2-day strike begins for healthcare workers at Providence SoundHomeCare

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 9 at 11:59 AM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- About 150 nurses and healthcare workers at Providence SoundHomeCare and Hospice in Olympia begin a two-day strike Wednesday.

Workers plan to go on full strike and picket outside the Thurston County Providence SoundHomeCare and Hospice now through 7 a.m. Friday. They also plan to hold a community rally with local leaders 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The union representing the healthcare workers claims new policies by Providence Health and Services would reduce access to sick leave, which would encourage workers to work sick to avoid losing personal time. Another policy would shift family healthcare costs to employees.

According to a Providence spokesperson, under the proposed plan, there will be no reductions in the amount of paid time off for employees. Spokesperson Colleen Wadden said many employees will actually accrue more time off under the proposal. Wadden also claims there will be no disruption in patient services during the strike.

KING 5's Drew Mikkelsen contributed to this report.

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