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Spokane nurses end strike, but Valley locks out 74

SPOKANE (Dec. 5, 2013) — The experienced nurses and healthcare workers from our community reported back to work at Valley and Deaconess Hospital this morning following their 24-hour strike for patient care. But Valley Hospital locked out 74 nurses and healthcare workers, citing an “obligation” to out-of-town temporary workers rather than honoring its obligation to patients.

“We’re here to care for patients, people who are our neighbors and family,” said Tami O’Marro, a nurse in Family Care at Valley.  “These temporary workers are just caring for bodies and are counting on ditching town this weekend.  This is yet another example of this hospital not caring about our community or our patients.”


State Rep. Marcus Riccelli (2nd from left) visited the picket lines on Wednesday to show his support for striking nurses. (Click to enlarge.)

The locked out healthcare workers are meeting this morning, pledging to continue taking action to improve staffing at Valley and Deaconess Hospitals.

“We now have two days that instead of working we’ll be able to be in our community spreading our message about how Valley and Deaconess need to improve care,” said Rebecca Gordon, a nurse at Valley.  “I know we’ll be continuing to send management the message that our community won’t stand for their care cuts.  Our community and union strength has grown with this strike and we’re going back to bargaining stronger than ever.”

Community supporters including State Rep Marcus Ricelli, Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, Spokane City Councilmember Amber Waldref, Pastor Andy Castrolang, local IAFF firefighters, Teamsters local 690, UFCW local 1439, and other local residents joined the rally and march into the hospital.

“It’s an outrage that Valley is doing this to our local nurses and healthcare workers,” said Stuckart.  “The patients in the hospital don’t want out-of-town strangers at the bedside.  What Valley is really doing is hurting patients all in an attempt to get even with workers who were exercising their rights—and raising their voices for patient care.”

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is 24,000 nurses, healthcare employees, and mental health workers in hospitals, agencies, and clinics statewide, united to improve our jobs and the care we give. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW represents the nursing, service, and technical units at Valley Hospital, and the service and technical units at Deaconess hospital. Learn more at or follow by visiting the 1199NW Facebook page or Twitter @SEIU1199NW.

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