Washington state nurses union demand hazard pay for nurses, healthcare workers

Kadlec nurses hazard pay

RICHLAND, Wash. — The Washington state Nurses Association is calling for hospitals, lawmakers and federal leaders to provide nurses with hazard pay as they continue their work on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press release, the union said “Simply coming to work puts us at heightened risks. At the same time, we are dealing with new economic challenges and hardships brought on by the crisis.”

KAPP-KVEW spoke to the senior director of strategic initiatives for the association about the demand.

“We are working under extremely difficult situations,” said Anne Piazza. “Our members across the state, including Kadlec, is reporting shortage of personal protective equipment such as N95 respirators masks and gowns and eye protection.”

She said they’ve seen federal proposals by Democrats coming forward with a $13 an hour that could be for all front line healthcare workers and first responders until the end of January. It would be on top of the regular wage they’re making.

Piazza said they are calling on hospitals, state officials and congressional leaders to step forward with hazard pay.

“The hazard pay is in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances in the work that they’re doing on the front lines in this crisis, in this declared emergency,” she explained.

She added that they are in ongoing discussions with Providence Kadlec Medical Center, and other employers across the state. Those discussions include hazard pay and PPE.