Queen of the Valley Medical Center Remains Open During Strike

November 19, 2019 Providence News Team

Queen of the Valley Medical Center Remains Open During Strike

Queen of the Valley Medical Center received notice from the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW)—a union representing 470 service and technical workers—that it plans to conduct a 24-hour strike beginning at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.

“It is important for our patients and their families to know that our doors will remain open. The community can continue to count on us to provide the high quality, compassionate care they expect and deserve,” said Larry Coomes, Chief Executive.

The hospital has contracted with an agency to provide highly qualified and experienced replacement caregivers to ensure uninterrupted patient care, which is standard industry practice during a strike. The agency through which these replacement caregivers were hired required a five-day minimum contractual commitment to secure their services. This means the replacement caregivers will be working at the hospital for five days, beginning on the day of the strike. Most caregivers who choose to strike will return to work Monday, Nov. 25, or on their next regularly scheduled shift thereafter.

While some non-emergency services will be limited during the strike, the Emergency Department will be fully staffed and ready for any patient needs. The outpatient services that will be unavailable on Nov. 20 are bone density screening, mammography and outpatient lab services (located at St. Joseph Health Prompt Care on Imola Avenue and in the 980 Trancas Street building).

The hospital has been meeting with the union since August, 2018, and agreement has been reached on all issues aside from wages. The hospital has offered significant wage increases and a generous package of benefits, including the same Paid Time Off (PTO), retirement and benefit options that NUHW-represented caregivers in Southern California have accepted in their contract. The hospital’s proposal offers:

  • Up to 7 weeks of PTO a year, based on years of service.
  • A retirement program with an employer contribution of up to 9% of an employee’s income.
  • A starting hourly wage of $19.08 an hour for most entry-level positions, and up to $76.40 an hour for our most skilled and experienced lead imaging technologists.
  • Employees currently making less than our proposed rates would receive an immediate increase to the new wage scale, for an average increase of 5%. Thereafter, employees would be eligible for additional increases annually and as seniority increases.

“We all want the same thing—the competitive pay and benefits package that will allow us to retain and attract the best talent to serve Napa. It is our desire to reach an agreement with NUHW on the few remaining articles so our employees may receive the significant and immediate wage increases our current offer would provide,” said Coomes.

Please visit www.thequeen.org/negotiationnews to read the hospital’s most recent NUHW Bargaining Update.

Please note that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, requires specific security standards for all hospitals. These Federal security standards set forth protections for all hospital information to maintain patient privacy. In keeping with these privacy laws, media are not permitted onto hospital grounds to conduct interviews or film staff, patients or visitors without proper authorization and an escort.

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