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Highline nurses retain their health plan, win COLAs in deal

BURIEN (July 29, 2014) — Some 800 nurses and healthcare workers represented by SEIU HealthCare 1199NW at Highline Medical Center helped ensure quality care through a winning campaign to get the Franciscan Health System to invest in Burien’s hospital.

“Good care comes from having experienced staff at your bedside and we want the best here in Burien. We stood up for investing in front-line caregivers because that’s the best way to improve care,” said Jake Davison, a Monitor Tech at the hospital.

highline-team-seiu1199nwFor months, the Franciscan Health System (FHS) insisted on undermining healthcare for workers and their families by threatening to switch them to a high deductible, high cost FHS plan and refusing to increase wages for the lowest earning service workers like housekeepers and dietary aides. With $14 million in profits last year, the corporate medical system can afford to invest in local care.

Workers at the hospital were prepared to deliver strike notice unless the hospital agreed to invest in Burien’s patients and caregivers.  The strike notice was averted at the last minute.

This breakthrough ensures workers will remain on the more affordable Highline healthcare plan. Nurses and healthcare workers will receive an immediate across-the-board increases, allowing them to meet cost of living increases and care for their families, and FHS will be investing more in front-line care at Highline.

“Our patients deserve the best care and that’s why we stood up to the corporate giant Franciscan Health System. FHS is making decisions at their out-of-town corporate headquarters that impact our patients locally. Our campaign made them listen to local care providers and ensure we can recruit and retain staff so that Burien continues to get the care it needs,” said Brent Morgan, RN.

The current contract for nurses and healthcare workers expires June 30, 2015.

seiu1199nwSEIU Healthcare 1199NW is 26,000 nurses, healthcare employees, and mental health workers in hospitals, agencies, and clinics statewide, united to improve our jobs and the care we give.

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