Workers and supporters protested against proposed cuts of benefits outside Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in June. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Workers and supporters protested against proposed cuts of benefits outside Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in June. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Providence workers authorize a strike over wages, sick leave

If one is called, the union will give the hospital 10 days notice.

EVERETT — Several hundred workers at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett voted overwhelmingly this week to authorize a strike, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21 announced Wednesday.

Technicians and professionals employed by Providence hope Tuesday’s action moves along negotiations with the hospital over wages, staffing and sick leave.

“The goal is that Providence comes to the next bargaining table and offers a fair contract that aligns with what we are asking,” said Maria Goodall, a vascular ultrasound technician at the Colby Avenue campus and bargaining team member. “We hope to show Providence that is what the employees are asking for … they are so upset with the contract proposal they are willing to stand outside and fight for patient rights and employee rights.”

Contracts for technicians and professionals expired in June 2018 and March 2018, respectively. The 750 workers include physical therapists, dietitians and ultrasound, surgical and medical technicians.

All of the technicians voted to authorize the strike, according to Goodall, and only one professional voted against the move.

The votes allow the bargaining teams to call a strike. If one is called, the hospital would be given a 10-day notice.

“While we understand and value their right to strike, we are disappointed that United Food and Commercial Workers has decided to take this action,” said Casey Calamusa, a hospital spokesperson, in an email. “It remains our goal to negotiate a market-competitive pay and benefits package for our caregivers that works for both parties.”

The workers took to the streets for an informational picketing session in June.

“We aren’t asking for anything unreasonable,” Goodall said. ‘We are asking to maintain the current benefits we have.”

Goodall said the hospital wants to do away with the current sick time accrual method, which can be used for extended health leave, and replace it with a short-term disability benefit.

“We see it as something of not equal value,” Goodall said.

Providence officials say the change would improve sick leave benefits.

“This new program complements the new Washington state benefit coming in 2020 that applies to most working people in the state,” Calamusa said.

Parking is another issue. The hospital started charging patients and visitors to park at both Everett campuses this month. Plans call for extending that fee to employees early next year.

Goodall said free parking was included in the previous contract and workers don’t want to start paying.

Other Providence employees joined the Everett technicians and professionals in their strike authorization. Workers at Spokane’s Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Providence Holy Family Hospital, and Walla Walla’s Providence St. Mary’s Medical Center approved the same action recently as did nurses at Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the union.

Both groups are set to return to the negotiating table with Providence in November.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

Mukilteo Police Chief Andy Illyn and the graphic he created. He is currently attending the 10-week FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. (Photo provided by Andy Illyn)
Help wanted: Unicorns for ‘pure magic’ career with Mukilteo police

“There’s a whole population who would be amazing police officers” but never considered it, the police chief said.

Officers respond to a ferry traffic disturbance Tuesday after a woman in a motorhome threatened to drive off the dock, authorities said. (Photo provided by Mukilteo Police Department)
Everett woman disrupts ferry, threatens to drive motorhome into water

Police arrested the woman at the Mukilteo ferry terminal Tuesday morning after using pepper-ball rounds to get her out.

Bothell
Man gets 75 years for terrorizing exes in Bothell, Mukilteo

In 2021, Joseph Sims broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home in Bothell and assaulted her. He went on a crime spree from there.

Allan and Frances Peterson, a woodworker and artist respectively, stand in the door of the old horse stable they turned into Milkwood on Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Old horse stall in Index is mini art gallery in the boonies

Frances and Allan Peterson showcase their art. And where else you can buy a souvenir Index pillow or dish towel?

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night on December 11, 2017. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Providence to pay $200M for illegal timekeeping and break practices

One of the lead plaintiffs in the “enormous” class-action lawsuit was Naomi Bennett, of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

Dorothy Crossman rides up on her bike to turn in her ballot  on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Voters to decide on levies for Arlington fire, Lakewood schools

On Tuesday, a fire district tries for the fourth time to pass a levy and a school district makes a change two months after failing.

Everett
Red Robin to pay $600K for harassment at Everett location

A consent decree approved Friday settles sexual harassment and retaliation claims by four victims against the restaurant chain.

A Tesla electric vehicle is seen at a Tesla electric vehicle charging station at Willow Festival shopping plaza parking lot in Northbrook, Ill., Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. A Tesla driver who had set his car on Autopilot was “distracted” by his phone before reportedly hitting and killing a motorcyclist Friday on Highway 522, according to a new police report. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Tesla driver on Autopilot caused fatal Highway 522 crash, police say

The driver was reportedly on his phone with his Tesla on Autopilot on Friday when he crashed into Jeffrey Nissen, killing him.

Janet Garcia walks into the courtroom for her arraignment at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, April 22, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett mother pleads not guilty in stabbing death of Ariel Garcia, 4

Janet Garcia, 27, appeared in court Monday unrestrained, in civilian clothes. A judge reduced her bail to $3 million.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.