13,000 caregivers from WSNA, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and UFCW 21 escalate action as patient safety crisis continues
WHO: Nurses from the Washington State Nurses Association at Sacred Heart Medical Center and UFCW 21 service and maintenance workers at Sacred Heart and Holy Family Hospital.
WHAT: Press conference announcing intent of 13,000 workers to strike at Sacred Heart and 12 other Providence hospital locations across Washington state.
WHEN: Friday, January 3, 8:30 a.m.
WHERE: WSNA Strike Headquarters, 44 W. 6th Ave, Spokane.
SPOKANE — The nurses and healthcare workers of the Washington State Nurses Association, UFCW 21 and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW will announce their intent to strike in press conferences Friday to be held in Seattle and Spokane.
After months or in some cases years of negotiations, caregivers at Providence facilities across Washington state say contract proposals put forth by Providence still do not address workers’ serious patient care concerns or fix ongoing unfair labor practices.
At Sacred Heart, nurses have proposals on the table that include safe staffing levels that guarantee enough nurses to care for every patient, common-sense workplace violence prevention measures to protect nurses and patients, and protection of paid time off and sick time nurses have earned. UFCW 21 members at Sacred Heart, Holy Family as well as in other Providence hospitals across the state including St Mary’s in Walla Walla also have similar proposals on the table to address patient care and safety, protecting earned time off so we can stay home when sick without losing pay or feeling pressured by management, and also be able to have a compensation package to recruit and retain quality staff to care for our patients.
After more than a year of negotiations, Sacred Heart nurses join with 13,000 Providence health care workers in their intent to strike for patient safety.
Sacred Heart nurses and other health care workers from UFCW 21 are also considering a strike because of Management’s multiple unfair labor practices, including interfering with nurses’ right to concerted activity and failing to bargain in good faith. In addition to other illegal conduct, management has engaged in illegal intimidation, interrogation about union activities, direct dealing, threatened retaliation for protected union activity, prohibiting lawful union insignia, unilateral changes in working conditions, and failing to timely provide information for bargaining.
Caregivers from all three unions believe Providence has committed multiple unfair labor practices at bargaining tables across the state.
Health care workers from WSNA, UFCW 21 and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW at Providence facilities across the state are unified in their intent to strike. Together, we are taking on a multi-state system with a corporate-wide strategy to cut benefits for health care workers. Providence is a $24 billion corporation that sits on an $11 billion cash reserve. They can afford to provide good benefits and wages to the nurses and healthcare workers they employ.
WSNA is the leading voice and advocate for nurses in Washington state, providing representation, education and resources that allow nurses to reach their full professional potential and focus on caring for patients. WSNA represents more than 17,000 registered nurses for collective bargaining across the state.
About UFCW 21
UFCW 21 is working to build a powerful union that fights for economic, political and social justice in our workplaces and our communities. We represent over 45,000 workers in retail, grocery stores, health care, and other industries in Washington state.
About SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is a union of nurses and healthcare workers with over 30,000 caregivers throughout hospitals, clinics, mental health, skilled home health and hospice programs in Washington state and Montana. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW’s mission is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all.
Ruth Schubert, WSNA
Tom Geiger, UFCW 21