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Strike set for April 7 at Spokane’s MultiCare hospitals

Unless a fair contract is reach by then, more than 1,400 SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members will strike MultiCare Deaconess and Valley Hospitals


SPOKANE (March 28, 2024) — More than 1,400 nurses, service, tech, and healthcare workers at MultiCare Deaconess and Valley Hospitals in Spokane have given notice for an unfair labor practice strike in 10 days if a contract agreement is not reached by April 7.

The workers, joined together with SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, are fighting for a fair contract that pays wages sufficient to recruit and retain them, keeps their own healthcare affordable, and doesn’t take away important benefits like overtime and sick pay.

TAKE A STAND! — Please sign this petition to show your support for MultiCare healthcare workers. It reads:

Spokane Needs More Healthcare Workers, Not Tacoma Millionaires — Spokane has become one of the most expensive places to live in Eastern Washington. Yet instead of offering Deaconess and Valley healthcare workers the raises they need to stay in Spokane and Spokane Valley, MultiCare is paying its out-of-town executives million-dollar salaries. If the Spokane healthcare workers who kept us safe through the pandemic can’t afford to stay in Spokane, we’re all at risk. Tell millionaire MultiCare CEO Bill Robertson to stop putting Tacoma profits over Spokane patients.

Healthcare workers issued the 10-day unfair labor practice strike notice to MultiCare executives on Wednesday. The bargaining process began Aug. 30, 2023, and the parties have held 19 bargaining sessions since. The workers authorized their union bargaining team to call a strike with a membership vote that concluded March 16; the workers overwhelmingly voted to support the proposed action, with 93% voting yes.

“MultiCare executives must confront the stark reality of patient care decline due to severe understaffing, and how this impacts the communities living in Spokane and Spokane Valley,” said Jane Hopkins, RN, president of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. “A genuine investment in the workforce — not corporate pay and expansion — is a crucial step towards resolving this crisis and making good on MultiCare’s promise that ‘your communities are our communities.’ It is unacceptable that MultiCare’s commitment to quality patient care seems to apply only to its facilities in Western Washington. MultiCare must fix what is currently broken here before venturing into new communities. It’s time for a good contract that respects the workers’ experience and honors their sacrifices.”

“We demand respect from our employer: Respect for us and for the federal labor laws which they violate when they tell us we can’t communicate about union issues at work, and when they fail to bargain in good faith,” wrote SEIU Healthcare 1199NW in a Facebook post Wednesday. “We don’t want to strike, but we will if we have to — for our families, for our patients, and for our community.

“We are more than 1,400 strong, united and steadfast in our call on MultiCare to put patients over profits and settle a strong contract so that we can deliver the quality care our community needs. We know best!”

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SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is a union of nurses and healthcare workers with over 31,000 caregivers throughout hospitals, clinics, mental health, skilled home health and hospice programs in Washington state and Montana. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW’s mission is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all.


► From the Spokesman-Review (March 22) — Strike at Deaconess and Valley Hospitals? Service and tech workers mull labor action amid stalled contract negotiations — Approximately 1,400 support staff workers at MultiCare Deaconess and Valley hospitals (SEIU Healthcare 1199NW) are prepared to strike as soon as next month should their contract demands not be met. Union membership at the hospitals authorized their bargaining team to call for a strike to try and collect wage increases in a new contract. Deaconess Certified Nursing Assistant and bargaining team negotiator Shawn Crawford:

“The power of a strike authorization shows MultiCare how serious we are about this contract and how much our coworkers are willing to stand up for what we need. This shows them that we are serious. We are not afraid to do what it takes to get what we need.”

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FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!