8,000 Swedish Medical Center workers schedule strike for Jan. 28-30

Nurses and other healthcare workers at Swedish Medical Center sites in the Seattle area are moving forward with a strike, according to the union that represents them.

The planned three-day walkout of about 8,000 SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Jan. 28.   

"After careful consideration of every proposal exchanged between Swedish-Providence management and nurses and healthcare workers, the bargaining team of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW has concluded that the parties are too far apart," the union said in a news release. "Workers intend to strike Jan. 28-30 if proposals adequately addressing patient safety and staffing levels are not forthcoming."

Swedish expressed disappointment about the plan. 

In a news release, CEO Guy Hudson, MD, said: "The union has decided to call a strike despite Swedish putting forward a wages and benefits proposal that is one of the strongest packages offered by a healthcare employer in our region, and one that reflects our deep commitment to our people."

"Throughout the bargaining process, we have consistently made good-faith proposals that value our caregivers, support our community and reinforce why Swedish is one of the best places to work," he added.

In light of the planned strike, Swedish has contracted with agencies to replace striking workers with temporary ones. The medical center said it will notify patients of any service changes during the walkout.

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and hospital management have been in negotiations since April. 

This story was updated at 5:46 p.m. Central Standard Time Jan. 17.

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