Ruth Schubert, communications director for the Washington State Nurses Association, said by email that the union was pushing to get agreements with the hospital systems where its nurses work. By Monday, the WSNA had agreements with both CHI Franciscan and MultiCare. The agreements, struck in partnership with other unions that represent health care workers, provide paid leave for workers who become quarantined, allow those in the CDC’s at-risk group (over 60, or with an underlying medical condition) to seek alternative assignments, and add hourly bonus incentives to those who volunteer to be moved to other care facilities within a medical group.
Several health care systems in Washington have temporarily closed or consolidated offices and clinics in some areas in order to be better prepared for surges of Covid-19 cases in others. The WSNA has more than 17,000 members and says it represents the professional interests of more than 103,000 registered nurses in the state.