A union representing nurse employees of the state of Washington said it would drop a lawsuit against Gov. Chris Gregoire in light of a decision by a state commission ordering a new round of bargaining.
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW sued Gregoire in King County Superior Court and filed a complaint with the Public Employment Relations Commission after the governors budget request failed to ask the Legislature for the level of funding necessary to satisfy a collective-bargaining agreement with the union. Gregoire withdrew from the tentative agreement in light of a sharp downturn in economic circumstances. The commission ruled the governor did not commit an unfair labor practice when she backed out of the agreement but was obligated to immediately return to the bargaining table.
Were going to try to do what we can, knowing the state has a financial crisis, said Jonathan Rosenblum, assistant to the president of SEIU 1199NW. The union represents more than 900 nurses who work for the states psychiatric hospitals, state schools for the developmentally disabled and Public Health Department. These are critical positions that serve the most vulnerable persons in the state, Rosenblum said.