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Workers get Penalty Pay extended at a major Providence hospital

When Providence switched payroll systems last year, NUHW members at Providence hospitals across Northern California immediately started seeing systemic payroll errors that cost them thousands of dollars.

Workers fought back last summer holding a press conference that was covered in Becker’s Hospital Review, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the Eureka Times-Standard.

Providence, one of the nation’s largest Catholic hospital chains, agreed last year to recoup the workers and pay them extra for their lost earnings, but the errors have continued, forcing NUHW members at Providence’s Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa to file multiple grievances.

Rather than go to arbitration, the hospital agreed this month to settle the grievance by agreeing to terms sought by NUHW members.

The agreement requires Queen of the Valley to pay workers a $250 penalty for each pay period if a payroll error is not corrected within four business days throughout the remainder of the current contract, which runs into 2024.

In addition, the hospital agreed to review prior cases of late pay under the previous penalty pay program for those who submitted the review form that was emailed to everyone.

NUHW members are working to extend this agreement to other Providence hospitals in Northern California.

“Providence’s payroll errors have been an inexcusable burden for so many of us, but I’m proud of my colleagues holding Providence accountable,” Tammy Wiggin, a lead PBX operator at Queen of the Valley, said earlier this year. “This ordeal has made us stronger as a union throughout the Providence system.”

The agreement is proof that solidarity and perseverance pays off. Members came to several meetings with management to share their frustrations with receiving late pay and filed multiple wage theft claims; stewards also filed multiple grievances, held a town hall and kept pressure to make the hospital accountable in multiple meetings with upper management.

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