Providence Everett nurses to strike beginning Nov. 14
EVERETT — Providence Everett nurses will strike after final negotiations Friday, Nov. 3 ended without reaching a deal for a new contract.
The strike starts Nov. 14 at 6 a.m., a key source for the union said.
Their contract expired Oct. 30. Key topics have been increasing pay wages to better match other area hospitals and improving nurse-patient ratios.
The nurses’ representing union, UFCW 3000, is telling its members to not report to work and to go to a strike picket line. In October, Providence Everett nurses overwhelmingly voted to pre-authorize a strike if no contract emerged.
A Providence spokesperson told the Tribune previously that it will manage during a strike because it has “contracts in place for highly skilled replacement nurses to ensure we are able to care for our patients and our community for the duration of the strike.”
The union contends Providence has unfair labor practices. It asserts this from when things shifted during negotiations. Union bargaining negotiator Trevor Gjendem said in late September that Providence had agreed to many of the agreements on a tentative basis but then switched back on them.
“We interpret these actions as punitive measures on the part of Providence Everett,” the union said on its website.
In October, the union detailed that Providence agreed to increase the base pay rate to $43.91 an hour, up from $37.71 an hour, to be more comparable to higher-paying hospitals, and to use an outside mediator to issue legally binding decisions to address chronic staffing shortages.
A snag in talks came up about establishing a $5-an-hour pay premium to make up for when a unit is under-staffed against standard nurse-patient ratios, which in other words is the union asking to give nurses higher pay during a shorthanded shift to compensate for managing extra patient loads.
Reducing how many patients an average nurse is shouldered with has consistently been one of the key points in discussions, and is intertwined with reduced staff numbers.
The union says Providence Everett’s two campuses are down by 600 nurses since August 2021, a drop from 2,000 nurses to about 1,400.
The nurses’ union hasn’t struck against Providence Everett in years. It has had disagreements over staffing levels and work breaks in prior negotiation rounds, though. New contracts are typically negotiated for renewal in three-year intervals.
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