Tracking healthcare worker strikes

Over 500 unionized nurses at Ascension St. Joseph in suburban Chicago will begin a two-day strike on Tuesday.

Article By: Healthcare Dive Staff

Blog Source From : https://www.healthcaredive.com/

As more contracts covering unionized healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic come up for expiration, nurses, technicians and other staff are pushing for measures to improve working conditions and safety in the years following the historic public health crisis.

They’re taking the opportunity to broker deals improving wages and staffing, just as hospitals continue grappling with recruitment and retention issues driven by burnout and persistent, heightened labor costs in recent quarters.

Workers are using that as leverage to help negotiate the terms they want, though for some that still means heading to the picket line.

A number of major strikes occurred in 2021, including one at a Tenet hospital in Massachusetts where 800 nurses held a picket line for 285 days.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics only tracks strikes involving 1,000 or more workers. In 2020, the agency tracked eight such strikes across all industries, with five of those strikes involving healthcare workers. In 2021, the BLS tracked 16 strikes involving 1,000 or more workers across all industries, and four of those involved unions representing healthcare workers.

Healthcare Dive has developed a tracker to keep up with work stoppages waged by healthcare workers in 2022 and into 2023, including those involving 500 or more workers.

Nov. 30, 2023

Ascension Hospital System

About 2,000 union nurses at Ascension hospitals in Texas and Kansas will hold a one-day strike on Dec. 6, according to a statement from the National Nurses Organizing Committee within union National Nurses United.

The strike will occur at Seton Medical Center Austin in Texas. Two more strikes will be held at Christi St. Joseph Hospital and Christi St. Francis Hospital in Kansas.

Ascension announced it will bar striking nurses from work for three days following the walkout, arguing it must meet contract commitments for temporary nursing staff. 

Contract negotiations have been ongoing since late 2022 in Austin and early 2023 in Kansas. The union previously held a one-day strike at the same facilities in June.

Nov. 20, 2023

Ascension St. Joseph

About 530 nurses represented by the Illinois Nurses Association will begin a two-day strike on Tuesday at Ascension St. Joseph in Joliet, Illinois to protest what they describe as low pay and poor safety conditions.

It’s the second strike at the facility in three months. In August, the nurses took to the picket line for two days.The nurses have been without a contract since July 19 as employment negotiations continue, according to the union.

The hospital expressed disappointment with the nurses’ decision to strike, saying in a statement that parties had recently made progress with a federal mediator.

The hospital will rely on contract nurses until Saturday, locking out striking nurses for two days following the work stoppage in order to meet the temporary nurses’ minimum contract requirements, according to the hospital.

Nov. 20, 2023

HCA Healthcare

Nurses and medical professionals at three HCA Healthcare sites in Southern California will begin a five-day strike on Nov. 22, according to a release from their union, SEIU Local 121RN. The union represents more than 2,400 workers across the three sites, according to a news release.

Labor and management have been negotiating new employee contracts since May. The union alleges HCA has failed to respond to workers’ concerns, including allegations that units are often staffed below state-required nurse-to-patient ratios.

Workers at Los Robles Regional Medical Center, West Hills Hospital and Riverside Community Hospital will participate in the strike.

Nov. 6, 2023

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett

Nearly 1,400 nurses at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in Washington will begin striking Nov. 14, according to a strike notice delivered by their union last week.

Providence and the nurses’ union, UFCW 3000, have been in negotiations since April, but contracts expired at the end of October without new terms in place. PRMC nurses overwhelmingly authorized a strike last month, alleging that management had obstructed the contract negotiation process and bargained in bad faith.

Oct. 31, 2023

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente Washington and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW healthcare workers reached a tentative contract agreement on Mondayaverting a potential strike of 3,000 workers that was set to begin Nov. 1.

The parties had been in contract negotiations since June and a tentative agreement was reached one day shy of the current contract’s expiration date.  

If ratified by members, the tentative agreement will create a four-year contract for Kaiser’s Washington healthcare workers that includes competitive wages. The union said the deal complements the contract negotiated by the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions earlier this month.

Oct. 24, 2023

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente imaging services workers will begin an 18-day strike at facilities in Oregon and Washington on Nov. 1, according to a statement from their union UFCW 555. The workers will join UFCW 555 pharmacy workers, who have been on the picket line since Oct. 1. In total, approximately 1,000 pharmacy and imaging workers will strike, said union spokesperson Miles Eshaia.

The employees were previously represented by the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which successfully negotiated a historic contract with Kaiser earlier this month to achieve a 21% increase in pay for workers over the next four years. UFCW 555 left national negotiations in September, opting to bargain with the healthcare giant locally to achieve wage increases and increased staffing, according to the union.

Oct. 23, 2023


Approximately 1,400 healthcare workers and tech caregivers began an open-ended strike on Monday morning at PeaceHealth Southwest and PeaceHealth St. John in Vancouver and Longview, Washington, according to a statement from the health system.

The Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, which represents the workers, issued a strike notice on Oct. 13.  In a statement, the union said workers authorized the strike by a 95% margin, citing stalled negotiations, critically short staffing levels, low wages and management’s bad faith bargaining as the cause.

PeaceHealth said it has has contracted with an agency to provide temporary replacement caregivers during the strike. The health system has threatened to cut striking workers’ healthcare benefits should the strike continue into November, the union alleges. The health system confirmed this information, noting that striking workers will be eligible for continued coverage through The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. 

Oct. 23, 2023

Providence St. Joseph Medical Center

Approximately 700 frontline healthcare workers began a five-day strike on Monday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, according to a statement from their union, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West.

The union said workers authorized the strike following months of contract negotiations centered around understaffing, turnover and patient care concerns. The hospital said in a statement it has contracted temporary workers to replace the striking employees and the work stoppage will have no impact on patient care.

Oct. 19, 2023

Allegheny General Hospital

Over 1,200 nurses at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have voted to authorize a potential strike, according to a post on Wednesday by the nurses’ union SEIU Pennsylvania on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. The nurses will hold a rally on Oct. 24 in support of contract negotiations, in which the union says it is demanding “significant investments” in nurse pay and staffing.

Oct. 10, 2023

Kaiser Permanente

The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions issued notice to the healthcare system that they may hold a second unfair labor practice strike beginning Nov. 1 if parties cannot agree to a new labor contract prior to that date, a Kaiser spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

More than 75,000 coalition workers held a three-day strike from Oct. 4 through Oct. 6 at facilities across California, Washington, Oregon, Virginia and Washington DC. The strike broke records and was the largest in the history of the healthcare industry. A second strike could include 3,000 more Seattle-based Kaiser employees, whose contracts expire on Oct. 31. A potential strike would last for eight days, according to the coalition.

The parties will meet at the bargaining table on Thursday and Friday this week in efforts to hash out a contract. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su will be present at negotiations.

Oct. 9, 2023

St. Francis Medical Center

Approximately 1,500 healthcare workers began a five-day strike at St. Francis Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday, according to a statement from unions UNAC/UHCP and SEIU-UHW.  About 900 SEU-UHW health care workers are striking three other Prime Healthcare-owned hospitals at the same time: Centinela, Encino, and Garden Grove. The unions said in a statement that they are protesting “dangerous short staffing and patient care practices, along with unfair labor practices such as bad faith bargaining, threats and attacks on workers’ rights.” The nurses have filed over 6,000 staffing objection forms with California’s Department of Public Health since June of this year, according to the unions.

St. Francis’s hospital and emergency departments will remain open during the strike, according to the hospital’s website.

Sept. 20, 2023

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

New Brunswick, New Jersey

On Sept. 19, nurses represented by United Steel Workers 4-200 voted to reject both of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s proposals offered to end the strike, which has now been ongoing for 48 days, according to a statement from hospital spokesperson Wendy Gottsegen. On Sep. 18, a New Jersey Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order against the union barring them from blocking entrances and exits to parking decks at RWJUH.

The nurses first walked off the job on Aug. 4, citing staffing levels and pay as primary concerns. Since that time, elected officials including Gov. Phil Murphy and Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J. have weighed in, calling for parties to reach an agreement. No additional bargaining sessions are scheduled with the federal mediator at this time, according to the hospital

Aug. 23, 2023

Ascension St. Joseph

About 530 nurses represented by the Illinois Nurses Association took to the picket line on Tuesday to protest what they say is low pay and poor safety conditions at Ascension St. Joseph, the only hospital in Joliet, Illinois. The nurses have been without a contract since July 19 as employment negotiations continue.

The hospital will rely on contract nurses until Saturday, locking out striking nurses for two days following the strike in order to meet the temporary nurses’ minimum contract requirements. The hospital and nurses plan to return to the bargaining table on September 8, reports ABC 7 Chicago.

July 24, 2023

Rochester Regional Health

More than 800 nurses at Rochester Regional Health plan to begin a two-day strike at New York-based Rochester General Hospital on August 3, according to a statement from their union, the Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals, shared publicly on Facebook last week

Over 90% of the 900 unionized registered nurses voted to authorize a strike on July 20. The union said in a statement that they have been negotiating with hospital management over new contract terms since October. Thus far, union leaders told TV station WXXI, the hospital has not adequately addressed staffing levels and unsafe working conditions. 

There are two bagaining sessions scheduled, reports Becker’s, and the hospital said it will attempt to secure additional session dates. 

July 10, 2023

Tenet California facilities


On July 11, members of the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West will begin to picket at 12 Tenet Healthcare facilities across California, according to statements released by the union last week. 

The picket centers around calls for additional staffing — 85% of healthcare workers surveyed by the union reported their departments were understaffed and 67% reported short staffing led to care being delayed.

Maria Leal, a union spokesperson, told Becker’s Hospital Review that the union represents about 2,684 workers at the Tenet facilities and that it has scheduled four bargaining sessions for August. 

June 26, 2023

Ascension Hospital System

Texas and Kansas

About 2,000 union nurses at Texas-based Seton Medical Center Austin and Kansas-based Christi St. Joseph Hospital and Christi St. Francis Hospital will hold a one-day strike on June 27, according to a statement from the National Nurses Organizing Committee within National Nurses United. The nurses are organizing in protest of staffing practices.

Over the first two weeks of June, over 90% of union nurses at the three Ascension hospitals voted to authorize the strike, which will be the largest nurse strike in Kansas and Texas history, according to the NNU.

Ascension responded to news of the strike by barring striking nurses from work for three days following the walkout, saying in a statement that the hospital is, “contractually required to commit to a minimum of four days of work” for temporary nurses. The union reports members are undeterred. 

June 22, 2023

Providence hospitals

Portland, Oregon

On June 19, about 1,800 Providence nurses and clinicians at Providence Home Health Portland, Providence Home Health Seaside and Providence Hospice Portland began a five-day strike to demand better working conditions, sick leave, pay and benefits. The strike will force the Oregon health system to bring in 475 temporary staff and to reschedule non-emergency surgeries in order to continue care for daily patients, according to statements from the hospital system.

The demonstration comes at month eight of contract negotiations. In an update, The Oregon Nurses Association said members demonstrated “near unanimous support” when calling for the strike on June 4. In response to the announcement, Providence canceled remaining negotiation sessions.  

Hospital administrators anticipate longer wait times for care during the strike and urge non-emergency patients to seek care elsewhere.

June 8, 2023

NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

Brooklyn, New York

On June 7, nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in New York City voted to ratify new contracts, averting a strike set for June 12. The three-year contract includes wage increases of 5% to 7% with full retroactive pay, according to the union, the New York State Nurses Association.

In May, more than 99% of nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian voted to authorize a strike after employee contracts expired in April. The nurses opposed proposed staff and wage cuts.

In a statement, NYSNA President Nancy Hagans said nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Manhattan location helped set the standard for Brooklyn Methodist’s successful negotiation, saying the previous settlement: “paved the way for similar agreements at other NYC hospitals.”

In January, nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Manhattan location were part of a mass coalition of about 16,000 nurses across eight hospitals in New York that voted to authorize strikes.

May 16, 2023

HCA Healthcare


Approximately 3,000 healthcare workers at five HCA Healthcare facilities in California voted on May 12 to authorize a five-day strike beginning May 22, according to an announcement from the union that represents them, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West.

The union cites low-wages, short-staffing and worker safety concerns as reasons for the walkout. 

The affected hospitals include HCA Good Samaritan Hospital and HCA Regional Medical Center in San Jose, HCA Los Robles Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, HCA West Hills Hospital, and HCA Riverside Community Hospital.

May 9, 2023

PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital

Los Angeles, California

About 600 nurses at PIH Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles are planning a one-day strike May 11 to bring notice to staffing issues and patient safety, according to the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. The hospital responded by saying it will implement a four-day lockout for the nurses, according to the union. Last year, a federal judge ruled that the hospital previously bargained in bad faith with the union and ordered the facility to resume bargaining with nurses.

April 18, 2023

Kaiser Permanente

Maui, Hawaii

Nearly 500 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente’s Maui Health System in Hawaii are back on the job after nearly two months on strike. Members of the union voted in 87% in favor of a new contract the includes pay-scale adjustments, at least a 10.5% wage increase for all members and a lump sum payment for all members.

Those on the picket line included nurse aides, respiratory therapists, cooks and other staff at three facilities: Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital.

The workers had been in negotiations over new contract terms with the system for nearly 11 months, and had been working under a contract extension since June 30. They started the strike on Feb. 22.

March 24, 2023

MarinHealth Medical Center

Greenbrae, California

About 600 registered nurses at MarinHealth Medical Center in Greenbrae, California, announced plans to wage a one-day strike March 28, according to a release from the California Nurses Association, which represents them.

The nurses and hospital have been in negotiations for new contract terms since June, with nurses pushing for language to bolster staffing and the recruitment and retention of nurses amid nationwide staffing shortages, according to the release.

The nurses and hospital reached a tentative agreement averting the strike on March 21, according to a release from the union.

The deal includes staffing language allowing for additional breaks and 16.5% pay raises over the course of the three-year contract.

March 21, 2023

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

Valencia, California

About 700 healthcare workers at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia, California, planned to wage a one-day strike on March 20.

Patient care attendants, technicians and other support staff plan to walk off the job as they negotiate new contract terms with the system, and want higher wages addressed in new agreements, according to the union that represents them.

The workers walked off the job March 20 and returned to work the following day without reaching a deal on new contracts with the system.

March 3, 2023

Sutter Health

Northern California

More than 8,000 nurses and other healthcare workers at 15 Sutter Health facilities in Northern California voted to authorize a strike in March as they negotiated new contracts with the system. Those nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association, wanted policies to ensure better staffing, safety and pandemic readiness.

They waged a one-day strike on April 18. The two sides did not reach a deal on new contracts. They have been in negotiations since June 2021.

On Oct. 18, about 1,800 Sutter nurses who already went on strike this April announced plans to wage another work stoppage from Oct. 24 to Oct. 28, according to the union.

Nurses at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center facilities said they are striking in response to persistent patient care issues, including workplace violence and high turnover rates, while working under expired contracts, according to the union.

A deal was not reached and nurses started striking again Oct. 24. The nurses returned to work afterward, still without reaching a deal.

On Dec. 14, nurses at Alta Bates Medical Center facilities announced they intended to wage another strike, this time for nine days starting Dec. 24.

Nurses again returned to work without a deal following the work stoppage.

After a 21-month-long fight for new contracts, the nurses and system reached deals, according to a March 3 union release.

New contracts will cover nurses at 16 facilities and include language addressing workplace violence prevention, along with measures to enhance recruitment and retention efforts. Nurses will get raises ranging from 21% to 32% over the course of the agreements at some hospitals, and raises between 25% and 55% at others, according to the union.

Feb. 23, 2023

Northwell Health

Bay Shore, New York

Nearly 800 nurses at Northwell Health’s South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, New York, voted in favor of authorizing a strike as lengthy contract negotiations continue, according to a Feb. 3 release from the New York State Nurses Association.

The nurses’ contract expired nearly a year ago, and in new agreements they want better staffing and more manageable workloads, according to the release.

The nurses announced they plan to strike beginning Feb. 27 with no set end date, according to a release from the union.

The nurses and hospital reached a tentative agreement averting the strike, according to a Feb. 23 release from the union.

The deal includes language to enforce staffing standards and pay raises, including experience-based pay to better retain nurses, the release said.

Jan. 24, 2023

New York Hospitals

About 16,000 nurses across eight hospitals in New York voted in favor of authorizing a strike, according to a Dec. 30 release from the New York State Nurses Association. Nurses contracts expired the next day, and they delivered a 10-day notice to the hospitals that they intend to strike starting Jan. 9 without a set end date.

The nurses work at BronxCare Health System, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, Montefiore Bronx, Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Morningside and West and Richmond University Medical Center.

About 4,000 nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also had planned to strike, though they reached a tentative agreement with the hospital a day after delivering notice of their plans to walk off the job.

The nurses want new contracts ensuring adequate staffing and support for staff directly caring for patients, and improvements to stem widespread turnover and burnout facing many systems today, the union said in a release.

On Jan. 4, nurses at Maimonides and Richmond University medical centers reached tentative agreements with the systems, averting strikes at those facilities.

Nurses at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Mount Sinai Morningside and West and Bronx Care Health System also reached deals averting strikes.

About 7,000 nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Bronx were unable to reach deals with the systems, and began striking Jan. 9.

On the first day of the walkout, those at Montefiore continued bargaining with the hospital to try and reach a tentative agreement while negotiations did not take place at Mount Sinai, according to the union.

On the third day of the strike, nurses at Montefiore Bronx and Mount Sinai reached deals with the hospitals on new contracts, and they returned to work the following day.

Those nurses then voted in favor of ratifying the deals, according to a Jan. 24 release from the union.

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