Rally for patients before profits at Providence headquarters!
On Friday, July 26, our nurses from Sacred Heart and Kadlec joined hundreds of outraged nurses, healthcare workers, state labor leaders, public officials, and union activists from across Washington 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 represents over 20,000 workers from throughout the Providence system in almost every job title. The shared problems they are experiencing have become so extreme that they have 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.
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 we wouldn’t have been compelled to travel across the state to try and get our message across. We wouldn’t have rallied and picketed. We wouldn’t be launching strike preparation.
Take the pledge to stand with the nurses
Kadlec and Sacred Heart hospital nurses have our backs. They’d do anything to save more lives and heal more people. Now our nurses are fighting to keep themselves, and their Tri-Cities and Spokane patients safe at Providence Kadlec and Sacred Heart.
Providence is refusing their own nurses’ common-sense proposals which will ensure safe staffing 24/7 and improve patient and nurse safety. We won’t allow Providence to put profits over nurse and patient safety.
If Providence execs refuse to commit to safe staffing levels or tell nurses to give up even more of their rest time, they will put patients’ safety at risk. When nurses have to work through entire shifts with no breaks, or can’t take time off to rest and recharge, it’s not just bad for them, it’s bad for patient health and safety. Nurse fatigue can lead to mistakes, putting patients at risk of serious harm.
Now Providence nurses are saying no way — they won’t agree to changes that put patient safety at risk in the name of cutting costs. They know Providence recently gave its executives huge raises – a Sacred Heart executive got a 47% raise, and a Kadlec executive got a 62% raise, over 3 years. These hospital execs are now taking away more than $800,000/year in compensation.*
Patients and their families come to Kadlec and Sacred Heart for the high quality of nursing care. We will all be impacted as a community if we allow Providence to put executive pay and profits over the health and safety of our nurses.