1,400+ MultiCare workers cancel strike

Members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW have called off a seven-day strike that was set to begin April 7 at MultiCare Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Wash., and MultiCare Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley, Wash., according to hospital and union statements shared with Becker's.

The strike was averted after Tacoma, Wash.-based MultiCare Health System, the hospitals' parent organization, reached a tentative contract agreement with more than 1,400 registered nurses and service techs. 

Both parties have agreed not to share extensive details about the agreement pending a ratification vote by union members. A spokesperson for SEIU Healthcare 1199NW told Becker's the union expects voting on ratification to conclude April 3.

Meanwhile, Jane Hopkins, RN, president of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, shared a statement saying that the healthcare workers of Deaconess and Valley hospitals "have secured vital improvements to ongoing recruitment and retention issues and have led the creation of a framework for sustainable solutions to MultiCare's staffing challenges in the area. 

"This agreement is transformative for workers and lifesaving for patients. It's an investment in quality care. Our union looks forward to collaborating and working in partnership with MultiCare administration to implement this agreement following ratification via membership vote."

A spokesperson for MultiCare Health System said, "We are pleased to have reached an agreement that reflects the high value we place on our employees and allows us to continue to provide exceptional care for our patients."

Union members initially issued a strike notice to MultiCare in March. The union and health system began the bargaining process last August. 

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