the membership.

The Bargaining Team soon returned to the table to negotiate with CDHD. The team was able to secure more money for longevity and to get the important commitment from the employer to conduct a thorough salary survey. The team plans to return to the table next year to have serious conversations about bringing these Public Health job classifications up to fair market levels. Kudos to the CDHD bargaining team and members for a job well done!