For Immediate Release: Friday, November 5, 2021
Big win for behavioral health patients and workers in Washington State: SEIU Healthcare 1199NW reaches tentative agreement ending safety strike by Cascade Behavioral Health workers
The following statement is attributable to Lidia Abushet, Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
“Today, we celebrate the power of having a unified voice as members of our union, which has led to the advancement of safety standards for patients and frontline caregivers.
After three and a half months on a safety strike, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW caregivers at Cascade Behavioral Health in Tukwila, Washington have reached a three-year tentative agreement with management that satisfies our immediate demands for a safer facility for all. Most of the safety strikers, like me, were women, many of whom are also immigrants and workers of color. We stuck together through our union, got support from our communities, and are so proud of what we’ve achieved.
The tentative agreement, reached Friday, November 5, addresses our core safety demands, including that Cascade hire dedicated security staff. Under this agreement, all frontline safety strikers will be guaranteed job protection and the right to return to work on Monday, November 8.
We are pleased that Cascade and its parent company, Acadia Healthcare, have agreed to substantive movement on our demands which will bring major improvements to the core safety issues that forced us out on a safety strike back in August. This agreement is a resounding victory not just for the caregivers at Cascade, but for our patients, our community and all workers fighting for safety and respect in their workplaces.
This victory creates a roadmap for all behavioral health workers to ensure quality care and safety for patients and staff. The tremendous contract wins here through our union are a blueprint for behavioral health workers everywhere.”
Monday, November 8, 2021
Caregivers will return to their hospital for their first shift since the strike at 9:00 am PST on Monday, November 8, preceded by a rally at 8:30 am.
WHO: Former safety strikers, family members and supporters
WHAT: First shift returning to work after three-month safety strike
WHEN: Monday, November 8 – Rally at 8:30 am, Walk-in at 9:00 am PST
WHERE: Cascade Behavioral Health Hospital, 12844 Military Rd S, Tukwila, WA 98168
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members at Cascade Behavioral Health will vote to ratify the tentative agreements on Tuesday, November 9 and Wednesday, November 10. The tentative agreements cover 220 workers in three units: RNs, LPNs, mental health tech and service workers.
About SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is a union of nurses and healthcare workers with over 32,000 caregivers throughout hospitals, clinics, mental health, skilled home health and hospice programs in Washington state and Montana. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW’s mission is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all.