How we’re fighting for you: #

While you’re on the front lines working to care for our commu­ni­ties, your union is fighting for you. 

Over recent weeks we’ve heard from thousands of members, and we’re working around the clock to ensure you have what you need to stay safe and serve your patients. In this email, you’ll find updates on top issues, as well as actions you can take to advocate for yourselves and all health care workers.

Building support for your needs

On Friday, we launched a joint petition with SEIU Health­care 1199NW, UFCW21 and OPEIU8, demanding adequate PPE, employer-provided scrubs, paid leave, hazard pay, accom­mo­da­tion for at-risk nurses, and employer commu­ni­ca­tion regarding possible exposure.  In just 4 days our petition has over 10,000 signatures and we’re working to build it even higher as we call on employers and elected officials to step up and provide the protec­tion and support for front­line health care workers.

Sign the petition here, then share it with your friends and family!

Providing PPE to all nurses and health care workers

PPE is the number one issue for nurses and health care workers. Here are key steps we are taking or have taken to get PPE to members:

  • Letter to Governor, Secre­tary of Health, Vice Admiral: WSNA continues to call on local, state and federal govern­ments to provide trans­parent, updated infor­ma­tion on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We sent a letter to Governor Inslee, Secre­tary Wiesman, and Vice Admiral Bono requesting greater trans­parency in the PPE supply chain – ultimately, we are requesting a weekly report on where PPE is and how quickly supplies coming in from the national stock­pile are getting into the hands of nurses and other providers. The letter includes a number of additional requests and is being sent in partner­ship by WSNA, UFCW21, SEIU Health­care 1199NW, Teamsters 117, the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, and the Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs. 
  • Calls with Elected Officials: We are commu­ni­cating daily with the Governor’s Office, and also have frequent calls with members of Washington’s congres­sional delega­tion, county leader­ship, and munic­ipal leader­ship. During these calls we continue to advocate for your needs around PPE, COVID-19 testing, appro­priate admin­is­tra­tive leave, protec­tions for vulner­able workers, child­care, alter­nate housing, and more. Our elected leaders are working with us to deliver results in these areas and more announce­ments will be happening soon.
  • Pierce County PPE Delivery: Last Friday, WSNA joined UFCW21 and SEIU Health­care 1199NW in deliv­ering many boxes of PPE to the Pierce County Emergency Opera­tions Center. This PPE will be distrib­uted to area hospi­tals for use by nurses and health care workers. It was collected through our joint PPE drive at supplies​save​liveswa​.org.
  • COVID-19 Healthy Workplace Survey: Due to the ever-changing nature of a pandemic, this survey is new and may be one of a series we request Washington state regis­tered nurses partic­i­pate in as time moves on. WSNA needs more detail about what you’re facing daily on your unit and in your facility during this COVID-19 crisis. The data you supply will help to directly support the advocacy efforts underway to secure the resources you need to take care of your patients and each other. Your time completing this survey will make a differ­ence in the lives of front­line health care workers around the state and the country.

Taking care of you and your families

While you’re taking care of patients, your own families need care. We’re working to provide extra resources and support, including:

  • Child­care: Nearly 1,000 WSNA members completed our child­care survey, which has now been shared with state and local elected officials, as well as with the media. Work is happening at the state and local levels to stand up free child­care for health care workers and first respon­ders. If you need child­care, please contact Child Care Aware of Washington Family Center via its website or call 1 – 800-446‑1114. Child Care Aware is tracking avail­able child­care across the state and is the quickest way to be referred to open and avail­able care, including extended hour and weekend care options.
  • Housing for Nurses: We have heard that many of you live with people in a COVID-19 vulner­able category and are worried about going home. WSNA has shared these concerns with state and local elected officials and are currently working with these leaders to identify poten­tial options, including hotel rooms, for nurses who need a place to rest before going back to the hospital. More on this soon.

Pandemic Agree­ments with Employers

We’re working to protect your health and your rights at work by negoti­ating agree­ments with employers statewide, with a special focus on the issues in our joint petition. Here are a few successful agree­ments thus far:

  • CHI Franciscan: WSNA has negoti­ated two agree­ments with CHI. The first addresses when nurses are entitled to paid leave. The second agree­ment addresses volun­tary floating from one CHI facility to another. We are currently negoti­ating additional agree­ments around other protec­tions for nurses, and whether and under what circum­stances nurses can be floated within a facility.
  • Multi­Care: WSNA has negoti­ated a Memorandum of Under­standing with Multi­Care that addresses many similar issues. We have also proposed language that would provide for additional protec­tions and are in negoti­a­tions with MultiCare.

At both CHI and Multi­Care, we are going back for supple­mental agree­ments on additional issues. Discus­sions with numerous employers and health systems are contin­uing throughout the state.

Speaking out against the silencing of nurses and doctors

WSNA issued a state­ment on the issue our nurses and other health care workers being muzzled in an attempt by hospi­tals to preserve their image.

No health care worker should face being disci­plined or fired for speaking the truth. Doctors, nurses and other health care workers on the front­lines know first­hand what patients need and where our health care system is falling short in its response to COVID-19.

Telling your stories in the press

Stories from front­line workers are a powerful way to build public support and shift policy. We’ve been hard at work bringing your voices into the discus­sion in Washington state and nation­ally. Here are a few examples of stories and pieces featuring WSNA members and our allies. 

If you have any questions, please contact your WSNA Nurse Representative.