Local Nurses & Healthcare Workers Ready To Strike - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Local Nurses & Healthcare Workers Ready To Strike

PRESS RELEASE: As Valley and Deaconess Hospitals continue to resist calls from nurses, healthcare workers, and community allies to improve staffing levels and put patient care first, members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW at those hospitals gave notice that unless Deaconess and Valley settle a contract that includes staffing improvements and ends what the union believes are unfair labor practices, they will strike for one day on November 20, beginning at 6:00am.

"We love our patients and that's why we need to stand up for quality care," said Teri Nicholson, a nurse and bargaining team member at Valley Hospital. "We don't want to strike, but putting our patients first is our top priority. We need to hold the hospitals accountable."

"We're continuing to call on the hospitals for improved staffing, and we're ready to meet with them anytime. Every patient deserves the best care, but that means having enough staff for every patient, every time," said Mary Robinson, a Central Service Tech and bargaining team member from Deaconess Hospital.

The nurses at Valley and healthcare workers at both hospitals have been at the bargaining table with their hospitals for months yet the hospitals have yet to respond to proposed staffing increases. 

"Deaconess used to be a Methodist hospital but it has changed," said Pastor Deb Conklin of the United Methodist Church. "Our nurses and healthcare workers are the experts on what patients need and the hospital needs to listen to them. This hospital means so much to me and it breaks my heart to see what has become of our Methodist legacy."

Members have bargaining scheduled for November 13-14.  If an agreement is not reached by 5:59am on November 20 then the 1,000 workers including dietary, housekeeping, registration, health unit coordinators, sterile processors, nurses, nursing assistants, and more will be striking for one day on Wednesday, November 20. 

The strike will begin at 6:00am and end at 5:59am on Thursday, November 21.

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