UPDATE: Hospital Employees From Deaconess And Valley On Strike - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

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.
  • UPDATE: Hospital Employees From Deaconess And Valley On StrikeMore>>

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

    Around 1,000 Medical Workers In Spokane Aim To Strike

    Tuesday, November 22 2016 11:20 AM EST2016-11-22 16:20:46 GMT
    Employees at Valley Hospital and Deaconess plan to strike on Wednesday after bargaining talks did not result in a contract agreement.More >>
    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.More >>
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

 

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Settlement reached in ACLU lawsuit against CIA interrogation

    Thursday, August 17 2017 11:42 AM EDT2017-08-17 15:42:13 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against two psychologists involved in designing the CIA's harsh interrogation program used in the war on terror. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed Thursday. Trial had been scheduled for Sept. 5 in federal court in Spokane, Washington. 

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against two psychologists involved in designing the CIA's harsh interrogation program used in the war on terror. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed Thursday. Trial had been scheduled for Sept. 5 in federal court in Spokane, Washington. 

    More >>
  • Stonewall Jackson descendants call for monument's removal

    Stonewall Jackson descendants call for monument's removal

    Thursday, August 17 2017 10:35 AM EDT2017-08-17 14:35:08 GMT

    RICHMOND, Va. - Two men who identify themselves as the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson are calling for the removal of the statue of the Confederate general in Virginia's capital city.

    More >>

    RICHMOND, Va. - Two men who identify themselves as the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson are calling for the removal of the statue of the Confederate general in Virginia's capital city. Jack and Warren Christian say in a letter published by Slate late Wednesday that the removal of the Jackson statue and other Confederate monuments on Richmond's famed Monument Avenue will "necessarily further difficult conversations about racial justice."

    More >>
  • Bannon contradicts Trump on North Korea

    Bannon contradicts Trump on North Korea

    Thursday, August 17 2017 10:31 AM EDT2017-08-17 14:31:18 GMT

    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. - President Donald Trump's chief strategist is contradicting his boss on strategy toward North Korea. Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions.

    More >>

    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. - President Donald Trump's chief strategist is contradicting his boss on strategy toward North Korea. Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions. Just last week, Trump pledged to answer North Korean aggression with "fire and fury." Trump is already facing renewed pressure to fire Bannon, and the unusual interview with The American Prospect could complicate matters.

    More >>