The Stand

Caregivers notify Providence Health and Hospice of strike

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The following is from SEIU HealthCare 1199NW:

EVERETT (Nov. 27, 2017) — After taking action for more than a year to call on Providence Home Health and Hospice of Snohomish County to invest in patient care, the more than 200 nurses, case managers, chaplains, and other caregivers gave Providence notice Nov. 22 that, unless Providence comes to an agreement that invests in care and jobs, they have no choice but to engage in an Unfair Labor Practice strike on Dec. 6-8.

“My coworkers and I often have to see 8-10 patients a day, which is impossible with an 8-hour shift,” said Neneh Jallow, an RN with Providence Home Care of Snohomish County.  “This means we either have to work beyond our shift or cut time with our patients short.  We are not willing to cut patient time short.  This means that instead we have less time with our own families.  And Providence still wants to have home care nurses do mandatory after hours call as well.”

Caregivers are calling for more time to spend with patients, more reasonable on-call time to allow them to be more alert with patients, and improved wages to address high turnover that impacts the continuity of care.  Providence, a corporation of 50 hospitals and more than 800 clinic facilities, made $64 million in profit in 2016.

“Providence has become a huge corporation determined to turn a deaf ear to our concerns. We who provide care bring our skills, our hands, and our hearts to our patients every day,” said Cynthia Robson, a Masters in Social Work in the Hospice.  “It’s time for Providence to work with us so we can provide the BEST care to every patient, every time.”

Caregivers have already participated in community leafleting, an informational picket, petition gathering, and other actions in their ongoing effort to come to a resolution that puts patient care first.

“A strike is the last thing we want to do, but Providence has been unwilling to listen to our voices,” said Florence Gustafson, RN.  “We’re here for our patients, and that means taking action to hold Providence accountable to patient needs and to how Providence treats its staff.”

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is nearly 30,000 nurses, healthcare workers, and mental health workers throughout Washington state united to improve our jobs and the care we give. For more information, visit www.seiu1199nw.org.

Short URL: https://www.thestand.org/?p=62052

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