Hundreds of Kadlec nurses may vote to go on strike

RICHLAND, Wash. — More than 900 nurses at Kadlec Regional Medical Center say they’re prepared to take a strike vote after more than a year of unsuccessful contract negotiations, according to the Washington State Nurses Association.

The nurses say they want the hospital’s parent company, Providence, to commit to safe staffing and protecting basic earned benefits.

Kadlec nurses have conducted 14 unsuccessful bargaining sessions, including four with a federal mediator. Their next mediation session is scheduled for Oct. 25.

If the nurses are not able to reach an agreement with Providence, they will be taking a strike vote on Oct. 29 and 30.

“Providence is engaged in unfair and illegal tactics to strip our nurses of basic earned benefits at Kadlec and hospitals across Washington and the West Coast,” said Martha Galvez, a nurse in the Birth Center at Kadlec. “We expected big improvements when Kadlec affiliated with Providence. But so far, it has not been good for nurses, our patients or our community.”

WSNA says Kadec management has committed multiple Unfair Labor Practices, including interfering with nurses’ right to concerted activity and failing to bargain in good faith.

“Providence continues to make nurses at Kadlec work harder and harder for less while pocketing nearly $1 billion in profits already this year,” said Vanessa Douglas, a nurse in the ICU at Kadlec. “If we have to strike for safe staffing and fair treatment, we will.”

In response to WSNA’s message, Kadlec spokesman Jim Hall gave the following statement:

Kadlec continues to bargain in good faith with the WSNA. We look forward to our next negotiation session on October 25, focused on reaching an agreement that both demonstrates how valuable our employees are to us and also allows us to deliver on our mission of providing safe, compassionate care. We have a long history of caring for members of our community and we will continue to do so in all situations. For more information, click here.