Providence St. Joseph Health employees strike in Northern California

Healthcare workers went on strike Nov. 20 at four hospitals in Renton, Wash.-based Providence St. Joseph Health's Northern California region, according to the union that represents them.

The strike affected members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, who work at Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna, St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Petaluma (Calif.) Valley Hospital and Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa. 

Union spokesperson Matt Artz said members had different shifts on picket lines but estimated that an "overwhelming majority" of the approximately 1,000 union members at the hospitals went on strike. Union members include nursing assistants, medical technicians and housekeepers.

Christian Hill, Northern California region spokesperson for Providence St. Joseph Health, told Becker's: "While we don’t have a specific count, we were encouraged by the total of number of union employees who chose to report to work."

The union said in a news release that workers went on strike to demand safe staffing and fair pay at the hospitals. It also claims Providence St. Joseph Health is "seeking to cut healthcare benefits for caregivers while failing to maintain its facilities."

The union and Providence St. Joseph Health have been in negotiations since April.

Frank T. Beirne, interim COO of Providence St. Joseph Health's Northern California region, said the system is offering proposals at its hospitals that feature "significant wage increases and a generous package of benefits," including the same paid time off, retirement and benefit options union members in Southern California have accepted in their contract.

Northern California hospital workers who participated in the one-day strike are slated to return to work Nov. 25, per a contract agreement with temporary workers hired to replace the striking ones.


More articles on human resources:
Hospital groups urge national labor board to modify employee conduct rules
University of Chicago Medical Center closes level 1 trauma center ahead of strike
5 hospital strike updates 

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