After years of inaction by hospital employers and months of unsustainable patient levels, we are joining together across three health care unions to make our voices heard across the state. We’re calling for a sustainable, accountable commitment to safe staffing in every department of every hospital in Washington.
As frontline workers know, the staffing shortage pre-existed the pandemic, but the last year and a half has turned the shortage into a crisis in many of our workplaces. Massive burnout, exhausting workloads, and lack of retention bonuses or adequate incentives have driven many health care professionals to take better paying jobs elsewhere or leave the field entirely.
Share your staffing story!
We’re working to raise awareness about the staffing crisis and what health care workers need, but legislators, the media and our communities need to hear from you. If you have a story about short staffing in your workplace, please share it with us using this simple staffing story form.
Taking our message to the media
Members from WSNA, SEIU 1199NW and UFCW21 have been raising their voices in the media to get our staffing crisis message out to the public. A big shout-out to Shelly Pollock-Mead of St. Joe’s Tacoma, Paul Fuller of Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, Julia Barcott of Astria Toppenish (and our chair of the WSNA Cabinet on Economic and General Welfare) and Sarah Collins of PeaceHealth Southwest for speaking to the media about this crisis.
Here are some recent news stories featuring union health care workers:
- KOMO TV (Seattle): Overworked nurses worried about staffing shortages
- KREM TV (Spokane): 'We're not machines': Providence employees worried about staffing shortage, call for more investment and support
- KATU TV (Portland): Nurse sees healthcare workers leaving the profession: 'We're losing more core staff'
- KING 5 (Seattle): Seattle nurse describes burnout and abuse pushing many healthcare workers to their limits
- Seattle Weekly: The state’s hospitals face “unprecedented collapse” amid COVID uptick warn healthcare unions
- KREM 2 News (Spokane): 'We’re losing overworked nurses': Washington nurses unions say staff shortages could lead to health care collapse
- The Columbian (Vancouver): Health care unions say Washington hospitals ‘on the brink of a crisis’
- KING 5 (Seattle): 'We feel defeated': Washington healthcare workers struggle amid rising COVID-19 cases
Taking action together across unions and across our state
We also continue to participate in statewide sticker-up actions, showing unity among health care workers and calling for real solutions to this staffing crisis. Want stickers for your workplace? Contact your delegate, union rep, or organizer for more information.