The nurses from St.  Joseph’s of Tacoma is celebrating Juneteenth by taking action

The nurses from St. Joseph’s of Tacoma is celebrating Juneteenth by taking action

The nurses from St.  Joseph’s of Tacoma is celebrating Juneteenth by taking action

(Tukwila, June 17) — The nurses at the St. Joseph in Tacoma are celebrating Juneteenth by taking action.

Several nurses represented by the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) will gather outside the hospital from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm June 19 (corner of J and 17th Streets).th St. in Tacoma). They will give their colleagues free ice cream and encourage them to sign a petition asking the hospital to recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday in their contract and ensure that the Racial Justice Task Force remains a nurse-centered effort. (Note: The hospital also does not recognize MLK Jr. Day, Indigenous People’s Day, or Veteran’s Day.)

The Racial Justice Task Force was a historic victory for nurses in their latest contract negotiation. But his future is uncertain.

At a May meeting of the Racial Justice Task Force, the human resources director said the hospital is obligated to lead the Racial Justice Task Force until the end of the nurses’ contract, which is Oct. 31, 2024.

The hospital has already canceled a scheduled training session for staff created by the task force.

The hospital is planning a corporation-wide initiative, tentatively called the Membership and Unity Committee at St. Joseph. Nurses fear a corporate-led initiative won’t be as effective as the current task force, which includes an online portal for nurses to report racial incidents and allows nurses to be part of training efforts. The current working group consists of 50% nurses and 50% management. The new hospital board will be chaired by hospital management and will include an oversight committee, according to a memo from the hospital’s Human Resources Department. The number of hospital employees, including nurses, participating in the team has not been identified. The scope of the program will be defined and determined by the committee.

While nurses welcome all efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion, they believe bedside providers are among those on the front lines of racial patient incidents and should play a key role. They also want Virginia Mason Franciscan Health to support its position on inclusion through action.

“Virginia Mason Franciscan Health needs to make tangible efforts to advocate for racial justice in the community — not just advertise,” said a nurse who signed the petition. “That means leadership from those who work directly with the people we serve, so we can get a first-hand account of the experience and the needs being met.”

The nurses from St. Joseph’s is collecting signatures for Ketul J. Patel, chief executive officer of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and president of the Northwest Region of CommonSpirit Health, the hospital’s parent company.

The petition reads as follows: