The Church Council of Greater Seattle is proud to endorse the WA Safe + Healthy Campaign because
“Washington needs safe staffing standards that protect healthcare workers from dangerously high patient loads.”
Learn more about this campaign below and at https://www.wasafeandhealthy.com/.
Throughout the pandemic, healthcare workers have worked tirelessly and put their own lives at risk to protect us, despite being burned out and at their breaking points.
Hospitals across Washington are short-staffed, leaving healthcare workers to pick up the slack working unsustainable hours and taking responsibility for unmanageable and unsafe numbers of patients. Washington had a hospital staffing shortage long before the pandemic as a result of years of financially-motivated decisions by hospital executives to not invest in safe staffing, but the pandemic exacerbated already-existing shortages. Now we’re in a full-blown crisis as countless overworked and under-valued healthcare workers have left over the last year and a half for safer working conditions, better paying work, or left the field entirely. Nurses and other healthcare workers have asked hospital executives for help but they were ignored.
Now, they’re calling on state legislators to pass safe staffing standards to address the hospital staffing crisis.
Safe staffing standards that protect any one healthcare worker from dangerously high patient loads will let them do their jobs safely and give patients the care they deserve.
The safe staffing standards healthcare workers have asked for are also the only way we can begin to address Washington’s hospital staffing crisis, by reducing the number of healthcare workers leaving their jobs due to burnout and attracting new workers to the field.
The WA Safe + Healthy campaign is a coalition of healthcare workers represented by SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, UFCW 21, and the Washington State Nurses Association. Together, we’re calling on lawmakers in Olympia to:
Pass safe staffing standards that protect any one healthcare worker from dangerously high patient loads and create adequate enforcement to ensure hospitals follow safe staffing standards;
Enforce existing overtime and meal and rest break laws to ensure our healthcare workers are getting their legally required break time and end the abuse of mandatory overtime;
And invest in workforce development to increase the number of healthcare workers entering the field, an important part of addressing the hospital staffing shortage but only alongside safe staffing standards that also protect them from the massive burnout and unmanageable conditions our healthcare workers are currently facing.