Pierce County health care workers petition for hazard pay amid coronavirus crisis

Published by TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE on 4/1/20 (Source)

The nurses’ union representing 3,600 workers at two of Pierce County’s biggest health systems has petitioned for extra pay during the COVID-19 crisis, saying its members are working without the proper protective gear and are suffering financial hardships brought on by the outbreak.

In a petition created last week, the nurses union asks for a pay increase of $5 per hour in recognition of their work and the increased risk to nurses and family members.

As of Monday, the petition has garnered more than 9,200 signatures.

The senior director for strategic initiatives of the Washington State Nurses Association, Anne Piazza, said while having a pay increase doesn’t compensate for adequate personal protective equipment, it can help show staff they are appreciated at a time when their work is critical.

“It’s meant to recognize the environment and the risks that nurses are putting themselves in,” she told The News Tribune. “They are at the front line of this.”