TACOMA -- (Sept. 8, 2016) The WSNA-represented registered nurses at Tacoma General Hospital rallied in Tacoma’s Wright Park today to demand that MultiCare Tacoma General leadership address the patient safety and staffing issues they continue to raise in contract negotiations.
“The registered nurses of Tacoma General, are fighting to make sure you – our patients and our community – get safe, high quality care,” said Terry Surratt, RN, a member of the contract negotiations team who has worked at Tacoma General for more than two decades.
Hundreds of nurses, community members, MultiCare physicians, labor and elected leaders gathered to call for better from one of the largest health care providers in Pierce County.
The registered nurses at Tacoma General Hospital, represented by the Washington State Nurses Association, head back to the bargaining table for negotiation sessions on September 14 and 16. Safe patient care is the top issue for nurses in these negotiations. MultiCare Tacoma General continues to turn a deaf ear to the patient safety and staffing issues raised by nurses and, in fact, is proposing changes to the contract that raise serious patient safety concerns.
MultiCare has repeatedly committed unfair labor practices against the nurses at Tacoma General, engaging in illegal surveillance of peaceful union activities, interfering with WSNA’s communications with the nurses, unilaterally imposing changes in nurses’ terms and conditions of employment without bargaining with the Union, and refusing to provide information requested by the Union that it needs to represent the nurses effectively.
“This is one of the most difficult contract negotiations I have seen in my years as Director of Labor for WSNA,” said Christine Himmelsbach, MN, RN. “MultiCare’s actions in negotiations, in the hospital and in court have been extraordinarily poor.”
Top issues at the negotiating table include:
WSNA is the leading voice and advocate for nurses in Washington state, providing union representation and trainings that allow nurses to reach their full professional potential and focus on caring for patients. WSNA represents more than 17,000 registered nurses who provide care in hospitals, clinics, schools and community and public health settings across the state.