Seattle Children’s Hospital Workforce Protest for Full Covington Report

by Jasmine M. Pulido

About 100 workers from Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH) participated in a one-hour silent protest in entrance of the hospital’s predominant campus on Sandpoint Way on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at midday. Smaller protests occurred concurrently on the Autism Center, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC), and the CURE middle. The protests comply with the conclusion of an unbiased evaluation into systemic and interpersonal racism on the hospital, carried out by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Covington & Burling agency, and the preliminary determination by SCH to solely launch a abstract of the suggestions from the investigation, not the findings. Following public outcry, SCH’s board of trustees launched 11 predominant findings and detailed suggestions earlier this week, however group members say much more must be achieved.

The investigation was initially prompted after Dr. Ben Danielson, medical director at OBCC, resigned final November. After 20-plus years of service, Danielson cited a number of situations of racism he both skilled or witnessed as a medical supplier on the hospital.

On Aug. 9, CEO Jeff Sperring and board chair Susan Betcher every launched letters disclosing the summary of 11 findings statements in addition to the detailed recommendations of Covington & Burling’s report. Yet regardless of releasing new pertinent info from the report, a number of calls for the resignation of the CEO and board chair are nonetheless being made based mostly each on the premise that info was initially withheld to start with below the guise of confidentiality and the stark findings of the investigation. Washington State BLM Alliance just lately began a petition demanding each the resignation of SCH management in addition to the discharge of the complete report written by Covington & Burling.

SCH workers initially deliberate a walkout to protest the choice to withhold the findings of the Covington & Burling investigation. However, following the discharge of the 11 findings, SCH workers continued their plans to protest. Employees need full transparency by accessing the complete report together with the names of institutional leaders who perpetrated racism at Seattle Children’s. SCH workers have additionally demanded public apologies to be issued for the hurt achieved to Danielson and the SCH group, according to suggestions made for management inside Covington & Burling’s report.

“The goal of the protest was to reveal to the general public/group and our sufferers/households that we stand with them in advocating for Transparency and Accountability (no matter which will appear like),” an nameless SCH worker wrote in an electronic mail to the Emerald. “We try to distance ourselves from the racism perpetuated by the hospital management, since we frequently really feel complicit in that by simply persevering with to work at this hospital. We wish to present the BIPOC group that there are employees who’re on their aspect and that sufferers and households will proceed to return first to us.” 

2020–2021 WSNA union contract.

Emails by SCH management had been despatched to all employees inviting them to decide to anti-racist work as an alternative of a walkout. The emails equally claimed that disrupting affected person care was not protected below federal labor regulation exercise and violated union contracts. Middle administration had been suggested to not launch workers or facilitate participation ought to any of their employees select to interact within the walkout. Both emails to workers and center administration ended with the assertion: “A ‘silent protest’ doesn’t transfer our anti-racism work ahead. Real motion is required and we urge everybody to unite in our journey towards anti-racism and extra equitable outcomes.”

In response to management’s declare {that a} walkout would lead to “disruption” in affected person care, an SCH worker instructed the Emerald the walkout was deliberately deliberate throughout the lunch hour when many outpatient clinicians wouldn’t have sufferers. Moreover, the aim was to in the end advance affected person care for sufferers/households who’ve been frequently and traditionally marginalized by the racism perpetuated by SCH. “History is suffering from examples of establishments regulating how these they wield energy over can and can’t specific themselves; inherent of their response is the worry that our expression will reallocate that energy,” the SCH worker replied.

Due to the Article 19 constraints outlined of their WSNA contract, SCH nurses didn’t walkout and as an alternative selected to start out a petition in solidarity with the opposite SCH workers’ protest. According to 2020 SCH stats, WSNA nurses make up 21% of whole energetic workers. The SCH nurses’ petition calls for management to launch the complete report from the Covington & Burling investigation. It differs, nevertheless, in that it moreover calls for “Seattle Children’s employees members [to] be included within the job pressure working to develop an motion plan to handle the suggestions authorised by the Board.”

Jasmine Pulido is a Filipina American writer-activist dwelling in Seattle, WA. Her writing has most just lately been featured within the 2020 Working Human Festival by Velasco Arts and within the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Reimagine Seattle Storytelling Project. She is presently writing, “The Master’s Tool,” a full-length play that examines what can typically occur to BIPOC people who’re passionately participating in racial fairness efforts at white-led establishments. She additionally intermittently writes in her weblog “Shameless Jas,” the place she explores all of the “shameful” matters we’re too scared to speak about out loud. Jasmine holds a Bachelor of Science diploma in biology with an emphasis on ecology, habits, and evolution and a minor in psychology from the University of California San Diego. Jasmine loves mountain climbing and bouldering, taking part in video games together with her household of 4, and cultivating significant thought partnerships with different native creatives.

📸 Featured Image: Silent protest on Aug. 11, 2021, outdoors of Seattle Children’s Hospital’s (SCH) predominant campus in Sandpoint. (Photo: Alex Garland)

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