Health care unions say Washington hospitals on the brink of a crisis’

Published by THE COLUMBIAN on 9/26/21 (Source)

Washington hospitals have spent the past month enduring the largest wave yet of COVID-19 cases, and the surge is prompting health care worker unions to issue renewed calls for hospitals to take additional steps to combat burnout, retain existing caregivers and maintain their overall staff levels.

In a joint press release last week, three unions representing Washington health care workers — SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, UFCW 21 and the Washington State Nurses Association — said hospitals are “on the brink of a crisis” and needed “immediate and impactful action to retain and attract critical workers.”

“Instead of fighting over a supply of nurses, we need to be looking at how to retain the nurses that are there, build up staffing and decent working conditions,” said Washington State Nurses Association Executive Director David Keepnews.