COVID-19 Union Response Bulletin – May 15 Issue
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members at Harborview Medical Center and Northwest Hospital joined with our union family from SEIU 925, WSNA, WFSE, and the UW Housestaff Association for a public unity break to demand that UW Medicine bargain furloughs and retain protections for our members during COVID-19.
We took this action together because we will not allow employers’ financial decisions to come at the expense of patient care or the security of our coworkers. We demand to bargain every furlough, and we hold employers to our values every time: Long-term job security for all healthcare workers; no loss of health and dental benefits; honoring seniority; equity, fairness and racial justice; and no sacrifice of patient safety.
We recognize that COVID-19 is impacting businesses across the nation, and employers are having to make hard choices. But healthcare employers aren’t just any business—they exist to provide essential care to our communities. They must show they care more about our patients’ and coworkers’ safety than the bottom line.
Standing together, we will continue to hold employers to the highest standard of care for our patients.
Jane Hopkins, RN, Executive Vice President, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
UNITY BREAK AND DEMONSTRATION AT UW
Our joint emergency action against UW Medicine to demand COVID-19 protections for staff and a furlough plan that keeps us and our patients safe not only demonstrated our union strength and solidarity, but also drew media attention that helped amplify our message — our community deserves to know that UW’s plan to take healthcare workers off the front lines during a pandemic could seriously impact patient care. Watch our fellow 1199NW member Grace Yang in action:
“The public trusts us, the frontline caregivers, in deciding what is best for their care. UW shoud trust us, too. We need to have a say in how patients will be cared for. UW has chosen to prioritize the bottom line, putting our community and colleagues at risk.”
Grace Yang, RN, IR
Harborview Medical Center
SEIU 1199NW Executive Board Member
HAND SANITIZER DONATION
Healthcare workers at Northwest Hospital this week received a special delivery of hand sanitizer — procured by our union. Their work is essential, and that’s why we’re using our union power to ensure all frontline caregivers have the tools they need to stay safe and continue caring for our community.
MOU WITH SWEDISH
Our union signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Swedish Medical Center that addresses COVID-19 temporary premium pay, temporary supplemental pay, time-off and benefits programs. The agreement allows us to collaboratively take precautions to keep patients and caregivers safe and to have the appropriate staff available to meet patients’ needs.
CONTRACT RATIFIED AT CHC
Our fellow members at Community Health Care this week unanimously ratified a new union contract! This contract, which comes at a time of great uncertainty for all of us, will move CHC caregivers forward while helping recruit and retain quality staff. On behalf of our entire union family, we congratulate the CHC bargaining team for their hard work and their commitment to providing great care for their patients.
“With better wages we can recruit and retain staff. I can also put a smile on my family’s faces, and that motivates me to do a better job for my second family who are my patients.”
Dorothy Challenger, Spanaway
Community Health Care
Congress must ensure that the services and resources we need — from protective gear, sick leave and testing to processing unemployment checks — are funded. Tell them to pass a relief bill that puts working people first and to #ProtectAllWorkers: SEIU.org/stimulus4workers
In case you missed it…
KING COUNTY METRO SURVEY
King County Metro Transit is looking for feedback on how essential workers are traveling to work during the COVID-19 crisis. Metro will use a short survey to evaluate any service gaps and whether they can offer flexible service options to address these gaps. Find the survey here. Members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW: Our participation before May 20 is greatly appreciated.
- Carina app: For many of us, finding access to available child care has become a difficult hurdle during the pandemic. SEIU has launched a free tool that connects healthcare workers and others providing essential services to union child care providers. This online child care referral service called Carina will allow you to quickly and easily connect with providers who have openings in your area. Open this link on your phone or mobile device to learn more about how you can find reliable child care near you.
- King County and the City of Seattle are stepping up to expand child care options for healthcare workers during this time of crisis. We’ve compiled all the child care resources available in Washington for frontline healthcare professionals like us.
King County and the City of Seattle have partnered with healthcare unions to provide workers with no-cost hotel rooms so we can keep our families safe. To access this resource, please call (425) 207-3031 to verify your union membership. The phone line is staffed from 8:30 am to 9 pm Monday through Friday, and from 9 am to 5:30 pm on weekends.
GET IN TOUCH
If you need to report an incident at your facility related to COVID-19, have concerns about your safety in the workplace or questions about the impact of COVID-19 on your work, please call our COVID-19 member hotline:
- For all other queries, you can find the appropriate contact on this page.
- Visit 1199nwcovidresponse.org for the latest updates, information and news about our union’s response to the outbreak.
- As a union, we stand up to any form of discrimination in our contracts, and we are standing up against it in our workplaces and in our communities. If you feel that you have been subject to discrimination because of COVID-19, our legal department wants to know so we can fight back together. Submit your story by filling out an incident report here.
- Stay in touch by following us on social media!