Web 190726 renton rally stevie

WSNA members from Sacred Heart and Kadlec joined hundreds of outraged nurses, health care workers, state labor leaders, public officials and union activists from across Washington on July 26 to hold a Rally for Patients Before Profits” at the corpo­rate headquar­ters of Provi­dence St. Joseph Health, the state’s largest health system.

We brought our message directly to multi-million­aire execu­tives because managers in our local Provi­dence facil­i­ties have refused to address urgent problems including workplace and patient safety concerns, cuts to sick time and paid time off, compet­i­tive benefits and wages to recruit and retain nurses.

The rally brought together more than 20,000 workers from throughout the Provi­dence system in almost every job title. The shared problems we are all experi­encing have become so extreme that they prompted the workers’ four different unions – OPEIU Local 8, SEIU Health­care 1199NW, UFCW 21 and the Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion – to create the Provi­dence United Coali­tion” to support each other and jointly hold execu­tives account­able for solutions.

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The response from Provi­dence? A state­ment to the media that the most effec­tive venue for discussing labor contracts is at the local bargaining tables” and We have full confi­dence that our local leaders, who are bargaining these contracts, have presented strong pay and benefits packages that are aligned with our values and advance our commit­ment to creating an excep­tional work experi­ence for our caregivers.” 

Really? If that were true, WSNA members wouldn’t have been compelled to travel across the state to try and get our message across. We wouldn’t have rallied and picketed. 

At the Washington State Labor Council Conven­tion on July 27, delegates passed a resolu­tion calling on leaders of local unions to send letters to the Provi­dence board of direc­tors calling on them to listen to health care workers and immedi­ately negotiate fair union contracts; and the Washington State Labor Council to stand in solidarity with health­care workers in their fight to make Provi­dence return to the founding core values of Compas­sion, Dignity, Justice, Excel­lence and Integrity, and put patients before profits.