For Immediate Release: Monday, Feb. 22, 2019
Contact: Dave Bates, DaveBComms@gmail.com
Three Billboards Throughout Auburn, Washington Will Call on MultiCare Executives to Put Patients First
Nurses and caregivers at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center resorted to the billboards to increase public awareness about urgent patient safety concerns, understaffing, workforce turnover, labor law violations and unfair wages
Auburn, WA- Nurses and caregivers announced today that they have secured three billboards throughout Auburn, Washington to raise public awareness about urgent patient safety concerns, understaffing, workforce turnover, labor law violations and unfair wages at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center (MAMC).
The billboards are part of an overall public information effort that also includes a website called www.MAMCPutCareFirst.org which allows users to email and call MAMC President Mark Smith; social media posts using the hashtag #MAMCPutCareFirst; an online video featuring frontline healthcare workers speaking out; a mobile billboard which will circle the hospital and MultiCare headquarters in Tacoma; and escalating public actions.
“Caring for patients at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center is all about giving back to my community because I live near the hospital,” said Saina Covello, who has been a certified nursing assistant in the Medical-Surgical Department for nine years and has lived in Auburn for 15. “But when I have 10 patients on the night shift who have just gone through surgery, and I have to reposition them, walk them, take them to the bathroom and other duties, it is absolutely overwhelming. Part of why we’re severely understaffed is that we’re underpaid. I’m raising a 16-year old and everything from food to gas is going up. Instead of wasting resources on professional sports team sponsorships, MultiCare needs to invest in patient care and good jobs for our community.”
The 350 healthcare workers at MultiCare Auburn have been asking management to listen to their serious concerns for over eight months, since they started union contract negotiations on July 31, 2018 and their contract expired on September 30 last year. Recently, caregivers filed federal charges against MultiCare for violating labor law.
Nurses and caregivers are calling on MultiCare executives to focus resources on quality patient care, safe staffing and fair wages that will recruit and retain qualified staff. MultiCare certainly has the resources to invest in quality care and good jobs for the local community. In 2018, MultiCare Health System had $2.9 billion in operating revenue and over $1.8 billion in cash reserves.
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is the largest union of nurses and healthcare workers in Washington State, with over 30,000 caregivers throughout hospitals, clinics, mental health, skilled home health and hospice programs.
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW’s mission is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all Washingtonians.