What's next?

It’s been two weeks since the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in favor of WSNA and its arbitration award prohibiting the so-called “break buddy” system and requiring the use of break relief nurses. You might be wondering what happens next. While the Court of Appeals decision is a huge victory, the fight is not quite over yet.

By next week, the Court of Appeals will issue its “mandate,” which officially transfers the case back to the District Court. The District Court will then issue a final order enforcing the arbitration award. At that point, MultiCare will be subject to a final court order and will risk contempt if it does not begin finally complying with the Arbitrator’s decision.

The wheels of justice turn slowly, but we are so close to the culmination of this long, hard fought battle for safe break relief. If MultiCare were to act sensibly rather than choosing to continue to battle in court, it would use this time before the final order is issued to make the plans it needs to make to begin scheduling, staffing and assigning a break relief nurse for every unit in the hospital, like the Arbitrator ordered it to do back in 2015.

What’s happening in your unit? Have you been getting your rest breaks since the Court’s decision was released? Let us know! Be a part of making uninterrupted rest breaks a reality across the state and complete our Rest Breaks & Overtime Survey.

Your responses will help us hold employers accountable and advocate in Olympia for stronger rest break and mandatory overtime laws.

Thank you for taking the time to help us advocate together!