Several dozen people marched through the day Wednesday outside Tacoma's St. Joseph Medical Center in a picket organized by a union local.
Members of Service Employees International Union Healthcare 1199 NW held the informational picket as contract negotiations continue with St. Joe's parent company, Franciscan Health System. The SEIU local represents about 800 licensed practical nurses and support staff at the hospital.
Their contract expired Oct. 31. Bargaining continues, both sides said Wednesday.
Nancy Taylor, a care assistant at St. Joe's and a member of the bargaining team, said issues include changes to retirement funding and healthcare compensation.
A strike is not on the horizon, Taylor said.
"We're just concentrating on getting information out to the public. We’re just asking for respect and a fair contract," she said.
Franciscan spokesman Scott Thompson said the changes to the retirement plan -- moving from a defined annuity to a 401(k) with a corporate match -- is an initiative of Franciscan's corporate parent, Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives. It affects every employee, not just those represented by a union.