UPDATE: Hospital Employees From Deaconess And Valley On Strike - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Hospital Employees From Deaconess And Valley On Strike

Posted: Updated:
More than 1,000 employees from Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital are on strike. More than 1,000 employees from Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital are on strike.
  • Also on KHQ.comMore>>

  • Around 1,000 Medical Workers In Spokane Aim To Strike

    Around 1,000 Medical Workers In Spokane Aim To Strike

    Monday, December 2 2013 8:41 PM EST2013-12-03 01:41:29 GMT
    Employees at Valley Hospital and Deaconess plan to strike on Wednesday after bargaining talks did not result in a contract agreement.>>
    Employees at Valley Hospital and Deaconess plan to strike on Wednesday after bargaining talks did not result in a contract agreement. Health unit coordinators, sterile processors, admitting, dietary and housekeeping staff at Deaconess and those positions plus nurses at Valley will strike beginning at 6am on Wednesday.>>
SPOKANE, Wash. -

FROM THE UNION REP: Up to 1,000 technologists, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, sterile processors, dietary, housekeeping, and admitting staff at Deaconess and Valley plus registered nurses at Valley, all members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, walked out at 6am Wednesday morning to stand up for better staffing and better patient care at the local hospitals.

"When I go on my break I hand my patients over to a coworker. That means she has 13 patients. Most nurses in this setting have 4, maybe 5 patients," said Tami O'Marro, a nurse in Family Care at Valley Hospital. "We're out here today because it's time for management to stop the staffing cuts."

Community leaders, labor leaders, and elected officials joined the staff as they began a 24-hour unfair labor practice strike to stop staffing cuts at both hospitals. The nurses and healthcare workers have been raising the need to improve staffing for years. Now that they're in contract bargaining, they've been raising the issue at the table, calling for improvements in staffing, more reasonable sick leave policies, and an end to sending staff home early while patients still need care.

"I'm proud to stand with our community's front-line caregivers," said City Council President Ben Stuckart. "They're standing up for all of us, current and potential patients. When we go to the hospital, we all need the peace of mind of knowing there are enough staff to give us good care."

Nurses and healthcare workers will maintain picket lines around the clock until 5:59am Thursday. This afternoon at 4pm, community supporters will rally with the picketers at Valley Hospital. The healthcare workers vow to keep up their fight for quality patient care.

"It shouldn't take a strike for our hospitals to get the message that we need to staff to meet our patients' needs," said Mary Robinson, Central Service Tech at Deaconess. "But we'll do what it takes to keep our patients safe."

More than 1,000 employees from Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital are on strike. The strike will last for 24 hours. They went on strike Wednesday morning. It's the first strike in Spokane by hospital employees in decades.  

The employees say they're overworked and patient care is suffering as a result.

Administrators at both hospitals say they're prepared to keep the hospitals open in the event of a strike, and will use teams of temporary replacement workers. 

Registered nurses from Valley Hospital are part of the striking employees, but registered nurses from Deaconess have no plans to go on strike.  

PRESS RELEASE:

Deaconess and Valley hospitals will continue to provide uninterrupted services and high-quality care for their patients during the strike and picketing planned by the Service Employees International Union 1199NW. The hospitals received written notice of S.E.I.U.'s intention to commence a strike and picketing beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 4.

The hospitals will remain open with all emergency services, inpatient units, and outpatient departments staffed and available for patient care. All surgeries and diagnostic procedures will continue as scheduled.

Through professional staffing agencies, the hospitals have secured qualified, temporary replacement nurses, service and technical workers who are credentialed, licensed to work in Washington, and experienced in the hospital areas where they would be assigned. The temporary replacement workers will also participate in a formal hospital orientation program prior to being assigned duties.

The temporary workers will work with employees who are not represented by the S.E.I.U. and any striking unit employees who choose to cross the picket line.

Physicians on the medical staffs at the hospitals will continue to treat patients in the hospitals as well as in their offices.

The hospitals expect a peaceful demonstration but have taken the precaution of engaging additional security to assist during the strike and picketing. All public hospital entrances and parking areas will remain open and additional security personnel will be posted throughout the facilities to assist hospital visitors.

Since earlier this year, the hospital has been negotiating in good faith with the S.E.I.U. by putting forth fair and reasonable proposals with the objective of reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. We remain committed to the collective bargaining process and to maintaining a positive relationship with our employees and their bargaining agents.

  • During the past three years, Valley Hospital has earned numerous safety and quality awards from a variety of nationally-respected organizations. 
    • The Joint Commission named Valley a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for outstanding quality in pneumonia and surgical care. Valley was one of only 244 hospitals (of 3,400+ eligible) in the United States to be recognized two years in a row for these measures (2011, 2012).  In Spokane, the VA Hospital is the only other facility to earn this honor (2012, 2013 for pneumonia)
    • The Leapfrog Group named Valley as the only "A" hospital in Eastern Washington (2012, 2013). 
    • Valley was the first hospital in Eastern Washington or northern Idaho certified by The Joint Commission for knee and hip replacement. 
    • The most recent Joint Commission hospital accreditation survey (fall 2012) was passed with what surveyors called "flying colors"
    • Valley Hospital was recognized by Healthgrades in 2012 as being among the top five percent of hospitals in the nation hospital for overall clinical excellence. 
    • The Lab is Joint Commission certified as well (not required of hospital labs – demonstrates an extra commitment to quality)
    • Commission on Cancer certified (last survey 2012) with commendation

Core Measures quality scores: 99.54% thru Q3 ‘13

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • BEAUTIFUL HOMES: Top 10 Most Expensive Homes For Sale In CDA

    BEAUTIFUL HOMES: Top 10 Most Expensive Homes For Sale In CDA

    Tuesday, March 25 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-03-25 13:20:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - When it comes to shopping around for a house, it's always fun to dream. We did a search for some of the most expensive homes for sale right now in the Coeur d' Alene area.>>
    KHQ.COM - When it comes to shopping around for a house, it's always fun to dream. We did a search for some of the most expensive homes for sale right now in the Coeur d' Alene area.>>
  • Garage Fire Spreads To Homes In Mead

    Garage Fire Spreads To Homes In Mead

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:21 AM EDT2014-04-22 06:21:22 GMT
    MEAD, Wash. -Firefighters in District #4 responded to a structure fire in the 15000 block of N. Richmond Lane in Mead on Monday night.>>
    MEAD, Wash. -Firefighters in District #4 responded to a structure fire in the 15000 block of N. Richmond Lane in Mead on Monday night. When firefighters arrived, they found a garage fully engulfed in flames and immediately began their attack. The flames spread from the detached garage to two homes.>>
  • Washington Mudslide Death Toll Rises To 41

    Washington Mudslide Death Toll Rises To 41

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:54 AM EDT2014-04-22 13:54:39 GMT
    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - The death toll from the mudslide that hit the Washington town of Oso has risen to 41. The Snohomish County medical examiner's office counted two more victims Monday, but said they have not yet been officially identified. >>>KHQ's Sean Owsley and Matt Rogers are in Oso for LIVE coverage from the devastated community as President Obama is expected to arrive Tuesday for a brief visit with families of the victims.>>>>>
    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - The death toll from the mudslide that hit the Washington town of Oso has risen to 41. The Snohomish County medical examiner's office counted two more victims Monday, but said they have not yet been officially identified. >>>KHQ's Sean Owsley and Matt Rogers are in Oso for LIVE coverage from the devastated community as President Obama is expected to arrive Tuesday for a brief visit with families of the victims.>>>>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • SPECIAL ELECTIONS RESULTS

    SPECIAL ELECTIONS RESULTS

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:02 AM EDT2014-04-23 05:02:05 GMT
    KHQ.COM- A special election was held on Tuesday with various items on the ballot, including library funding in Spokane Valley.>>
    KHQ.COM- A special election was held on Tuesday with various items on the ballot, including library funding in Spokane Valley. Voters approved a measure to create a library capital facilities district, but rejected a bond to pay for two libraries and renovate an existing library. The bond requires a 60% super majority to pass.>>
  • HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD? Authorities Say Missing Burien Teen May Be In Spokane Area

    HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD? Authorities Say Missing Burien Teen May Be In Spokane Area

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:11:42 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- The King County Sheriff's Office and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children believe that a missing 15-year-old boy may be in the Spokane area. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- The King County Sheriff's Office and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children believe that a missing 15-year-old boy may be in the Spokane area. Authorities say 15-year-old Jacob Hays of Burien was last seen on April 3, 2014. He is white with brown hair and brown eyes. He's 5'10" and weighs 160 pounds. >>
  • PHOTOS: KHQ Covers The President In Oso

    PHOTOS: KHQ Covers The President In Oso

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:54:29 GMT
    KHQ.COM - President Obama visited Oso one month after the deadly mudslide that so far has killed 41 people.>>
    KHQ.COM - President Obama visited Oso one month after the deadly mudslide that so far has killed 41 people. KHQ's Kelsey Watts was in Everett where the President landed and KHQ's Sean Owsley was in Oso during the President's visit. They tweeted out, along with our field producer Josh, a lot of pictures during their coverage, and you can see them all in the slideshow attached to this story.>>