MultiCare Indigo healthcare workers schedule strike

Healthcare workers at 20 MultiCare Indigo urgent care clinics in Washington state plan to strike Nov. 23-24 amid contract negotiations, according to the union that represents them.

The Union of American Physicians and Dentists said its members are striking for safe work conditions for employees and patients.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers are working the front lines to keep your community safe and healthy. This has become increasingly difficult to achieve at [Tacoma, Wash.-based] MultiCare's Indigo urgent care clinics as employees are overworked and understaffed — and work at clinics that do not provide sufficient personal protective equipment for their employees," the union posted on its website

MultiCare expressed disappointment with the strike plans, which come after a COVID-19 outbreak at a MultiCare hospital in Auburn, Wash. The health system has been in negotiations with the union for about two years. 

"Our top priority in our negotiations with UAPD has always been a fair contract that supports staff and patient safety and the communities we serve," the health system said in a statement shared with Becker's. "Unfortunately, we haven't been able to reach an agreement over wages and a few other issues."

The health system said it plans to keep primary and specialty care clinics and hospitals and emergency departments open if there's a strike and has asked for federal mediation help during bargaining slated for this week.

Regarding PPE, MultiCare said earlier in November that it is following all public health recommendations and has the needed equipment for employees to continue to safely care for patients across the organization.


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