First Hospital Wyoming Valley workers plan strike in Pennsylvania

Workers at First Hospital of Wyoming Valley, a psychiatric facility in Kingston, Pa., plan to strike Friday "to fight for safe working conditions for healthcare workers and their patients and better care," according to a Facebook post by Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania.

The strike is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time with a rally at noon.

"Workers at First Hospital of Wyoming Valley are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic and safety is a constant concern," wrote the union, which represents service and technical workers as well as nurses. "For over a year workers have been trying to improve conditions and care inside their hospital, but management will not address their concerns."

SEIU Healthcare's announcement comes a year after service and technical workers' most recent contract expired, according to a Times Leader report.

A statement from the hospital's owner, Commonwealth Health, obtained by the Times Leader, noted the hospital's strike preparation efforts.

The hospital was "served a notice of [the union's] intent to conduct a strike, picketing and other concerted refusal to work activity commencing at 8 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 20, and ending Saturday, Oct. 21, at 8 a.m.." the statement reads.

"A contingency operations plan will be implemented, in the event the strike does occur, to ensure continuation of quality services. As always, our top priority is the care and safety of our patients, employees and visitors wherever such activity may occur."


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