Washington state nurses picket over staffing

Nurses at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett (Wash.) held lunchtime pickets June 6 at Providence's Colby and Pacific campuses, according to the Renton Reporter.

The nurses, represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, are currently in negotiations with the hospital and say staffing is one of the key sticking points.

Suzanne Woodard, a labor and delivery nurse, told the Renton Reporter hospital staffing levels are minimal, so many nurses weren't able to take breaks or use the restroom. She also said nurses often work 12 hours straight.

The hospital did not address staffing levels in a statement to the Renton Reporter, but it did express disappointment in the picketing.

 "We are disappointed that the union has chosen this option, and we would prefer to get back to the bargaining table," hospital spokeswoman Lisa Daly stated via email. "Providence Regional Medical Center Everett continues to remain committed to negotiating in good faith."

According to the report, the nurses are working under an extension of their last labor deal, which expired in October. Hospital professional and technical staff also are working toward new labor deals.



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