TACOMA — Hundreds of healthcare workers from Community Health Care and supporters will rally at 6 p.m. today (Thursday, July 28) at People’s Park in Tacoma to protest of unaffordable healthcare increases while Community Health Care plans to break ground on a new Hilltop Clinic this summer. Following the rally, Community Health Care workers will march through the streets to the site of the new clinic.
Healthcare workers and Community Health Care have been negotiating a contract for 14 months. Community Health Care has imposed its contract terms, including increases in healthcare premiums for workers which will leave many workers without healthcare for their families.
The healthcare workers have authorized a two-day strike; a strike date has not been set.
“We should be celebrating the expansion of healthcare in our community. Instead, Community Health Care has chosen this time to take away healthcare from workers, and it’s our families and children who are paying the price. This isn’t the mission of Community Health Care,” said Ashley Blood, an Interpreter at Community Health Care.
“We treat the most underserved and uninsured patients in Tacoma, and now it will be us.”
The healthcare workers, members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, will be joined at the People’s Park in Tacoma by community leaders including legislators, public school employees, and religious and community leaders.
More than 150 healthcare workers are represented by SEIU Healthcare 1199NW at Community Health Care, including Medical Assistants, dental assistants, receptionists, interpreters, pharmacy techs, and others.
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW represents 22,000 nurses, healthcare employees, and mental health workers in hospitals, agencies, and clinics statewide.