We regret to inform you that an error occurred during a recent distribution of a meal break “Waiver and Release” form at CWH. The “Waiver and Release” distributed to WSNA nurses is not the version that was agreed upon by the parties.
The previously distributed “Waiver and Release” indicates that WSNA had previously negotiated to waive your right to a second meal break. WSNA has always taken the position that we cannot negotiate away your right to a second meal break. WSNA would not agree to waive your meal break even if the law were to permit us to do so. This is a decision for each nurse to make after becoming informed on the issue.
Additionally, the previously distributed “Waiver and Release” purports to waive your right to any recovery in a pending lawsuit against CWH based on the notion that WSNA had previously agreed to waive your right to a second meal break. WSNA has consistently informed the hospital that it does not have a position in any pending litigation with CWH. WSNA does not believe that the previously distributed “Waiver and Release” can effectively waive your right to any recovery. Nevertheless, we strongly urge you to refrain from signing that “Waiver and Release”. You should know that, by law, any waiver of a meal break is revocable at any time. Therefore, WSNA encourages anybody who has signed the previously distributed “Waiver and Release” to sign the Revocation of Meal Break “Waiver and Release”.
Despite the confusion over the “Waiver and Release”, we understand that many nurses would like to waive their right to a second meal break. By law, a nurse working a 12-hour shift is entitled to two 30-minute unpaid meal breaks. These meal breaks are in addition to three 15-minute paid rest breaks. By waiving the second meal break, a nurse can work a 12-hour shift (including one unpaid 30-minute meal period and three paid 15-minute rest breaks) within a 12.5‑hour period. You are free to make that decision if that is your preference.
The right to waive a meal break is completely voluntary. The hospital is not allowed to retaliate against you if you decide to take both meal breaks. Also, a waiver of a second meal break is revocable at any time. If, after becoming fully informed on the issue, you would like to waive your right to a second meal break, you may do so by signing the Meal Period and Rest Break Acknowledgement.
Please return any signed forms, either Revocations or Acknowledgements, to Thomas Christensen, CWH Human Resources at:
Central WA Hospital ATTN: Tom Christensen 1201 S Miller St Wenatchee, WA 98801
If you find yourself in a situation that you believe creates unsafe conditions for patients or for you, you should complete a Staffing Complaint / ADO Form as soon as possible.
By completing the form, you will help make the problem known to management, creating an opportunity for the problem to be addressed. Additionally, you will be documenting the facts, which may be helpful to you later if there is a negative outcome.
WSNA also uses your ADO forms to track the problems occurring in your facility. When you and your coworkers take the important step of filling out an ADO form, you are helping to identify whether there is a pattern of unsafe conditions for you or your patients at your facilities. This information is used by your conference committee, staffing committee, and WSNA labor staff to improve your working conditions.
If called into a meeting with management, read the following to management when the meeting begins:
If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, I respectfully request that my union representative be present at this meeting. Without representation present, I choose not to participate in this discussion.