A coalition of healthcare unions representing thousands of Washington workers held a press conference Monday, raising concerns over issues with staffing shortages and burnout at hospitals.
The conference addressed the stresses nurses faced over the past two years of the coronavirus pandemic and called on Washington state lawmakers to take action now to address the issues.
The Washington State Nurses Association, the UFCW 21, and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW said they are working with lawmakers to get legislation introduced in January that will ensure local facilities are properly staffed now and in the future.
Julia Barcott, a nurse, said at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she and fellow nurses were called heroes. Now she said many of them are worn down, short-staffed and overworked, forced to resort to overtime to keep up with the demand.