UPDATE (Feb. 22, 2019) — The following is from the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD):
“VICTORY! After over twenty months of fighting for safe patient care, urgent care physicians and providers have reached a tentative agreement with MultiCare Health System. We have won a closing policy to ensure patient safety in our community. PLEASE NOTE: We are canceling our picket due to this win!
“We cannot thank you all enough for your solidarity in putting pressure on MultiCare. Before we went public, MultiCare refused to bargain over the closing policy. You showed MultiCare that it wasn’t just the physicians and providers in this fight. Now with your help, we forced them to bargain and we won. Thank you for showing MultiCare what it means to be union.
“The fight doesn’t end here. MultiCare still refuses to recognize Indigo physicians and providers who won their union almost seven months ago. They continue to break the law during negotiations with Auburn Medical Center physicians.
“We look forward to standing in solidarity with you all in your fights! #Solidarity #WhenWeFightWeWin”
Join UAPD members’ info picket on Feb. 25 at Puyallup MultiCare Urgent Care
PUYALLUP — After winning their union election in July 2018, more than 100 physicians and providers at Puget Sound-area Multicare Legacy and Indigo urgent care facilities are represented by the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), an AFSCME affiliate. But despite having lost several appeals to the National Labor Relations Board, this Tacoma-based $2.4 billion-a-year healthcare corporation is still refusing to bargain with them over what the doctors consider unsafe and unhealthy conditions at the clinics.
This picket is CANCELLED (see update above) — The Pierce County Central Labor Council and the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO are urging all union members and community supporters of these doctors and MultiCare patients to participate in the UAPD members’ informational picket on Monday, Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Puyallup Multicare Urgent Care, 220 15th Ave. SE. Please show solidarity with these union members who are fighting to maintain safe work environments for both the UAPD members and to ensure that MultiCare patients receive the best possible care. Get details.
NOTE: SEIU Healthcare 1199NW nurses at the MultiCare Auburn Medical Center also plan a separate informational picket for quality health care Thursday, Feb. 21 from 2:30 to 5 p.m.
A major issue for MultiCare Urgent Care doctors and providers is the lack of an effective closing policy to limit incoming patients right before closing time. Without one, physicians and providers can work up to 16 hours, some days without breaks, seeing 60-70 patients per shift versus the normal busy patient load of 30-35 patients per shift. The UAPD says this is extremely dangerous because it puts patients at risk by seeing an exhausted physician or provider. This also leads to severe burnout among UAPD members.
“We, as physicians and advanced practitioner providers, have been negotiating with Multicare Health System to reach a contract that will serve our community,” said Dr. Jocelyn Devita, an UAPD member. “Our Urgent Cares were the first to serve the patients since 1995 in Pierce and King counties and we have done our best to deliver quality care for 24 years. We want to continue to do so, but we must care for patients in a safe manner.”
Truck drivers have limits on the hours they can drive. Pilots have limits on how long they can fly. But MultiCare Health Systems is resisting any limits on their exhausted doctors’ hours as they try to deliver potentially life-saving care. This profit-driven resistance puts MultiCare patients at risk, and that’s why UAPD members are standing up and speaking out: to protect their patients.
Please show your support by joining them on the picket line on Monday, Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Puyallup Multicare Urgent Care, 220 15th Ave. SE.