Resolution Supporting WA Safe + Healthy Campaign

January 20, 2022

WHEREAS, Throughout the COVID pandemic, health care workers have worked tirelessly protecting and caring for patients. 

WHEREAS, The pandemic has also highlighted cracks in our healthcare system, as pre-existing recruitment and retention challenges and unsafe work standards have pushed health care workers and facilities to the point of crisis;

WHEREAS, 84 percent of health care workers in WA say they are burned out and almost 50 percent report they are likely to leave the profession in the next few years, with 71 percent identifying “staffing” as their top reason for considering quitting.;

WHEREAS, These circumstances put patient safety at risk as health care workers struggle to manage unsafe patient loads and working conditions;

WHEREAS, Health care workers have asked hospital executives to make work conditions safer and more manageable, but their requests have been left unmet;

WHEREAS, Our State’s Healthcare Unions, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, UFCW 21 & the WA State Nurses Association have entered a coalition, Keep WA Safe + Healthy, advocating for the Legislature to address this recruitment and retention crisis by passing House Bill 1868/Senate Bill 5751: improving worker safety and patient care in health care facilities by addressing staffing needs, overtime, meal and rest breaks, and enforcement;

WHEREAS, Similar standards have been established in other states with positive results, and healthcare workers in those states report better safety and better care for patients;

WHEREAS, Senator Karen Keiser and Representative Eileen Cody have taken a lead role in introducing this legislation during the 2022 legislative session, joined in support by 32 more King County labor champions.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that MLK Labor will strongly support healthcare workers in our community and across our State and endorse their proposal in the form of House Bill 1868/Senate Bill 5751;

AND BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we will support and engage in activities in support of House Bill 1868/Senate Bill 5751 and the WA Safe & Healthy Campaign.

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