Yesterday, in the face of a pandemic that continues to devastate our health and economy, America’s largest union of licensed physicians and healthcare providers announced that physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who work at 20 Indigo Urgent Care facilities will strike November 23rd and 24th.
Since July of 2018, members of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) have been seeking better work and safety conditions at 20 Indigo Urgent Care facilities located in the greater Puget Sound area.
“For too long these providers have been subjected to irresponsible and unsafe policies including working 12+ hour shifts, sometimes seeing over 70 patients in one day without breaks. Not only has MultiCare put patients at risk through these assembly-line conditions, but since the COVID-19 outbreak, MultiCare refuses to allow providers to wear N95 masks, even if they purchase their own,” said Dr. Stuart Bussey, president of UAPD and former urgent care physician. “MultiCare again refused the providers N95s just before the strike announcement last night. These practices are not only exhausting for providers, but more importantly, they are extremely risky for our patients who deserve the best possible care. It is no exaggeration to state this is a matter of life and death.”
Additionally, MultiCare has committed several unfair labor practices, according to UAPD. The company has targeted outspoken union members, unilaterally changed working conditions, and failed to provide information relevant to collective bargaining in an effort to bust the union.
And, in response to recently reported outbreaks of COVID-19 cases within their hospital system that has infected both patients and staff, Dr. Stuart Bussey said, “The recent outbreak of COVID-19 within MultiCare’s hospital system should have been a wake-up call, but it was not. So, out of concern for patients, doctors will strike and we are calling upon the public to stand with healthcare providers who are working the frontlines of a pandemic.”
The strike applies to UAPD members who work at 20 Indigo Urgent Cares locations in the greater Puget Sound. Members of the public wishing to support local healthcare providers are being asked to visit www.unitedforpatients.com and sign a petition.