The Stand

Strike averted, urgent care docs reach deal with MultiCare

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The following is from the UAPD:

TACOMA (May 3, 2021) — The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) announced last week that MultiCare Healthcare System agreed to demands by America’s largest union of physicians and dentists to improve workplace conditions at 20 of the healthcare system’s Indigo Urgent Care clinics. UAPD’s new contract reaffirms the need for safe and sanitized workplace conditions and the importance of paying competitive wages to recruit and retain the finest healthcare providers. Many clinic workers have not had a salary increase in nearly 5 years.

“The agreement between MultiCare and unionized healthcare providers is a big win for patients, reflecting the view that doctors should guide quality of care, not bean counters,” said Dr. Stuart Bussey, President of the UAPD and a former urgent care physician. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers have placed the safety and care of their patients first, working extended shifts with no breaks and no fixed closing time. The new contract reflects the recognition that patients benefit if those entrusted with their care are fairly compensated and provided favorable working conditions.”

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has cited MultiCare for safety violations that include, but are not limited to, the failure to provide N95 masks to providers and staff, testing COVID-19 suspect and positive patients, failure to enforce social distancing requirements, failure to follow fit testing procedures, and failure to clean and sanitize clinics consistent with public health guidance. Additional L&I investigations are ongoing and on April 26, the healthcare system was cited again with repeat and serious violations.

UAPD negotiated a contract that includes the formation of a committee of physicians and administrators that will be charged with developing workplace policies and practices that will ensure the health and safety of patients and workers. Concessions include, but are not limited to, access to N95 masks and priority vaccine placement. Economic concessions include pay increases for all members, many of which have not had a pay increase in nearly 5 years. Additionally, workplace conditions will be improved to ensure reasonable access to breaks and controlled closing times, and just cause protections with binding arbitration.

Founded by a private practice physician in 1972, over the past 40 years the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) has grown into the largest union representing licensed doctors in the US.  In Washington state, UAPD represents physicians, advanced nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Affiliated with AFSCME and the AFL-CIO, UAPD is proud to bring the strength of the labor movement to the aid of working doctors in the interest of better healthcare for all. Learn more at www.UAPD.com.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:

MultiCare docs plan pickets in Puyallup, Tacoma (March 9)

MultiCare Indigo docs in region strike for safer conditions (Nov. 30, 2020)

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