SEIU Healthcare 1199NW union workers hold a safety strike Aug. 11 after a violent patient left 11 employees injured. Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing.

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW union workers hold a safety strike Aug. 11 after a violent patient left 11 employees injured. Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing.

After months of striking for a safe workplace, Cascade Behavioral Health workers reach a tentative agreement with management

The agreement includes the hiring of security staff, one of the workers’ main demands.

The healthcare workers at Cascade Behavioral Health who walked out in August on a safety strike will return to their facility on Monday, November 8 having secured a tentative agreement with Cascade, a 137-bed behavioral health facility owned by Acadia Healthcare.

The workers began their safety strike after a violent patient injured nearly a dozen workers in a single incident on Aug. 1.

After three and a half months on a safety strike, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW caregivers at Cascade Behavioral Health in Tukwila, Washington have reached a three-year tentative agreement with management that satisfies workers’ immediate demands for a safer facility for all. Most of the safety strikers were women, many of whom are also immigrants and workers of color.

“We are pleased that Cascade and its parent company, Acadia Healthcare, have agreed to substantive movement on our demands which will bring major improvements to the core safety issues that forced us out on a safety strike back in August,” said Licensed Practical Nurse, Lidia Abushet. “This agreement is a resounding victory not just for the caregivers at Cascade, but for our patients, our community and all workers fighting for safety and respect in their workplaces.”

The tentative agreement, reached Friday, Nov. 5, addresses the workers’ core safety demands, including that Cascade hire dedicated security staff. Under this agreement, all frontline safety strikers will be guaranteed job protection and the right to return to work on Monday, November 8.

“This victory creates a roadmap for all behavioral health workers to ensure quality care and safety for patients and staff. The tremendous contract wins here through our union are a blueprint for behavioral health workers everywhere,” Abushet said via written statement.

Caregivers will return to their hospital for their first shift since the strike at 8:30 am on Monday, Nov. 8.

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