NUHW members win new contract at Petaluma Valley Hospital
NUHW members at Petaluma Valley Hospital overwhelmingly ratified a new contract this month that will increase wages and maintain health benefits.
The approximately 160 workers, who include radiology technicians, nursing assistants and housekeepers, fought hard and stuck together to resist takeaways sought by their employer, Providence St. Joseph Health.
Despite reporting a $20 million profit operating Petaluma Valley last year, Providence entered negotiations demanding immediate cuts to paid-time-off, the elimination of the hospital’s popular PPO health plan, and the right to unilaterally make changes to the retirement plan. For months, Providence proposed annual wage increases that amounted to 2 percent or less.
But workers held firm, rejecting management proposals and holding a one-day strike last December despite the threat from management of a four-day retaliatory lockout.
The final four-year contract included:
- 3 percent across-the-board annual wage increases.
- Maintenance of the PPO health plan and no right for management to unilaterally change the retirement plan.
- No immediate cuts to PTO accruals.
“We didn’t win everything we wanted, but we showed that when we stand our ground, we can make a big company like Providence give ground and make concessions,” said Debbi Gilardi, a respiratory therapist. “This contract is just the first step toward winning more for each other and our patients.”