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Workers at St. Michael Medical Center call for new leadership after reaching 'breaking point'

The petition says conditions at St. Michael have reached a breaking point for staff, and calls for the President and Chief Nursing Officer to resign.

SILVERDALE, Wash. — Staff at St. Michael Medical center released a petition publicly on Wednesday calling for new leadership.

UFCW 3000, the union who represents the workers stated multiple issues such as constant payroll errors, maintenance issues at St. Michael’s new facilities, and chronic staffing issues, have gotten worse.

In the petition, the union said it reached out to St. Michael's to address what it calls a deteriorating situation, but was met with “empty promises.”

Cindy Franck, a registered nurse and the local union’s vice president, says she has worked at St. Michael for 23 years, and has never seen conditions get this bad.

“We’ve sent out cries for help at the staffing committee level, at the state level, at Olympia, local and it just doesn’t seem to be an issue. I don’t know what we have to do,” she said.

The petition said things reached a breaking point on Oct. 8, when an emergency department nurse called 911 on a non-emergency line, calling for help from the fire department to help care for patients due to short staffing.

The emergency department director was fired.

Now the petition calls for new leadership, and Franck says keeping this hospital open has to be a priority, because many people in the region can’t go anywhere else.

“This hospital must go on," Franck said. “It can’t fail because we’re the only hospital that serves all these counties, that has certain services that if we didn’t have, they would have to travel to Seattle or Tacoma to get. Most people can’t travel that far if they’re sick.”

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, who oversees St. Michael Medical Center, told KING 5 they were aware of the petition, and sent a statement that read, in part:  

“While this unfortunate union tactic has been disruptive to the organization, we remain focused on what’s most important, which is providing high-quality care to the patients we serve….We will continue to listen to feedback from our employees, their representatives and the community as we partner on collaborative solutions.”

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