November 14, 2012 at 6:54 PM
Nurses, others picket Harborview Medical Center over staffing levels
More than 300 union nurses, technicians and other health-care workers marched in front of Harborview Medical Center Wednesday, saying they need higher staffing levels to adequately care for patients and more money to recruit and retain staff.
Members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, at a loud, spirited rally, said nurses are forced to either forgo breaks in their 12-hour shifts or leave colleagues with a double load of patients — an unsafe situation.
Five members of the Metropolitan King County Council have asked the Harborview board to resolve the labor dispute in a “fair and expedient manner.”
Councilman Larry Gossett, who spoke at the rally, said staff there are paid 20 to 30 percent lower than their counterparts at other hospitals.
Although Harborview is owned by King County, it is managed by the University of Washington through UW Medicine. Tina Mankowski, associate vice president for medical affairs at UW Medicine, said in a statement: “We are and remain committed to patient safety and to the successful resolution of our collective bargaining initiative.”
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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