RNs - Washington

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As the need for nurses swells, the foreign-born step up

Paula Bock, Seattle Times, December 18, 2006 Tacoma - Of all the differences between hospital life in her native Philippines and here, in Washington state, one in particular has stuck with Maricris Espino, RN. It's not so much the salary (though she earns in two days the equivalent of a month's wages in her home country), or the technology (IV pumps, fancy electric beds), or the hospital hierarchy in which nurses examine patients and make suggestions to doctors. What so often strikes Espino when she walks into a patient's room is that they're alone. ... As

Patient Safety & Nursing Shortage Focus of Picketing by RNs at St. Joseph Medical Center

Washington State Nurses Association, November 28, 2006 Seattle - Hundreds of nurses from St. Joseph Medical Center and surrounding areas hit the streets for information picketing to protest stalled contract negotiations between the Hospital and the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA), representing more than 900 RNs at St. Joseph Medical Center. WSNA has also filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against the Hospital for not allowing the union to public areas of the Hospital. ... Patient

Labor ruling shouldn't hurt nurses here, union leader says

Mai Hoang, Yakima Herald, October 3, 2006 Today's National Labor Relations Board ruling on union eligibility for nurses will likely have little impact in Washington state, the president of one of the nation's nursing unions said in Yakima. The board ruled that nurses who are permanently assigned to manage work shifts should be considered supervisors and therefore cannot not have US labor protections if they organize. But in this state, about 95 percent of nurses are already unionized, said registered nurse Diane Sosne, president of the Nurse Alliance of SEIU and SEIU District 1199 Northwest, which represents 20,000 nurses and health-care employees working in hospitals throughout Washington state. ... Labor

Labor judge rules in flu-shot case

Seattle Times, September 29, 2006 Virginia Mason Medical Center did not have to bargain with the nurses union before imposing a requirement to wear face masks if nurses declined to get a flu shot, an administrative law judge has ruled. But the National Labor Relations Board judge also found that the medical center violated federal labor law by failing to bargain in good faith, including providing false and misleading information about its intentions regarding the flu-control policy. The judge also found the medical center failed to provide information to the union in a timely manner. ... Labor

Nurses at Harborview Medical Center protest wage proposal

Carol M. Ostrom, Seattle Times, September 29, 2006 About 200 nurses and other union health-care workers from Harborview Medical Center rallied Thursday amid contract negotiations to protest a wage proposal from the hospital. "We make considerably less than all the other hospitals in the region," said Sunniva Zaratkiewicz, a registered nurse and member of the bargaining team for SEIU 1199NW, the union that represents nurses, social workers, medical technicians, advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants at Harborview. She said the result is high turnover. ... Nurses

Showdown at Virginia Mason

The medical center wants to turn all nurses into supervisors - nullifying their union status.
Geov Parrish, Seattle Weekly, July 12, 2006

I have this vision that because I own a dog, soon I will be legally prohibited from joining a union.

It's not quite that bad - yet. But a series of decisions expected this summer from the Bush-appointed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could nullify the union memberships of millions of people in the United States and prevent any future unionization attempts by tens of millions more. And one of the most closely watched harbingers in the nation of how these rulings might play out is here in Seattle. ... Showdown

Victory for Nurses in Rest Break Arbitration Decision Against SHMC

Washington State Nurses Association, June 1, 2006

Spokane - The Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA), who represents almost 1,300 registered nurses at Sacred Heart Medical Center (SHMC), won an arbitration decision against SHMC for not providing 15 minute rest breaks for the nurses. The collective bargaining agreement clearly provides for 15 minute of rest every four hours. Due to the recent restructure and inadequate staffing at SHMC, the nurses have not been getting their rest breaks. ... Victory

NLRB rules for nurses in dispute with hospital

Carol M. Ostrom, Seattle Times, May 2, 2006

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has found that Virginia Mason Medical Center engaged in unfair labor practices by requiring nurses who didn't get flu shots to wear masks.

The complaint filed Friday is the latest chapter in a long dispute between the hospital, its 600-plus nurses and their union, the Washington State Nurses Association.

A hearing has been set for June 8 before an NLRB administrative-law judge. ... NLRB

Virginia Mason nurses claim a win in flu shot dispute

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle), May 2, 2006

Nurses at Virginia Mason Medical Center claimed a win in their battle with the hospital and its demand that the nurses get flu shots. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), after receiving a complaint from the nurses' union, has issued a complaint to the hospital.

Nurses who didn't get the shots were required to wear face masks or lose their jobs, the union said.

According to a statement issued by the Washington State Nurses Association, the NLRB issued a complaint and a notice of hearing to the center "for engaging in unfair labor practices against the registered nurses." ... Virginia Mason

Klickitat nurses lead effort to form union

Tracy Sawyer, Yakima Herald-Republic, February 5, 2006

Employees of Klickitat Valley Health Services say they want to unionize, and they think they have the numbers to do it.

Now, nurses at Klickitat Valley Hospital say, only one thing stands in their way: their employer.

The nurses have contacted Service Employees International Union 1199NW and have met in each other's homes to gather more than 100 signatures in support of the union. That gives the 150 or so members of the hospital staff more than enough signatures for a 60 percent supermajority, which allows the union to come in as soon as the signatures are verified. ... Klickitat

Need for nurses still runs high in Valley

Ed Stover, Yakima Herald-Republic, January 30, 2006

Nurses wanted.

That's not a rumor, but a fact extrapolated from a statewide survey of 15,000 Washington businesses.

That's particularly the case in King County, which accounts for 52 percent of the 5,160 registered-nurse vacancies statewide, said state Employment Security Department economic analyst Dave Wallace. Nursing topped the list of job vacancies there. ... Need

Everett nurses OK contract

Sharon Salyer, Everett Herald, January 24, 2006

Everett - Nurses at Providence Everett Medical Center have approved a new three-year contact that will give them an average 5 percent pay raise this year.

The contract was approved by an 83 percent vote, John Aslakson, a union representative for United Staff Nurses Union, said Monday. The contract covers nearly 1,000 registered nurses. The previous contract expired Oct. 30.

Nurses working 20 or more hours a week will continue to get free health insurance and half the cost of health insurance for family members paid for. The hospital will pick up 25 percent of the cost of dental care. ... Everett

Providence Everett nurses to decide 3-year contract

Sharon Salyer, Everett Herald, January 19, 2006

Registered nurses at Providence Everett Medical Center will vote Friday on a proposed three-year contract, with wage increases based on the average of what is paid at other Puget Sound-area hospitals.

The proposed contract with the United Staff Nurses Union covers the hospital's nearly 1,000 registered nurses. The current contract expired Oct. 30.

The union has recommended approval of the proposal, union representative John Aslakson said. ... Providence

Edmonds hospital, workers reach agreement

Sharon Salyer, Daily Herald, January 14, 2006

Edmonds - Stevens Hospital has reached a tentative contract agreement with a union representing about 70 percent of its work force, bringing to an end negotiations that began in August.

Voting on the proposed contract will take place Tuesday and Wednesday.

No details on the new work agreement were available on Friday.

"No details means no details," said Carter Wright, communications director for the Service Employees International Union. ... Edmonds

Nurses don't have to get flu vaccines

Warren King, Seattle Times, January 6, 2006

A federal judge in Seattle Thursday agreed that nurses at Virginia Mason Medical Center still won't have to choose between refusing a flu shot or keeping their jobs - even though most of them have chosen to get the shots after all.

US District Court Judge Marsha Pechman ruled that a labor arbitrator had the authority to rule last August that the hospital couldn't force its more than 600 nurses to receive the shots as a "fitness for duty" requirement. ... Nurses

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