Everett, Wash., November 5, 2023—Over 1,300 nurses at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett are set to walk out on an unfair labor practice strike at the hospital, where chronic understaffing continues to threaten the safety and wellbeing of patients and their nurses.
Nurses will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. on Monday (11/6) to announce strike dates and discuss the issues behind the strike. Speakers will include nurses, UFCW 3000 union leadership, and community allies supporting the nurses.
The UFCW 3000 union bargaining team and Providence management finished a final bargaining session on Friday, November 3, without reaching a deal to address nurses’ core issue of patient safety, which is continually undermined by inadequate staffing levels at the hospital and the inability to recruit or retain qualified nurses.
Nurses at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett voted on October 19 to authorize a strike; the strike vote carried with 97% approval.
After many months of bargaining over a new union contract, Providence management has refused to address the staffing issues plaguing the busy hospital. Hundreds of nurses have left in a mass exodus in recent years; those remaining are demanding accountability from the hospital’s management to create a safer environment for nurses and patients.
Nurses’ primary demand is that hospital management engage in good-faith bargaining and come to mutual agreement on a contract that includes provisions to ensure safer staffing levels as well as transparency and accountability measures meant to renew community trust in the local hospital.
While striking is a last resort, dedicated nurses have been left with no other choice to address the unfair labor practices during bargaining and ongoing safety issues. Providence Everett nurses have been raising understaffing and safety concerns for years and were instrumental in advocating for new statewide hospital staffing standards that were passed by the legislature in 2023.
Providence management has conceded that nurses’ wages are not competitive, meaning that staff continue to leave for better staffing levels and higher wages at other area hospitals, continuing the vicious cycle of low staffing.
The hospital is currently being sued for wrongful death after a patient became unresponsive in the ER lobby and died after allegedly waiting over 4 hours for medical attention.