U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says “NO” to break buddies at MultiCare | Washington State Nurses Association
After years of battling in the courts over MultiCare's unsafe use of "break buddies" to cover for nurse rest breaks, the Washington State Nurses Association, together with our members at Tacoma General Hospital, won a big victory on July 23.
The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order rejecting MultiCare's attempt to overturn an arbitration award, which directed Tacoma General to stop using the break buddy system and to instead start using break relief nurses on every unit in the Hospital.
We're dealing with this right now in Oregon as well. The board/bean counters won't approve increasing FTEs to hire "break relief" nurses, so every time a nurse goes on break, she's violating the department's staffing plan, which is in violation of the state law.