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July 10, 2006

The nurses at Virginia Mason are vitally important members of our health care team. We value their judgment and skill and we rely on their professional expertise to help us provide high quality care to our patients.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in a proceeding involving Virginia Mason, raised in its complaint the issue of whether inpatient RNs qualify for “supervisory and/or managerial” status as defined under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Evidence was presented at a hearing on this matter in June.

Subsequently, Virginia Mason agreed to a joint motion with the NLRB and the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) to remove the “supervisory and/or managerial” issue from the current proceeding involving the parties. That motion was filed earlier this month and is still pending.

This is a national labor issue that has been raised in cases throughout the country. Regardless of any ruling by the NLRB on the “supervisory and/or managerial” issue, Virginia Mason’s collective bargaining agreement with WSNA states that Virginia Mason will continue to recognize WSNA as the bargaining representative for inpatient nurses, as long as a majority of the nurses choose to be represented by them.

Sarah Patterson, Executive Vice President, Hospital Administrator, Virginia Mason Medical Center

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