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Continuity Planning Begins Now for Labor Strikes in Healthcare

November 28, 2023

Continuity Planning in Healthcare: Solutions for Employers

Continuity planning in healthcare stands to be far more complex than in other industries. Healthcare worker strikes require business continuity management companies to fill in the gaps of both low-skilled support workers and highly trained healthcare workers to make ends meet. While it isn’t impossible to source workers who possess such a wide range of skill sets, the more time given to companies like AFIMAC, the more successful your continuity plan will be.

While continuity planning typically considers the risk of natural disasters and civil unrest, 2023 has shown that labor disputes pose imminent threats to the resiliency of many healthcare facilities.

Hospitals, clinics, and entire healthcare networks face the very real possibility of their workforce walking off the job site entirely as a means of gaining more from their employer. Plan for what comes next alongside the risk management and continuity specialists at AFIMAC Global.

Continuity Planning: The Story So Far

America’s largest healthcare union successfully bargained for a 21% raise in wages across four years after several constituencies walked off the job simultaneously. The strike itself saw 750,000 healthcare workers with various skill sets collaboratively picket the hospitals they work for across Colorado, Washington, Virginia, and DC, amounting to one of the largest healthcare strikes in US history. The labor turmoil in this industry isn’t done, however, as the union could head back to the picket line in support of the union’s other chapters once their deals expire.

Continuity Planning  for healthcare illustrated by a team at a hospital planning for labor shortages.

The new deal recently struck includes a boost in the minimum wage of low-skilled healthcare support workers, which is poised to inspire similar unions across the country. One workforce has already followed suit, demanding a similar 24% wage increase along with solutions to the understaffing concerns that have made the job site both stressful and dangerous. This cascade effect is set to impact healthcare facilities of all kinds, both private and public entities, calling for planning that can ensure continuity despite these labor challenges.

What Makes Healthcare Labor Strikes Different?

Senior leadership of hospitals and healthcare facilities will have to consider what resources are available to them in the event their workforce heads to the picket line. Having no continuity plan in place can put your patients at risk, while picket lines left unsecured can result in serious personal injuries to your workforce and the general public. 

AFIMAC can source fleets of contingent workforces on your behalf, but highly skilled nurses, doctors, and radiologists are in short supply across the globe. With enough time and planning, AFIMAC can help employers tap into their own database of mobile workers that can act in a supportive role for the skilled workers who have chosen to come to work during a labor strike. The more time committed to planning for these labor response needs will ultimately warrant better results.

Labor Strike Security Risks At Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities

“AFIMAC can also facilitate the delivery of security forces that can ensure the safety of all parties involved during a labor dispute.”

Picket lines can disrupt local traffic, solicit counter-protests, and erupt into violence without the right precautions. Injured parties could even claim that their employer was negligent without the proper planning and security in place.

Such services can also work to protect a healthcare facility’s brand, along with senior leadership. Especially contentious strikes often result in the workforce lashing out against the employer, sometimes taking to social media to threaten or intimidate specific executives. AFIMAC brings both security resources and counter-intelligence services that can gather information on those who have acted inappropriately. Conduct surveillance on the picket line and send a message that bad behavior will have consequences.

Continuity Planning: Full-Service Solutions Offered by AFIMAC Global

Worker strikes in healthcare have multiple layers, including a need for labor, security, and ongoing intelligence gathering that can support hospitals during historically difficult turmoil. Preemptively address risks, including productivity disruptions and personal injuries, by turning to AFIMAC Global to provide extensive labor solutions.

AFIMAC is capable of providing extensive temporary labor options for hospitals, long-term care homes, and healthcare facilities of all kinds.

AFIMAC can carefully examine every business continuity risk facing your facility and have labor solutions in place, with many clients only incurring significant financial costs upon deployment. We consider every detail so employers can focus on bringing labor turmoil to an end sooner rather than later. 

Fill out the form below and learn more about your options. We proudly serve all of North America.

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