When you see stories about Sacred Heart, we want you to ask yourself a simple question:
“Who should I trust—the nurses in my community or a corporate PR department in Seattle?”
Sacred Heart nurses are there on the frontlines taking care of the people you love. We are there to keep families safe and healthy. Through our union, we are working to protect our benefits. For the past year, we’ve been negotiating a new contract with management.
Providence Sacred Heart is our community hospital, but it is owned and managed by Providence St. Joseph’s Health, the third-largest health system in the United States with tens of billions in annual revenue. Providence is intent on maximizing corporate profits at Sacred Heart, and its proposals will hurt workers, patients and our entire community.
Nurses aren’t asking for the moon. We’re demanding Providence invest in patient care by adequately staffing our hospital, implementing new measures to keep nurses safe on the job, and maintaining the benefits we’ve already earned. But Sacred Heart management is taking their marching orders from corporate headquarters in Seattle and refusing to meaningfully address nurses’ concerns. They’re dismissing our common-sense proposals while trying to take away benefits we’ve earned and pushing the cost of sick time onto the backs of hardworking taxpayers through the state’s new Family and Medical Leave plan
In recent days, Providence has flooded Spokane media with incomplete and misleading information designed to turn the community against our nurses.
Unfortunately, multiple outlets have already run the corporate spin without even seeking comment from workers or our union. Here’s what you’re not hearing when outlets like the Spokesman-Review run corporate press releases as news:
PROVIDENCE PROPOSALS = CORPORATE WELFARE: Corporate executives are pushing a new policy to take away an Extended Illness Benefit (EIB) that allows nurses to take paid leave to care for ourselves or our families. Now, Providence wants taxpayers to foot the bill by cutting our benefits and pushing us onto Washington State’s Paid Medical and Family Leave program. That bill was designed to help working people, not to serve as corporate welfare. Nurses are demanding that Providence maintain the benefits we’ve earned rather than shift costs to taxpayers.
SACRED HEART FINANCES: The corporate PR department at Providence gave misleading information to Spokane media, claiming the hospital has lost money the last three years. Here’s the truth: when you include all income, Sacred Heart was profitable two of those three years. Providence is using bookkeeping tricks to scare workers and patients.
TAKING MONEY FROM SPOKANE: In 2018, Sacred Heart sent $200 million, or 20 percent of the hospital’s revenue, to Providence’s headquarters outside Seattle to pay for administrative costs. That’s money that could have been invested in patient care and workers.
PROVIDENCE IS RAKING IN PROFITS. Providence St. Joseph Health is the third-largest health system in the United States. In just the first half of 2019, they brought in over $1 billion in profits. The parent corporation is making more than enough to cover losses at any one hospital.
EXECUTIVES OR WORKERS? There’s plenty of money to pay for bonuses and raises for Providence executives. Total compensation for executives went up 51.3% in 2017, from $26.9 million in 2016 to $40.7 million in 2017. Average executive compensation went from $2.1 million to $3.1 million, and CEO Rod Hochman saw a whopping increase from $4.1 million to $11.5 million in just one year. But these same corporate executives want to cut benefits for workers and push costs onto taxpayers.
Nurses don’t want a strike. We want to be at the bedside taking care of our patients, not out on the picket line. But we will strike if we have to, for our patients. Providence executives are trying to force a bad deal that will hurt workers and the community that relies on Sacred Heart.
As we continue to negotiate, we need community support. You can start by sharing this fact check with your friends on social media and signing our community petition at this link.
By standing up for workers, you’re standing up for yourself and your whole Spokane community. Thank you for helping us put Providence Patients and Workers Over Corporate Profits.