PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center nurses rally for safe staffing

Nurses say Peace­Health South­west Medical Center needs to do more to attract new nurses and retain the nurses it has after a brutal year on the front lines of the coron­avirus pandemic. On Saturday, April 10, hundreds of regis­tered nurses and supporters rallied at the Vancouver Water­front to call for safe nurse staffing at Southwest.

We are fighting for our patients and our commu­nity,” said Didi Gray, a labor and delivery nurse at South­west and negoti­a­tion team member. Safe nurse staffing allows us to provide the highest-quality care to our friends, neigh­bors and commu­nity members every time they are in the hospital.”

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Didi Gray, labor and delivery nurse at Southwest and negotiation team member

South­west nurses were joined by Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, who voiced her support for the nurses in their contract fight and issued a procla­ma­tion declaring May 2021 as Nurses Appre­ci­a­tion Month in Vancouver.

You’ve helped me; you’ve helped my family and friends — not just at Peace­Health, but throughout the commu­nity,” Mayor McEarny-Ogle told the crowd of nurses.

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Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle

The 1,100 regis­tered nurses at South­west have been in contract negoti­a­tions for months and have held 13 bargaining sessions, including a marathon session on Thursday, April 8.

The next bargaining session has not yet been sched­uled. The WSNA bargaining team remains committed to reaching an agree­ment that recog­nizes the excel­lent care nurses have been providing through the pandemic and that will retain experi­enced nurses.

We need Peace­Health South­west to support nurses so we can continue to support our patients,” Gray said.