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Hospital cuts add to oversupply of healthcare workers

The Seattle Times, November 20, 2012

Nurses and other healthcare workers who picketed at Harborview Medical Center are negotiating with hospital management over several workplace disputes. More than 300 nurses and other employees complained of staffing shortages and lack of money to attract and keep workers. The nurses, technicians and other healthcare workers, members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare 1199NW union, called on management to open the purse to recruit, educate and retain staff. "Our patients are affected," said Susan Tekola, a registered nurse who has worked at Harborview for 15 years. Although she is supposed to be able to take breaks, she said, there's nobody to fill in, so another nurse who already has a full load of patients must double up. "My co-worker will have 10 patients for 45 minutes. This is not safe."