Puyallup nurses reach tentative agreement with MultiCare Good Samaritan
Jun 22, 2023, 7:34 AM | Updated: 9:30 am
(Photo from Tom Brock)
Update 6/22 9:15 a.m.:
MultiCare Good Samaritan nurses represented by the Washington State Nurses Association reached a tentative agreement with the hospital.
The tentative agreement comes after 95% of MultiCare nurses voted to strike Wednesday night.
Update 6/22 7:31 a.m.:
Nurses at a Puyallup hospital voted to strike Wednesday night.
The approximately 750 registered nurses at MultiCare Good Samaritan vote to walk out soon, legally, they are required to give 10 days notice.
The nurses say after 18 negotiating sessions, they are unable to reach a new contract agreement with Good Samaritan.
“I voted to strike because I will fight to the end to keep my patients safe, even if it means going without pay,” said ICU nurse Atalia Lapkin. “We are asking MultiCare to safely staff the hospital and have been denied at every turn, despite MultiCare having enough money for a new tower, a hospital rebuild, a facility acquisition, and big bonuses at the highest level.”
The workers say the hospital is understaffed, and too often, they are not getting complete meals and rest breaks.
More contract talks are scheduled for Thursday.
After 15 bargaining sessions, MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital nurses overwhelmingly voted no confidence in their CEO.
Nurses in Puyallup voted no confidence after CEO Bill Robertson turned down an invitation for an open town hall and rejected a staffing plan submitted by nurses on May 12.
The main issues for the 750 nurses represented by the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) are staffing and dedicated break nurses.
Hospital spokesperson Scott Thompson sent a statement Tuesday that said Good Samaritan understands “the pressures our nurses are facing” and hears “the concerns they voice over staffing levels and burnout” but did not elaborate further.
Nurses are concerned about handling the increasing patient load and still providing quality patient care, Bobbi Nodell, communications manager for WSNA, said.
“The main issues for the 750 nurses represented by the Washington State Nurses Association are staffing and dedicated break nurses,” Nodell said. “The hospital’s bargaining team said that policies being implemented across MultiCare, which unlawfully bypass the staffing committee, are coming from corporate leadership.”
A break nurse is a nurse who would take on another nurse’s patients in addition to their own to allow a fellow nurse to take a rest or meal break.
The hospital’s bargaining team said that policies being implemented across MultiCare are coming from corporate leadership.
Hospitals are required to have staffing committees containing both rank-and-file nurses and nurse managers. The committee is tasked to develop appropriate staffing plans.
The union is accusing Robertson of ignoring staff proposals. Instead, the hospital responded with a financial report.