PeaceHealth places unvaccinated staff on unpaid leave Wednesday, prompting unfair labor charge


The Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion on Aug. 20 filed an unfair labor practice against Peace­Health because of it’s unilat­eral decision” to place workers who received a medical or religious exemp­tion on leave without bargaining with the union, said Ruth Schubert, associ­a­tion spokesperson.

The associ­a­tion repre­sents nurses at PeaceHealth’s five Washington hospi­tals. Under federal labor law, Peace­Health is required to negotiate with the union over its individual vaccine mandate, Schubert said.

Peace­Health initially sat down with the union to negotiate, but stopped responding and imposed its own deadlines and terms for dealing with nurses who quali­fied for an exemp­tion, she said.

Unlike any other hospi­tals of which we are aware and which allow exempted nurses who seek accom­mo­da­tions to continue to work at the bedside with appro­priate PPE (personal protec­tive equip­ment), Peace­Health has unlaw­fully placed exempted nurses on unpaid leaves of absence effec­tive Sept. 1,” Schubert said in an email. Given how critical the nursing shortage is already, nurses are deeply concerned about what this unlawful measure means for already depleted and criti­cally under­staffed nurses.”


THE DAILY NEWS (LONGVIEW): PeaceHealth places unvaccinated staff on unpaid leave Wednesday, prompting unfair labor charge (9/1/21)