WSNA responds to governor’s COVID-19 vaccination order

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What’s in the COVID-19 vaccination order #

As has been reported in the news, Governor Jay Inslee yesterday issued an order requiring COVID-19 vacci­na­tion for all health care workers as a condi­tion of employ­ment. He set a deadline of October 18 for all health care employees, including nurses, to be fully vacci­nated or face termi­na­tion. While exemp­tions will be consid­ered for medical and religious reasons, there will be no exemp­tions based on personal or philo­soph­ical opposi­tion to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Our attor­neys, public affairs, nursing practice and union staff have combed through the official procla­ma­tion and have answers to the questions we have received in our Washington Vacci­na­tion Mandate FAQ.

Because Governor Inslee has issued this mandate, health care employers – public and private – have to abide by the mandate. However, all employers still have to bargain with WSNA over the effects of the mandate such as will the employer provide paid sick leave if a nurse has side-effects from the vaccine or what would happen to a nurse with an exemp­tion in place?

We are committed to protecting the confi­den­tiality of our members’ medical infor­ma­tion, including their vacci­na­tion status; federal law requires employers to maintain employee medical infor­ma­tion as confi­den­tial, and WSNA won’t agree to compro­mise that right.

Public response from WSNA, SEIU 1199 and UFCW21 #

Yesterday the three unions sent out a joint response following the Governor Inslee’s announce­ment of the vaccine require­ment. Read the statement.

CAUTION: Protests or actions at or near hospitals could result in termination

WSNA is aware that certain protests and actions against vacci­na­tion are being organized and promoted on social media. These events are not sponsored or endorsed by WSNA. While you (as a citizen) are entitled to partic­i­pate in any actions off campus and away from your employer’s hospital or facility on non-work time, we urge nurses not to partic­i­pate in these events especially if they involve walking out on your job or if the action is on or near the campus of any WSNA-repre­sented hospital or facility. Walking off the job and or partic­i­pa­tion in actions that could consti­tute a strike, picketing, inter­rup­tion of work or other inter­fer­ence with orderly opera­tion of the facility where you work may subject nurses to employer retal­i­a­tion, up to immediate dismissal from employ­ment.

WSNA strongly encour­ages all of our members to get vacci­nated. For more infor­ma­tion on the COVID-19 variants and vaccine, see our FAQ.

Please reach out to your nurse repre­sen­ta­tive with any questions.