Healthcare workers highlight their need for safe staffing, better recruitment and retention
YAKIMA (Oct. 12, 2023) — Healthcare workers united in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW at MultiCare Yakima Memorial Hospital in Yakima, including nurses, nursing assistants, housekeepers, food service workers and other healthcare workers, held a candlelight vigil Tuesday to shine a light on the need for a strong union contract in order to provide the Yakima Valley community the quality care they deserve.
More than 1,200 workers at MultiCare Yakima Memorial Hospital began bargaining with MultiCare administration in December 2022, but have been unable to achieve a fair contract.
The workers’ core bargaining priorities are to address staffing shortages, to improve recruitment and retention by protecting affordable healthcare options and offering good wages, and to protect hard-won standards on overtime, paid time off and sick leave.
After 13 bargaining sessions spanning more than 10 months, the union bargaining team reports that MultiCare management continues to bring takeaways to the bargaining table and has not moved on staffing, wages, decrease in PTO and sick leave, affordable health insurance, and more.
While MultiCare’s claims that “your communities are our communities,” the company has refused contract proposals that would increase safety for patients and caregivers and provide the Yakima community with the care they truly need.
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is a union of nurses and healthcare workers with over 31,000 caregivers throughout hospitals, clinics, mental health, skilled home health and hospice programs in Washington state and Montana. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW’s mission is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all.