Monday 11 March 2013, Olympia—Workers at Providence St. Peter Hospital went on strike. They have been without a contract since July, when talks broke down, mostly due to major changes in their health care benefits. Costs have gone up drastically, especially for people with chronic conditions. The new contract proposed by Providence would force employees to use PTO (paid time off) to cover for sick leave. It also includes high-deductible costs.
Meanwhile, Providence has been expanding its properties, and its profits. Last year, the company, which is the second largest employer in the South Sound region, netted close to $240 million. Executive salaries in the Providence system are in the range of about 30 to 100 more than the median-level salary in the organization.
Providence is a non-profit company.
In this video are sights and sounds from the pre-dawn picket line and rally, as well as voices of some of the workers who have been affected. The strike has been organized by SEIU 1199 NW, the union that represents many of the workers inside the hospital.