Unfortunately for Spokane, and the rest of Eastern Washington, I truly belive that Spokane has been an unwilling victm of Idaho's, "right to work (for less)", mentality. We are right next door to one of the nations most red states. The are anti- union to the core, even when faced with obvious poor pay, poorer benefits, and NO worker protection. I worked in a hospital in N Idaho, where the nurse would brag about how they all had to work second jobs to be able to support their families!Talk about, Stupid is as Stupid does!
Spokane, has for years, been a low income, blue collar, less educated step sister to Seattle, Olympia, Portland, etc. We are the Black Sheep of the family.
The lack of jobs for husbands, have made Spokane nurses gun shy about asserting their workplace rights. When Kaiser shut its doors about ten years ago, one of the more stable jobs when out the window. The billion dollar owner shutting down the plant to spite the unions, who were trying to get better pay and benefits. It was an act of spite, spitting at his workers who kept in him business. He is also the person, who I belive , owns a good chunk of the California Redwood forest, who is trying to log the entire last batch of trees! That is his mentality!
Unfortunately, hospitals and hospital jobs are Spokane' bigest industry. The hospitals take full advantage of it big time!
The nurses at Sacred Heart and Holy Family are unionzed with WSNA. Unfortunately, as we say in Brooklyn, they are as useful as tits on a bull. Every three years when the contract comes up for renewal, WSNA finally gets around to passing around questionaires (usually less than three months before the contract expires), about what the nurses want to get, what they want to get rid of, and what they want to change.
They will come up with a really good idea from the nurses, but in is usually something that Sacred Heart does not want to do, and you can count on the administration will come up with some ridulous red herring that will never fly, that the hospital wants to do. WSNA will then rally the nurse around this ridulous idea that the hospital wants to do, have rallies at the hospital entrance with signs, etc, and distract the nurses from what they really want. WSNA and the nursing staff, buy it hook, line and sinker.
As you can figure out, nothing every gets changed, made better, etc, because every three years the same scene goes on, and WSNA falls for it, as does the nurses, with the union in the lead.
Holy Family does not come out any better, as they still had mandatory OT until recently.
The other big chain, Empire Health, which is now Community Health from the South and a for profit hospital chain, talked the Deaconess Nurse into voting out their union, 1199.They barely had any improvement in their working conditions, pay, benefits, with 1199. Now that the nurses have allowed the union to go, CH knows that it can bully the nursing staff, and they do. It is horrible, but I am sorry to say, that too many nurses there have not worked any place else, and do not realize how badly they are being treated. It is really sad. There are still too many diploma grads from the old diploma nursing program
who are still brainwashed into believing how unprofessional it is to join a union. Sad, but true.
There are few, if any good places to work in Spokane, Eastern Washington, or North Idaho. Kennnewick has Kadlec, which is supposed to be nice. It is in Tri Cities. I would try there over Spokane.
As usual, JMHO and my NY $0.02.
Lindarn, RN, BSN,CCRN
Somewhere in the PACNW