The Washington State Legislature’s 2021 Regular Session adjourned sine die on April 25, marking the end of the 2021 legislative session. While the remote session presented new challenges, it also allowed for greater public participation — and the legislature made significant accomplishments.
The reality cannot be overstated: Washington hospitals are on the brink of a crisis, and without immediate and impactful action to retain and attract critical workers the state’s health care system could face an unprecedented collapse in capacity and care.
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.
As unions representing nurses and health care workers in Washington state, WSNA, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and UFCW21 support science-based public health directives on COVID-19 vaccination requirements for frontline health care workers, with medical and religious exemptions.
On June 21, Governor Inslee announced that three coronavirus pandemic-related proclamations would be rescinded in anticipation of Washington state's June 30 reopening date. One of these proclamations, the High-Risk Worker Proclamation, will be rescinded June 28 and transition to the new Health Emergency Labor Standards Act.
WSNA is committed to the health and safety of our nurses as well as other frontline caregivers, our families, patients, and communities. In keeping with this commitment, WSNA strongly recommends that all nurses and other health care providers be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The 2021 Regular Session of the Washington State Legislature convened on Jan. 11. Lawmakers were in Olympia on Monday to pass rules that will allow them to conduct their business remotely for the remainder of session.