200+ Providence Home Health and Hospice Nurses, Caregivers Begin Unfair Labor Practice Strike
EVERETT – After taking action for more than a year to call on Providence Home Health Care and Hospice of Snohomish County to invest in patient care, the more than 200 nurses, social workers, chaplains, OTs, PTs, hospice aides, and speech therapists began an Unfair Labor Practice strike today.
“It feels like the agency is being run as a business with less concern for the key people the Providence sisters lifted up in their mission,” said John Shannon, a Social Worker with Providence Home Care of Snohomish County. “We as caregivers strive to care and be present with our patients and our values—that’s why we have no choice but to strike.”
Caregivers are calling for more time to spend with patients, more reasonable on-call time to allow us to be more alert with patients, and improved wages to address high turnover that impacts the continuity of care. The agency provides end-of-life care in inpatient or wherever patients live as well as healthcare support for in-home patients. Providence St. Joseph Health, the agency’s parent corporation with 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 our ongoing effort to come to a resolution that puts patient care first. Despite eleventh hour bargaining yesterday, Providence has failed to bring proposals to the table that would invest in patient care and respect the experience and compassion of the caregivers.
“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.”
Picketing will take place daily during the agency’s business hours, 6:45am until 5:00pm. A community rally is planned for tonight, December 6, at 4:30pm at Wetmore Theater Plaza in Everett.
Nurses and Caregivers Prepare to Strike at Providence Home Health Care and Hospice of Snohomish County
Strike Will Begin at 6:45am Wednesday, December 6
EVERETT- The nurses and caregivers at Providence Home Health Care and Hospice of Snohomish County are making final preparations for our unfair labor practice strike, which will begin on Wednesday.
The 200 caregivers, who provide care and services in an inpatient hospice and at patients’ homes, are calling on Providence to invest in patient care by allowing caregivers more time with each patient, reducing the 24/7 on-call hours some caregivers face, and improving wages to reduce turnover and stabilize important care relationships.
“We would rather be taking care of our patients than walking on a strike line,” said Lee Thompson, a nurse in home health care. “Providence has made it impossible to give the care our patients deserve without working 12 hours or more per day. Good staff are leaving every day for better jobs. We feel there is no choice but to stand up together.”
We invite community members to join us on the picket line, for our community rally, or by making a call to our CEO:
Wednesday, December 6, 4:30-5:30pm at Wetmore Theatre Plaza, 2710 Wetmore Ave, Everett
Call the CEO
Call Robert Hellrigel, CEO of Senior and Community Services at Providence at (425) 254-5432 and tell him to invest in Snohomish patients!
“Retention is important to our patients and their families
because it provides continuity of care and builds confidence around
the services we offer. It is also important to management, because high
turnover of staff is costly in many ways. Last, it is important to working staff because we need transparent wage steps based on longevity and the years of experience we bring to Providence.”
Carmen Nantez, RN
“I enjoy my work with hospice. I am the nurse that goes out in the middle of the night to help families and patients that are in need of support at a rough time. It has been the most rewarding work of my 29 years as a nurse. I enjoy serving the patients of Snohomish and Island counties. The staff of Providence Home and Hospice of Snohomish County needs your support to help settle a fair and equitable contract that attracts and retain the best staff to care for our community. We thank you for your support.”
Sarah Taylor, RN, After Hours Hospice