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Join MultiCare Auburn nurses, staff for info picket Feb. 21

The following is from SEIU Healthcare 1199NW:

AUBURN — On Thursday, Feb. 21, scores of licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, ER techs, sterile processing techs, food and nutrition services workers, housekeepers and other staff will hold an “Informational Picket for Quality Care” at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center.

Caregivers will be informing patients and neighbors about severe problems with short-staffing, high turnover and unfair wages that make it difficult to recruit and retain qualified staff. Patients are negatively impacted by short-staffing and staff turnover, because quality of care can be affected and they can be forced to wait long periods for the care they need.

TAKE A STAND — All union members and community supporters are invited to participate. Join MultiCare Auburn Medical Center caregivers at the picket on Thursday, Feb. 21 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. outside the facility’s emergency room at 202 N. Division St. in Auburn. It will be followed by a community rally at 5 p.m. See the Facebook event page for details or to RSVP.

NOTE: The Union of American Physicians and Dentists, representing physicians and providers at multiple Puget Sound-area Multicare urgent care facilities also plan a separate informational picket for quality health care on Monday, Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Puyallup Multicare Urgent Care.

“There’s been a disturbing trend in health care, where corporations are sponsoring sports teams and pouring money into branding while neglecting caregivers and risking patient care,” said Caroline Bellinger, a licensed practical nurse at MultiCare Auburn. “That’s what is happening at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center. Management is making the outside of the buildings pretty while inside we’re struggling with startling turnover rates, calls to pick up extra shifts due to short staffing, and low wages. It’s time MultiCare Auburn Medical Center comes to the table and addresses the concerns and proposed solutions to the job crisis at Auburn. The people, our patients, deserve the best from their community hospital.”

“We’re losing too many people to other hospitals, and as a dedicated healthcare worker, I can’t just sit on the sidelines and watch patient care be eroded,” said Brandy Carner, a food and nutrition services worker. “That’s why we’re taking action and informing our community, to make sure MultiCare Auburn is a place where caregivers can continue to give quality care.”

The 350 healthcare workers at MultiCare Auburn have been asking management to listen to their serious concerns for over 6 months, since they started union contract negotiations on July 31 and their contract expired on September 30 of last year. MultiCare certainly has the resources to invest in quality care and good jobs for the local community. In 2017, MulitCare Health System made over $294 million in profit.

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is the largest union of nurses and healthcare workers in Washington State, with over 30,000 caregivers throughout hospitals, clinics, mental health, skilled home health and hospice programs. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW’s mission  is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all Washingtonians.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!