Group Health Cooperative nurses begin a 28-day strike on August 1, 1976.

  • By HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 8/28/2005
  • Essay 7453
On August 1, 1976, nurses at Group Health Cooperative begin a 28-day strike. They are organized within the Washington State Nurses Association. As employees of a nonprofit hospital, the nurses had gained the right to strike under federal labor law just two years before.

At this time, Group Health Cooperative was the only unionized healthcare organization in the region. Its employees were organized into 13 distinct bargaining groups. Despite Group Health's long tradition of solidarity with labor, communication had been difficult to maintain.

The nurses agreed to a contract giving them cumulative raises of nearly 25 percent over three years and increasing their participation in planning and assignments.

Sources: Walt Crowley, To Serve the Greatest Number: A History of Group Health Cooperative of Seattle (Seattle: GHC/University of Washington Press, 1995), 150-151.

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