1976 Seattle nurses strike

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The 1976 Seattle nurses strike was a significant labor action undertaken by nurses in Seattle, Washington, in August 1976. The strike was organized by the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) and involved nurses from several Seattle-area hospitals. The primary issues at stake were wages, working conditions, and staffing levels.

Background[edit | edit source]

In the mid-1970s, nurses in Seattle and across the United States were facing increasing workloads, stagnant wages, and challenging working conditions. The Washington State Nurses Association had been negotiating with hospital administrators for better pay and improved working conditions, but progress was slow. Frustration among nurses grew, leading to the decision to strike.

The Strike[edit | edit source]

The strike began in early August 1976, with nurses from multiple hospitals participating. The action was notable for its scale and the solidarity shown by the nursing community. Picket lines were established outside hospitals, and the strike received significant media attention.

Impact[edit | edit source]

The strike had a substantial impact on hospital operations, leading to delays in non-emergency procedures and the temporary closure of some hospital departments. Public support for the nurses was strong, with many community members expressing sympathy for their demands.

Resolution[edit | edit source]

After several weeks of striking, negotiations resumed, and an agreement was reached. The settlement included wage increases, improved working conditions, and commitments to better staffing levels. The success of the strike was seen as a significant victory for the nursing profession and set a precedent for future labor actions in the healthcare sector.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

The 1976 Seattle nurses strike is remembered as a pivotal moment in the history of nursing labor movements in the United States. It highlighted the critical role of nurses in the healthcare system and the importance of fair labor practices.

Related Pages[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD