Professional and technical workers at MultiCare's three Tacoma hospitals voted Thursday to reject the health system's latest contract proposal and authorized their union to call a one-day strike if MultiCare doesn't sweeten the deal.
About 650 workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers have been negotiating with MultiCare since August. They include social workers, anesthesiologists and licensed practical nurses working at Allenmore, Tacoma General and Mary Bridge Children’s hospitals.
At issue are pay increases and the amount of money employees must contribute to their health plans. Workers currently pay nothing for individual coverage. Multi-Care is asking for a $15 per-month contribution.
In response to the vote, spokeswoman Marce Edwards said MultiCare has proposed “a fair contract that includes wage increases and continued benefits, and we hope to reach an equitable agreement.”