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When management and employees collaborate together, we can improve our working conditions– and in our hospital that means that patient care conditions also improve.

We’ve presented collaborative solutions at the bargaining table regarding break relief nurses, staffing, and recruitment and retention of experienced professionals, but Harborview and UW won’t work with us.

We took a report on our negotiations with Harborview and the University of Washington to the King County Labor Summit where we heard from employees and management throughout King County how collaborations are improving the work place.

“Harborview’s delays, denials, and dismissals of our expertise are not the right path forward for the hospital or quality patient care,” SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Vice President Emily VanBronkhorst told the King County Council. “SEIU Healthcare 1199NW nurses and healthcare workers are mission-driven healthcare providers, working at a caring institution that is universally loved and respected not just in the county but in the state. It’s imperative that we have a team that works together; we know that this results in the best care for patients. It’s time for Harborview and UW management to join us in that mission.”

Harborview should be moving forward with us to improve care for our patients.  Instead, nurses are doubling up on patient loads, making it difficult to take breaks. Social workers are working with high patient loads, Health Care Specialists are struggling to improve recruitment, and Airlift Northwest Nurses are facing cuts to compensation and unilaterally implemented changes to pilot staffing.

After a year of working to resolve a contract that prioritizes patient care, Harborview Medical Center is still resisting nurses’ and healthcare workers’ calls for solutions to the hospital’s ongoing staffing and recruitment and retention concerns.

“It was important for the King County Council to hear what’s happening at Harborview because they own the lease on the hospital buildings. As taxpayers, we own the hospital. And as employees, we’re experts on providing the best care. So Harborview should collaborate with us. Our input is critical,” said Scott Flynn, an Imaging Tech Lead at the hospital.

Harborview is our community’s go-to Trauma I and safety net hospital, we can’t afford for it to fall behind on staffing and employee standards.

We’re united behind the Harborview mission. That kind of care doesn’t happen without experienced and dedicated nurses and healthcare workers.



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