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Harborview nurses, healthcare workers picket for better care

The following was distributed by SEIU HealthCare 1199NW:

SEATTLE (Nov. 13) — After months of working to resolve a contract that prioritizes patient care at at Harborview Medical Center, nurses and healthcare workers are taking their concerns to the streets at an informational picket Wednesday. The nurses and healthcare workers, members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, will be joined by community leaders for a rally at 5 p.m. outside the hospital.

Harborview nurses and healthcare workers will conduct an informational picket Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at 9th and Jefferson before and after shifts and during breaks.

Nurses and healthcare workers are calling on Harborview Medical Center to put patients first and address staffing concerns including providing adequate staffing so each patient has access to the right level of care.

Currently nurses and healthcare workers have to double up on patient loads to cover co-workers for enough time to eat or take needed breaks. Other patients may find themselves waiting for care from healthcare specialists and social workers, who often have to carry two or three pagers to cover shifts.

Nurses and healthcare workers are committed to addressing the concern and have been proposing solutions since they started bargaining new contract months ago.

“We need the hospital to put patients first, and we’ve been bringing forward solutions for months. Patients are always our top priority, and we want Harborview to work with us so we can get back to the bedside where we belong,” said Georgetta Hachiya, RN.

The current contract expired October 31, 2012.

The nurses and healthcare workers will picket before and after shifts and during their breaks.

1,900 Registered Nurses and healthcare workers at Harborview Medical Center are united in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. 22,000 nurses, healthcare employees, and mental health workers in hospitals, agencies, and clinics statewide are united in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. For more information, visit

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