The Stand

SEIU 1199NW nurses at Group Health endorse Kaiser deal

seiu1199nwThe following is from SEIU Healthcare 1199NW:

SEATTLE (Jan. 22, 2016) —  The union of more than 2,000 Group Health nurses and healthcare workers, after meeting with Kaiser Permanente’s CEO and executives and deliberating deeply, is announcing today its endorsement of the proposed Kaiser Permanente acquisition.

“In this era of unprecedented healthcare consolidation, we are glad Group Health is taking proactive steps to protect care delivery into the future,” said Diane Sosne, RN, MN, President of the 28,000-member SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and a former Group Health Nurse.  “We also know that Kaiser Permanente shares GHC’s dedication to smart, value-based, patient-focused health care delivery and brings a track record of outstanding respect and value for front-line caregivers’ expertise and ideas.”

Member-leaders and officers from SEIU Healthcare 1199NW met directly with Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson and other executives in mid-January to hear from them what their plans were for Group Health.  The two-hour conversation revealed to the nurses and healthcare workers that Kaiser Permanente has a lot in common with Group Health.  Kaiser Permanente also has an innovative labor-management partnership that has fostered breakthroughs in quality care for Kaiser Permanente and has improved the practices and professions of nurses and healthcare workers.

“Kaiser Permanente has an excellent reputation for collaborating with caregivers,” said Nany Wittman, a nurse from the Group Health Consulting Nurse Service.  “Kaiser is a financially sound a non-profit and shares Group Health’s values.  This is a great opportunity for our organization to grow for the first time in several years and share our vision for integrated healthcare with the Pacific Northwest.”

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW was founded by Group Health nurses who wanted to use their voices to improve staffing and jobs.  The nurses and healthcare workers are urging all registered Group Health voters to support the acquisition and vote yes.

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is 28,000 nurses, healthcare workers, and mental health workers united throughout Washington state to improve our jobs and the care and services we provide.

EDITOR’S NOTE — UFCW Local 21 and Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Local 8 also represent workers at Group Health.


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