We all depend on nurses. They have always been essential workers, even before the pandemic. If you’ve ever stayed overnight in the hospital, you know that whatever time it is a nurse is always close by. Or should be. Unfortunately nurses themselves at Providence Medical Center, Everett are warning the public that if they are chronically underpaid, understaffed and overworked, standards at the hospital will continue to decline and patient care will suffer.
I attended a vigil last fall in which nurses, hospital staff, concerned members of the public and public officials spoke about the problems at Providence. One nurse said she left Providence because she couldn’t deliver care that met basic standards. Another nurse who left said she would not recommend anyone seek medical care at the hospital. Again, this was due to staff shortages, lack of safety and the inability to retain experienced nurses. In spite of recent legislation in Olympia these problems remain.
The problems repeatedly identified by nurses can be attributed both to Providence’s demand for increasing profits over the safety of its patients and to the hospital administrators’ million-dollar salaries that take precedence over fair wages. These same administrators can claim they offer raises to Providence nurses at similar rates as other local hospitals because they underpay entry level nurses. Providence is not negotiating in good faith and is not providing the Everett area with the health care it deserves. Please support UFCW 3000 in their efforts to represent the nurses in their new contract with Providence.