This week, WSNA continued the work to address the concerns raised by members like you as nurses across the state fight the pandemic.

Here are updates on key efforts we focused on this week to deliver the resources and support you need to serve your patients and keep yourselves safe.

Hotels for Nurses in Seattle and King County

Thanks to coordi­nated advocacy by WSNA, UFCW 21 and SEIU Health­care 1199NW, King County Execu­tive Dow Constan­tine announced Friday that King County will provide free hotel rooms to nurses and health care workers who are concerned about poten­tially exposing family or loved ones to COVID-19. Rooms will be provided at Hotel 116 in Bellevue, with close proximity to Kaiser Perma­nente – Bellevue Medical Center and Overlake Medical Center & Clinics. The rooms will be avail­able to health care workers through June.

Addition­ally, the Seattle Mayor’s Office is partnering with WSNAand other unions to provide free hotel rooms to nurses and health care workers – both to workers who are healthy, but concerned about poten­tial exposure to those they live with, and to those who need a safe place to isolate or quaran­tine. These rooms are avail­able at the Hotel Execu­tive Pacific in downtown Seattle.

To reserve a room at either the Bellevue or Seattle hotel, please call WSNA at 206 – 575-7979, ext. 6004.

Fighting for Hazard Pay 

We are fighting to win hazard pay for our nurses and all health care workers in recog­ni­tion of their heroic work during this pandemic. Senate Democ­rats in Congress have proposed hazard pay in the amount of $13/​hr (up to $25,000 for those making less than $200,000 annually) for all essen­tial front­line workers retroac­tive to Jan. 27. In addition to our joint petition with UFCW 21, SEIU Health­care 1199NW and OPEIU8, which is now over 16,000 signa­tures, we are negoti­ating with employers across the state, advocating for hazard pay at the national level, and raising the issue in the media. Our efforts have already made news around the state, including coverage on KVEW in the Tri-Cities and KREM in Spokane which was picked up by MSN​.com and syndi­cated nationally

COVID-19 MOU at King County Public Health

We reached a Memorandum of Under­standing with King County Public Health to cover terms including redeploy­ment during COVID-19, COVID-related leave, and workers compen­sa­tion and leave proto­cols during COVID-19.

In addition, we reached COVID-19 agree­ments, an MOU and an MOA, at UW Montlake and UW North­west that provide protec­tions when exposed, protec­tions from redeploy­ment and protec­tions for the at risk employees.

Worker Protec­tions by Gov. Inslee

On April 1, WSNA joined other health care and first responder unions in asking the Governor to make clear that employers must protect high-risk workers and to clarify his earlier order regarding L&I claims filed by health care workers and first respon­ders. Today, Gov. Inslee issued a procla­ma­tion protecting high-risk employees and on Friday sent a memo clari­fying how L&I should handle workers compen­sa­tion claims for COVID-19:

· Procla­ma­tion protecting high-risk employees guaran­tees workers over age 65 and workers with under­lying health condi­tions can choose an alter­na­tive work assign­ment; use accrued leave or unemploy­ment benefits (with mandated employer-maintained health coverage) if alter­na­tive work assign­ment is not feasible; and prohibits employers from perma­nently replacing high-risk workers (meaning workers who need protec­tion now must be given their job back when this is over)

· Memorandum on workers’ compen­sa­tion clearly defines new condi­tions including: assuming any COVID-19 exposure occurred on-the-job unless there is clear evidence other­wise; and the state will pay for medical and time-loss costs for quaran­tine period regard­less of final diagnosis. This memo also provides relief for employers who have workers utilize this benefit, disin­cen­tivizing employers from telling their nurses and health care workers that they became sick through commu­nity exposure”

COVID-19 Webinar

This week, WSNA hosted a webinar for our members on our efforts to ensure you have what you need to stay safe and serve your patients. If you were not able to join, you can view a video of the webinar and access link to resources/​materials from webinar at https://​wsna​.to/​aprilcovid

Hashtag Campaigns

WSNA has launched a campaign for social media using the hashtags #StayHome and #SilenceKills. These were chosen to allow oppor­tu­nity for all RNs to engage in a collec­tive effort they feel strongly about. Using these hashtags we can support educa­tion of our commu­nity with #StayHome to flatten the curve, and we can advocate for adequate PPE and other resources without the fear of retal­i­a­tion by using #SilenceKills. It’s also a way to engage our commu­nity in a partner­ship in supporting nurses and caregivers on the front­line of this pandemic.

WSNA is encour­aging all members to partic­i­pate by taking a photo with hashtag sign and posting about why it’s impor­tant to you. To make this simple, we’ve created download­able signs, or you can make your own. Here’s what to do:

Download and print your own selfie sign. (If you can’t print your own, just make your own using the hashtags and add WSNA).

1. Take a selfie with your sign. 

2. Post the selfie to your own Facebook page and add the hashtag as text in the post.

3. Email the picture to so we can post on the WSNA Facebook page. That’s it!

We’re already seeing lots of interest in this campaign both in WA and beyond our borders. We invite you to join in. Let’s see how far we can get this to go!

Recent News Coverage

· OREGON PUBLIC RADIO: It’s Terri­fying’: How Frustra­tions Flared For Nurses At SW Washington Hospital (4/9/20)

· KREM 2: Washington health care unions demand coron­avirus hazard pay for workers (4/8/20)

· THE BELLINGHAM HERALD: Citing safety fear amid coron­avirus outbreak, union files complaint against Peace­Health (4/7/20)

· KIRO 7: VIDEO: North Sound hospital under fire by its own nurses (4/7/20)

· MEDSCAPE: COVID-19 Exposes Poten­tial Gaps in PPE Training, Effec­tive­ness (4/6/20)

· THE SEATTLE TIMES: As coron­avirus spreads, front­line workers press Inslee for more info on where personal protec­tive equip­ment is going (4/3/20)

· THE SEATTLE TIMES: Silencing nurses and doctors will make the coron­avirus crisis worse (4/3/20)

· KEPR TV: We are going to die,” Kadlec nurse calls on federal govern­ment, businesses to provide PPE (4/3/20)

· TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE: Pierce County health care workers petition for hazard pay amid coron­avirus crisis (4/1/20)