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1199nw-members-with-banner-050113-low-resOn September 5, the Trump administration announced that it is ending protections for 800,000 Americans who were brought here as children.  Ending the Dreamers program, or DACA, means these 800,000 community members could be subject to deportation soon– tearing their families apart.  This despite how well DACA works: it has helped drive economic growth, bolster job creation, keep families together, and promote education and community integration.  We must continue to allow the nearly 800,000 young people to provide for their families, contribute to the economy, and build their futures.

Under Trump’s action, approximately 300,000 people will lose DACA protections and could be deported by the end of 2017.  Essentially, Trump is ordering employers to lay these young people off and making it illegal for anyone else to hire them.

It’s time to take action.  We’re in the streets with our coalition partners and standing up for our communities.

Our elected leaders like Governor Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson have also been vocal in their support of the DACA program and we are expecting a legal challenge to the rescinding of the program.

As a union, we have a proud history of fighting for immigrant justice, and we will continue that legacy.  Members from across the state will be meeting with congressional representatives and sharing our stories on why it is crucial that we don’t tear families apart. Furthermore, we will be working with coalitions such as the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network and United We Dream to identify local solutions to enact protections for Dreamers. Talk to your executive board member or organizer for more information.

NOMINATIONS

In accordance with Articles VI and VII of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW By-Laws, elections for the following offices will be held in 2018:

  • Executive Vice President
  • Vice President
  • Open Executive Board Representatives for each bargaining unit per Article VI Section 1

Terms of office begin after installation at the March 2018 Executive Board Meeting and end in May 2019.

Nominating Petitions for Union Officers

In order to be nominated to run for any of the Union-wide Officer positions you must be a member in good standing* of the Union for at least the preceding year (unless joined through new organizing less than one year previously). You must have at least 10% of the members of the Union in good standing* sign your petition.

Nominating Petitions for Executive Board Positions

The Executive Board shall consist of the Union-wide Officers and representatives from each Chapter as follows:

  1. One elected member for each Chapter (must be a member of the bargaining unit);
  2. In Chapters that have more than 200 members as of November 10, 2015, there will be one additional elected Executive Board member for each 200 members.

In order to be nominated to run for Executive Board, you must be a member in good standing* of the District for at least the preceding year (unless joined through new organizing less than one year previously). You must have at least 10% of the members of your chapter in good standing* sign your petition.

Eligibility to Sign Nominating Petition

You must be a member in good standing* as of November 10, 2015.

Nominating Process

Nominating petitions will be available November 27, 2015 from the union’s Renton office and must be returned to the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW office at 15 South Grady Way, #200, Renton, WA 98057 no later than 5:00 p.m. December 28, 2017.

Elections

Elections will be held by mailed ballot. Ballots and a voters guide of candidates for all offices will be mailed to members by Monday, February 5, 2018, at their address of record. Returned ballots received at P.O. Box 59808, Renton, WA 98058-9803 no later than February 26, 2018 at 3:00 p.m., to be counted.

The District Election Board will meet at the union office in Renton to begin counting the ballots and certifying the election on February 26, 2018.

Eligibility to Vote

You must be a member in good standing* as of January 31, 2018.

For information on the duties and responsibilities of a particular office, please see the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Bylaws.

For petitions or for more information, please contact your current Executive Board Representative or the Union office at (425)917-1199 or 1-800-422-8934.

  This position is a full time paid position: all remaining positions are rank and file membership positions.
*  A member in good standing has signed a membership card and is current in his/her dues.

Washington CAN! & SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Commend Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Action to Hold CHI Franciscan St. Joseph Accountable to State Charity Care Laws

white-paper-mob-copyTACOMA- The patient-activists of Washington CAN! and the St. Joe’s healthcare workers of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW commend Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson for filing suit on behalf of the patients of our community against CHI Franciscan St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma.

“We are thrilled to see Attorney General Ferguson take decisive action against CHI and uphold this state’s Charity Care requirements ,” said Toni Potter, a Washington CAN! member and activist.  “It takes an organized community speaking out and taking action to hold healthcare corporations accountable to the needs of our communities and our patients.”

Announcement of the AG’s suit comes at a time when CHI Franciscan’s operations are already under fire.  A recent report by Columbia Legal Services showed another CHI Franciscan facility, Highline Medical Center in Burien, has hung up on Spanish-speaking patients in need of charity care information.  And the state AG has also filed suit against CHI Franciscan for alleged price-fixing activities in healthcare on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Last week, the federal government’s National Labor Relations Board also filed a legal Complaint against CHI for violating federal labor law.  The NLRB’s Complaint is in part based on St. Joe’s failure to provide SEIU 1199NW with information related to its collections practices.

Washington CAN! and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW have been working to hold CHI Franciscan accountable for its overpricing, aggressive collections activity, and charity care refusals for several years, including:

2012:                    Washington CAN! hosted community forum and released report “Caring for Pierce County” detailing high pricing yet poor outcomes at Pierce County hospitals

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members and Washington CAN! community activists joined area clergy in a pray-in at the hospital calling for improvements to charity care policies

2014:                    Washington CAN! members, clergy, and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members marched on St. Joe’s CEO to deliver a letter calling for an end to aggressive collections

2015:                    SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members went on strike, calling in part for an end to aggressive collections and an improved charity care policy

Washington CAN! released “Merciless Charity” report detailing aggressive collections and denial of charity care

2017:                    SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members picket the hospital, calling in part for an end to St. Joe’s collections activities against workers

“CHI Franciscan’s policies have harmed patients, including its workers,” said Suzi Powell, a Certified Nursing Assistant at St. Joseph Hospital and member of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW.  “It’s time for CHI Franciscan to start living its mission and provide quality care for all its patients that doesn’t land us in collections or garnishment.”

 

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The more than 600 Providence St. Peter nursing assistants, dietary and housekeeping staff, sterile processors, and other service workers united in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW have won across-the-board wage increases, a $15/hour minimum, health benefit security, and staffing and quality improvements.  The improvements are part of a new contract which union members ratified overwhelmingly in votes this week.

“Our new contract shows the difference our union can make,” said Angel Roberson, a Patient Care Partner/ER Tech at St. Pete’s and bargaining team member.  “We’re proud to win raises for everyone and also to be bringing the $15 minimum to Olympia and raise the standards for us, for our level of patient care, and for our community.”

Whereas Seattle and Seatac raised their minimum wages to $15/hour, statewide the minimum is phasing-in up to $13.50.  Starting January 1, 2018, no employee at St. Peter Hospital who works in a union service position will receive less than the $15/hour minimum.

“We won huge strides forward for security—in our health benefits, in our time off, and in our jobs,” said Randi Lumbert, a Health Unit Coordinator.  “Having this union contract means peace of mind for my family.”

Among the new standards are agreements that Providence will not unilaterally change health benefits or vacation time accrual and usage policies.  It also increases protections for workers should layoffs be necessary.

“When workers stand together in our union, we win,” said Kristine Woodall, a Cafeteria Lead and bargaining team member.  “We are proof that working together works!”

Members had been bargaining to reach this new agreement for more than a year and participated in an informational picket in spring.  The new agreement will expire in 2020.

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Governor Inslee just signed our state budget which ensures full funding for our contracts and our historic 27.5% wage increase to bring us up to community standards.

We worked hard with the state to negotiate a contract that would put our patients and clients first, address a recruitment crisis in our facilities to recruit new nurses, and help us retain the most qualified staff.

We advocated throughout the legislative session with our lobby visits, meetings with the Governor, phone calls, emails, stickers, and petitions to urge our elected leaders to fund our contract and follow through on their commitment to fully fund our state facilities.

Because of our work, legislators showed they value the safety, dignity, and rights of the patients in our state facilities and they recognize we can’t do this critical work without keeping qualified staff.

This budget also makes $102 million in critical investments to our state hospitals, adds more community crisis centers, and more beds to prevent patients from entering Western State and to help discharge patients back to the community.

We should all be proud that we’re on track to provide excellent care, and moving forward we need to keep investing in our communities and behavioral health system so that our state facilities are not the only care options for patients and clients.

These victories are because we’re united together in our union and this contract represents years of hard work and action.

We’re just getting started. Now we need to keep our union strong against attacks and keep working on improvements in our facilities and hospitals. Together we’re winning new standards and advancing care in our communities!

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“The phone calls, going to town halls, and all the pushing and pushing we did made all the difference.  Our raise has helped me to pay for school. Now we can keep working on other issues. As a union, everyone should participate when we call for meetings and work together as a team, because that is what a union is. A union is not someone else, it is us working together.”
Jane Kambutu, RN2, Ward C-3, Evenings, WSH

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“Since we didn’t get a raise all those years, the pay increase is the right thing. We also won an increase in vacation days, which will be good for all of us. We need time for family and free time to rejuvenate. We won because we were all together. WE did that. We took action. We went to Olympia, rallied outside Fircrest, signed petitions, and called our legislators. Working together as a union is what it took, what it always takes to win.”
Charan Paul, RN3, Fircrest, Day

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“I think the biggest impact of the raises in this contract will be retention and replacing people who retire. We have had trouble in the past replacing nurses because of the pay rate. People don’t want to take a pay cut to work with us. We won this because we participated more than we have in the past. We went to Olympia and made phone calls, sent emails. I am excited to see how so many of us took action around getting the contract funded, and because we still have more work to do, we need to stay involved. One thing we don’t yet have is preceptor pay. People need to be trained properly. If we had preceptors, they would see to it that new RNs are only on their own when ready. We have more winning to do.”
Allen Goodwin, Community Nurse Consultant, DSHS, Holgate

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“The budget that was passed includes our raises for everyone, and that means safer staffing numbers for our patients and us.  Now we need to keep working together to fill staffing vacancies and continue improving care.”
Veronica Palmer, RN, Eastern State Hospital

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State nurses at Western State Hospital, Eastern State Hospital, and DSHS facilities joined community members across Washington to call for a stop to a government shutdown. At rallies, marches, and press conferences, we brought our message to the community that it’s time to invest in care and support new revenue.

June 22 marked the first day that pink slips will start to be distributed by state agencies and they prepare for a government shutdown. If a budget deal is not reached by July 1, 2017 a full state government shutdown will take place.

“I want to provide the kind of care that ensures our patients can get back to the community, and I want our patients to meet their goals and health outcomes,” said Melissa Staples, an RN at Eastern State Hospital and speaker in Spokane. “But we can’t do that if our Senators won’t fund our budget. If our state wants to be a leader on improving mental health, then we need to make sure we’re investing in the right priorities so we can all thrive.”

Instead of honoring our negotiated contract with wage increases that bring us to community standards, Senate Republicans continue to hold up our contract by proposing a plan that would give us only a flat sum of $500 per year, far short of the investment we know is needed to help us keep staff in our hospitals and facilities.

We worked hard with the state to negotiate a contract that would put our patients and clients first, address a recruitment crisis in our facilities to recruit new nurses, and help us retain the most qualified staff. We’ve advocated throughout the legislative session through our lobby visits, phone calls, and emails to urge our elected leaders to fund our contract. Our work made the difference: the majority of legislators are standing with us because they know how essential our work is to care for our vulnerable patients and clients. Now we need to keep up the pressure to make sure the contract is funded by the deadline.

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“We’re doing our part with our administration to turn this hospital around, but the Senate won’t do their part to fund the state budget,” said Paula Manalo, RN at Western State Hospital.

“You can’t get something for nothing—we need revenue for all of the things that keep our communities going. Schools, transportation, healthcare. If the Senate doesn’t raise the revenue we need and pass the budget by July 1 I’m worried we won’t be able to hire new nurses and keep the ones we have. We’ll go back to like it was before. Nobody will want to work here because we’ll be short staffed and we’ll face a higher risk of assault. We already work mandatory overtime, working 16 hours at a time with patients who need us to be fully present. We need experienced nurses who are situationally aware of the dangers of this work.”

Put people before tax breaks for corporations

This legislative gridlock is the result of a few extremist Senate leaders taking control of our budget process and refusing to support the revenue we need to fund essential services.

Instead of investing in good schools for our kids and healthcare that helps everyone be well, the budget from state Senate Republicans is giving corporations tax breaks instead. Hundreds of tax giveaways for special interests and corporations are clogging our tax code—some of them have been in place for decades. Right now our tax code is so upside down we’re in last place, behind every other state in our nation and families like ours pay 7 times more than wealthy individuals in taxes.

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“We must clean up our tax code so we have the money to invest in creating the quality of life we all want, including dignity in our care,” said Murph Gagnon, an RN and APS nurse investigator at the WA Department of Social and Health Services and speaker at the Western State rally. “Workers like myself, my coworkers and the families that we care for have paid too much for too long while Senate Republicans let corporations get away without paying their fair share. That’s not right, and the implications are about to ripple across the state for patients and thousands of families.  We do our job taking care of our most vulnerable and now its time for Senate Republicans to do their job and pass a budget that allows our communities to thrive.”

State government shut down would impact our families and our patients, clients

If Senate Republicans do not agree to fund our contract by the July 1 deadline, our state government will shut down and there may be some state nurses, healthcare workers, and other employees who will be put on temporary layoff.

For frontline nurses who have already received the 27.5% increase in incremental steps in September and February, this proposed budget would result in a 27.5% pay cut from our current paychecks. Nurses who were on track to receive the 27.5% increase July 1, 2017 would not receive it under this proposal and would instead remain at their current rate, below market standard.

Without wage increases that bring us to market standard, we will continue to face a staffing crisis in our facilities. Both patients and staff are at higher risk of assault when we’re short staffed, and the backlog to move patients on or off wards, connect them to services, or investigate complaints will only increase under the Senate’s proposed plan to deny funding for our contract and close Fircrest School and wards at Western State Hospital.

kadlec-victory-2-lowresMore than 800 nursing assistants, radiology techs, dietary and housekeeping staff, certified surgical technologists, and more at Kadlec Regional Medical Center voted on April 19-20 to unite in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, the statewide union of nearly 30,000 nurses and healthcare workers.  The caregivers cited the impact of Providence’s takeover of their facility and the need for a voice in staffing, wages, and benefits as driving the decision to form a union.

“In the 20 plus years I’ve been a mammography tech I’ve tried to treat all my patients and co-workers with kindness and respect,” said Bertha Montes, a Lead Mammography Technologist. “Over the last few months I’ve given my time and part of myself to help form this union. I believe that when we come together we can have a positive influence on the community, each other, and our patients.”

The workers have been forming their union for more than six months.  A committee of worker-volunteer organizers talked with their coworkers about the need for a voice in our changing healthcare industry.  Employees are looking forward to making improvements.  The vote was decisive with a large 422 to 297 voting in favor of the union.

“I have such a rewarding job, get to witness new life come in to this world and have the opportunity to take care of the mothers and newborns of this community,” said Rachel Luna, an OB Tech from the Birth Center.  “The work we do at our community hospital isn’t easy and we want to be treated with respect.  I stood up with my co-workers and team to form a union at Kadlec because I’m ready to move forward. We’ve seen changes in recent years that didn’t work for staff and patients and now we will have all come together for positive change.

The caregivers join the more than 17,000 other SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members working at Providence facilities including St. Peter in Olympia, St. Joseph in Chewelah, Home Health Care and Hospice of Snohomish County, SoundHomeCare and Hospice of Thurston, Mason, and Lewis Counties, and Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.

The caregivers will now identify bargaining priorities and elect a bargaining committee to negotiate a first contract.

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Nurses and healthcare workers know that everyone needs affordable access to care, regardless of age, income, race, pre-existing conditions, immigration status, or any other reason.  That’s why we’re speaking out against the AHCA and in favor of health care for all.

Nurses Sylvia Keller, from Yakima, and Shawn Reed, from Spokane, spoke out in columns in their local papers this weekend – read more!

Spokesman-Review: Don’t Roll Back Progress on Healthcare

Yakima Herald: Listen to patients, nurses: Protect our care

We will continue standing up and speaking out for our patients until we have quality, affordable healthcare for all.

victory-photoHealthcare workers are stronger together!  SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is proud to welcome the more than 300 MAs, PSRs, Lab Techs, Rad Techs, Nutritionists, RNs, and more from UW Neighborhood Clinics who voted overwhelmingly to unite with us this week.  The caregivers from 12 clinics came together to form their union for a voice on the job and improvements in staffing and recruitment and retention.

“With this win, we’ve made it clear that we want to make UW Neighborhood Clinics a better place,” said  Joseph Pa, a Radiologic Technologist at the UW Neighborhood Clinics Ravenna. “We came together across 12 different clinics and now we can have a seat at the table and be part of the decisions that affect us, our families and our patients.”

The caregivers voted nearly 2-to-1 in favor of uniting in one strong union to negotiate improvements with UW Medicine.  They join the more than 2,500 other SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members at UW Medicine Harborview Medical Center, UW Medicine Northwest Hospital, and UW Medicine Valley Medical Center.

“I am ecstatic that the union election was successful,” said  Hannah Vancitters, a PSR Lead at the Woodinville clinic. “Our victory demonstrates what we are capable of when we unite for a common goal. Winning this election by such a large margin gives me hope for the future of our network and reassures me that we can come together to build a strong contract that will truly support our needs at every level.”

The caregivers will now identify bargaining priorities and elect a bargaining committee to negotiate a first contract.

Every patient needs safe care, but without the right staffing and with a lack of rest and meal breaks, nurses and healthcare workers provide care in unsafe conditions. That’s why we’re working with lawmakers to strengthen protections for us and our patients.

The House has passed a bill that will ensure that our hospital staffing committees are a stronger entity within the hospital, and requires that the adopted staffing plan actually be implemented. If management fails to do so we will now have a remedy to hold them accountable.

Important measures of this bill:

  • Requires the committee to consider how to enable meal and rest breaks
  • Requires the CEO to explain changes from staffing committee plans and file the plans with the Department of Health
  • Employees can report to committee if staffing is not in accordance with the plan
  • Other job classes can be advocated for in staffing plans if not in the collective bargaining agreement
  • Shift-to-shift adjustments must consult with front line nurses
  • Mandatory investigation by DOH if there is a complaint
  • Requires corrective action plan from the hospital
  • If not in compliance, the hospital is assessed a daily fine until staffing is corrected

This bill, which has bipartisan support in the Legislature, is an important step in our ongoing work to improve staffing and work towards strengthened laws that ensure nurses can provide safe care. We will continue working on our long-term vision to win safe staffing ratios to protect our patients, and this advance through this amended bill represents a step forward to hold our hospitals accountable. Now this bill goes to the Senate; urge your Senator to support the patient safety bill HB 1714.

Moving forward, we need legislators who understand our work and will support our long term vision for safe staffing and patient ratios. The election for our state’s open Senate seat this fall will determine the future makeup of the Senate, and as healthcare workers we’ll need to work in our communities to ensure we elect someone who will stand with us.

“This bills a step forward to strengthen our staffing committees and hold management accountable to the safest staffing for our patients. We will continue to fight for regulatory change, legislative, and ratios that keep our patients safe.” – Chris Barton, RN, Director of the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Nurse Alliance

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SEIU Healthcare 1199NW

15 S. Grady Way, Suite 200 Renton, WA 98057 | 425-917-1199
Paid for in part by SEIU COPE, with voluntary contributions from SEIU members and their families. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.