Photo Credit to Bryan Burke

Photo Credit to Bryan Burke

This does not surprise me.  From what I have heard about the management at Deaconess Hospital, Spokane, WA, and their Hospital in the Valley, Community Health Systems should have had a complaint filed at them sooner.

The hospitals in Spokane owned by non-profits don’t seem to have these problems.  We should never forget the value of the labor movement our capitalist economy. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 24, 2014

Contact: Julie Popper, 425-919-8577, juliep@seiu1199nw.org, @SEIU1199NW

Federal Board files complaint against Valley, Deaconess Hospital

Labor Board alleges hospital violated federal law in locking out nurses and healthcare workers

SPOKANE VALLEY- 1,000 nurses and healthcare workers at Valley and Deaconess Hospitals, members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, have been standing up for their patients and calling for better staffing.  Rather than working with caregivers to improve staffing, the hospitals have resisted, even going so far as to lock out more than 100 nurses and healthcare workers at Valley Hospital.  Now, the National Labor Relations Board has sided with the caregivers and has filed a complaint against the hospitals, alleging, among other charges, that Valley violated federal law when it locked out workers.

“These charges add even more strength and volume to our calls for the hospitals to stop fighting us and start working with us to provide better patient care,” said Diane Gross, a Health Unit Coordinator at Deaconess Hospital.

The technologists, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, sterile processors, dietary, housekeeping, and admitting staff at Deaconess and Valley plus registered nurses at Valley went on strike in November to amplify their call for better staffing.  Rather than work with the caregivers to improve staffing, Valley hospital retaliated by locking out 100+ nurses and healthcare workers.

“Management can’t ignore these charges—it’s time for them to answer to the actions they took to try to silence us and sideline our serious patient care concerns,” said Tami O’Marro, an RN in Family Care at Valley Hospital.  “The best answer they can give, though, is to settle these charges and settle a contract with us that improves staffing.”

Nurses report that short staffing and staffing cuts have left them with huge patient loads, making it difficult to meet each patients’ needs.  Research has shown that staffing has a significant impact on patient safety and that improving staffing will result in fewer patient falls, hospital-borne infections, and deaths.

The nurses and healthcare workers are still at the table to bargain a new safe staffing contract with the hospitals and are resolved to keep up the fight until their patients have the staffing they need.  The hospitals, meanwhile, need to respond to the federal complaint.

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