Now that was a great informational picket!

Our WSNA negotiating team members were not fooled by management offering an eight percent increase in wages on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2021, the day before our information picket. They recognized that was a big increase from the previous offers but also realized accepting it would mean no changes to staffing, no changes to safety, and the new counter proposal would remove our union rights to bargain pay incentives. Our WSNA negotiating team said no, do more, do better, and we will not give up our union rights.


The next morning nurses turned out in the hundreds to show SJMC management they are supporting their WSNA negotiating team. The picket was set to start at 0700.


Nurses were showing up way before start time eager to demonstrate they are standing strong for improved staffing, nurse and patient safety, wages that will retain nurses, and keeping all our union rights. They shared their stories of what happens inside the walls of the hospital with speeches, chants, and picket signs they made themselves.


During the morning session, hospital security scurried out to tell the three nurses speaking to the crowd from the ED lid that they were on hospital property so need to leave. One of the nurses swiftly replied, “We know, and I hope you respond to my next code gray as quickly as you came out here to tell us this.”


The afternoon session speeches were delivered from the back of a pickup on J Street by the ED. Security once again hurried out try to interrupt our speakers by demanding the pickup be moved. Out of respect for Senator Connelly who was stepping up to address the crowd, we disregarded that demand.


SJMC management also sent a letter out to nurses the day of our picket reporting the wage increases they offered but failing to report they were refusing to agree to any changes in staffing and safety. They also took credit for our proposal for BSN/MSN differential and failed to report the original proposal was from WSNA, and their counter proposal was less than our original proposed amount.

They boasted they proposed, which again was really a counter proposal to our original proposal, to increase noc shift by 25 cents while they have repeatedly rejected our proposals that have been significantly more. We recognize noc shift needs an incentive to keep nurses working nocs. They did tell the truth when they bragged about proposing increasing CN differential by 25 cents.

Our community members, Labor Partners, and politicians demonstrated their support for the SJMC nurses by showing up at the picket too.


It was moving, energizing, as well as an honor to participant in that picket.

Next steps

Plans for strike preparations have begun. There will be much to come in the next few weeks regarding what that means. Stay tuned!

In Solidarity,
Your negoti­ating team: Dian Davis, Linda Burbank, Yunna Flenord, Brandon Hardaway, Katy Heffernan, Matthew McGuire, Shelly Pollock, Chelsey Roos, Emily D’Anna, Ken Richardson, Sally Budack, Naomi Kincade

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive Barbara Friesen at bfriesen@wsna.org.