Our work to improve safety and staffing for our patients doesn’t just happen inside our hospitals, it also happens in our communities, at the bargaining table, and at the ballot box when we elect leaders who will stand with us.

We advanced this work with nurses from across the state at our Nurse Alliance Leadership meeting where we shared, networked, and planned for our ongoing work.

We shared our most recent nurse staffing victories:

  • Nurses in Spokane had a win for patient safety in their new contract, as a charge nurse can now call a “staffing alert” when staffing levels fall below the matrix on a given unit. When a staffing alert is called, the hospital is now required to find solutions, including redistributing staff, calling in nurses on standby, soliciting overtime volunteers, and bringing in nurse managers, education nurses, and nurse supervisors to quickly bring staffing levels back to levels that help us provide quality care. Nurses in Spokane went on strike in December over patient safety and staffing concerns in their hospital.
  • Nurses at Harborview Medical Center won break relief nurses as part of a pilot project in their new contract.  Nurses are now able to take uninterrupted breaks and lunches on pilot project units.
  • Nurses at Swedish Medical Center-Edmonds made staffing improvements in many units, actually increasing FTEs. Management notified nurses of potential layoffs and cuts in December 2013 and nurses responded with petitions, stickerups, grievances, and marches on the boss to show that cuts to staffing would impact patient care. Nurses at Edmonds were unified around this measure, and this victory underscores the need to have a safe staffing law that would ensure the proper staffing levels immediately.

As nurses, we also recognize the importance of electing healthcare champions to our legislature in order to pass safe staffing and other patient safety legislation.  We’re joining together to elect one of our own nurse leaders, Rep. Tami Green, to the Senate in the 28th District. Tami is formerly a state nurse at Western State Hospital and now works at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma. She understands the work we do on the frontlines, and is one of our most powerful voices in the legislature for our patients and safe staffing legislation.
Mark your calendar and join us: we’ll be walking to help elect Tami Green at our nurse day of action on Saturday, October 18, as well as phone banking and talking with voters.

In addition to helping to elect nurse champions, we’re already working together, as more than 10,000 nurses and healthcare workers across Puget Sound will be standing up for patients as we negotiate new contracts in 2015. Our bargaining campaign launches with our bargaining conference on Saturday, October 11.

Anne-Cline“It was great to gather together with other RNs from across the state and across our union. It was inspiring to learn  of concrete examples of how our unity and power is working at other hospitals.” Anne Cline RN, Valley Hospital, Spokane



Zeynab-Jama“We work at different hospitals, but we have the most power when we join together across our hospitals and chapters to make a difference statewide. Whether we work in Seattle or Spokane, we see the same issues and we’re fighting the same fight.” Zeynab Jama, RN, Harborview Medical Center

September 26th, 2014

Posted In: Nurse Alliance, Uncategorized

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW

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