Labor negotiations have stalled at Grays Harbor Community Hospital as workers seek a commitment from the administration for competitive wage and benefit packages that they say would further the recruitment and retention of skilled medical workers. A fact sheet provided by one union member says union leadership has told workers that hospital negotiators proposed a 3.5 percent wage increase over the next three years and want workers to pay higher out of pocket expenses for benefits.
The concessions have made it difficult for the hospital to recruit for many professional and technical positions, and has caused chronic understaffing. Departments within the hospital are also having to rely on "travelers" or roving workers that are temporary in order to fill positions that have been open for extended periods of time.
Understaffing presents a huge issue to the department heads, who are faced with critical decisions regarding the treatment of patients.
Signs have been posted around the community seeking support for the hospital, and a petition is also circulating to urge the hospital to resolve the issue.