Tacoma's St. Joseph Medical Center is site of informational picket line

Tacoma News TribuneApril 23, 2014 

Members of Service Employees International Union Healthcare 1199NW conduct an informational picket line at St. Joseph's Medical Center on Wednesday.

PETER HALEY — Staff photographer Buy Photo

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.

The News Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service