Dozens of PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center nurses, supporters and union members picketed outside the Longview hospital Tuesday, calling for a fair contract for nurses amid staffing and safety concerns.
The Washington State Nursing Association (WSNA) bargaining team at St. John decided to hold the informational picket demanding the hospital return to the bargaining table after canceling sessions scheduled for September.
Kathy Arnesen, St. John surgical nurse, told a crowd gathered outside the hospital that over the last several years, nurses have been required to work increasingly difficult and ever changing situations. Nurses are asked to do more with less resources, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated all those problems, she said.
“We deserve safe staffing, to be appropriately compensated … to be safe at work, to be heard,” Arnesen said. “We deserve a fair contract now.”