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Friday, February 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sacred Heart maintenance and service workers authorize strike; nurses finish voting today

Joe Osborne, a bargaining member for negotiations of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UCFW) union helps lead a picket with Sacred Heart nurses and staff outside of Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center on June 27 in Spokane. Unionized Providence workers intend to strike starting on Jan. 14. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Joe Osborne, a bargaining member for negotiations of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UCFW) union helps lead a picket with Sacred Heart nurses and staff outside of Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center on June 27 in Spokane. Unionized Providence workers intend to strike starting on Jan. 14. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

Service and maintenance workers at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike on Thursday.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 21 announced the outcome of the vote today, but did not provide the vote totals. The group represents 1,280 workers at Sacred Heart.

Nurses at Sacred Heart, represented by the Washington State Nurses Association, finish voting whether to authorize a strike today. Results of the nurses’ vote will be announced late tonight or Saturday morning.

Maintenance and service workers at Providence Holy Family Hospital will vote whether to authorize a strike today, and other UFCW 21-represented workers at Providence facilities across the state will continue to vote to authorize strikes through the end of the month.

UFCW 21 will discuss next steps after all workers at Providence locations have voted, the union said in a news release.

Nurses and service workers at Sacred Heart have been in contract negotiations with the health care nonprofit for nearly a year. The unions are mainly disputing proposed changes to the employees’ benefits package and staffing levels.

This story will be updated.

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