Will WSNA be educating members on the new staffing law?
Yes. WSNA will educate our members and staff on the new staffing law. We will also be working with our coalition partners, SEIU 1199NW and UFCW 3000, to provide joint education through the Washington Safe+Healthy coalition.
The law has a 10 year roll-out period with different milestones of significance (see timeline here). Education on the law will align with the timing of these different milestones so that information is clear and useful.
Will there be specific education for staffing committee members?
Yes. Education will be provided to staffing committee members.
Why does it seem like my hospital leadership has information I don’t?
After a bill passes into law, the state must reconcile the new language of the law with already existing laws. There are also parts of the law that DOH and LNI will need to determine how to implement. The Washington State Hospital Association posted staffing law information to their website based on their interpretation of E2SSB 5236 language. WSNA wants to avoid providing misinformation. However, where details of implementation are not yet clear, we will be clear on what we advocate in implementing the new law.
How will the inclusion of CNAs impact my staffing committee? Who is making those decisions?
As required under the new law, current nurse staffing committees (on which direct-care registered nurses comprise half of the members) will be expanded beginning January 1, 2024 to hospital staffing committees which include direct-care RNs, CNAs, and LPNs. Our position is that the inclusion of additional nursing staff represents an expansion of the staffing committees—it should not mean a reduction in the number of RNs on the committee.
Decisions around who will sit on the staff side of the committee will be determined by the union(s) representing each facility’s employees. WSNA is working with our coalition partners to collaborate closely on this process.
While we know that many hospitals are encouraging staffing committees to begin planning for changes effective January 1, it is important to note that any changes that take place prior to that date may be premature and out of compliance with the law.
What if WSNA represents RNs in my facility, but other nursing staff are not represented?
If there is only one union representing nursing staff members, then under the new staffing law the union chooses all of the members of the staffing committee. So if WSNA represents RNs and the other nursing staff are unrepresented, WSNA chooses all staffing committee members.
Where can I go for WSNA updates on the roll-out of the staffing law?
You can visit the Safe Staffing page on the WSNA website for all updates.