August 21, 2019
Contact: Ruth Schubert, (206) 713-7884, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPOKANE: Nurses represented by the Washington State Nurses Association this week launched strike preparations with a series of union meetings. Nurses will be signing a petition to pledge their support for a “strike if we have to” and signing up for strike committees.
“We have rallied, picketed, bargained in good faith,” said KT Raley-Jones, a cardiac intensive care nurse at Sacred Heart.“We need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to get a fair contract that keeps our patients safe and allows us to take care of ourselves.”
The WSNA-represented registered nurses at Providence Sacred Heart have been in contract negotiations for nearly 10 months and have held 12 negotiating sessions to date, the last one with a federal mediator. The next scheduled session is set for August 28.
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center has rejected WSNA’s common-sense proposals concerning safe staffing and safe working conditions. Management is proposing significant cuts to sick time, paid time off, and other benefits that threaten nurses’ ability to take care of their patients, themselves and their families.
Providence made $24.4 billion in profits last year and is paying CEO Rod Hochman more than $10 million. In fact, Hochman got a 157% pay increase between 2015 and 2017.
Meanwhile, Providence is trying to cut the hard-earned benefits of nurses.
“We hope it doesn’t come to a strike, but we are prepared to strike if we have to,” said Stevie Lynne Krone, a cardiac medical nurse at Sacred Heart.
Sacred Heart nurses join the 20,000 nurses and health care workers represented by WSNA, SEIU 1199NW, UFCW21 and OPEIU Local 8 in Providence facilities across the state for a Day of Action on Thursday, August 22 to tell Providence to put patients before profits.
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 who provide care in hospitals, clinics, schools and community and public health settings across the state.