Posted December 18, 2015
After seven sessions, WSNA and the Employer have seen a degree of moving forward on numerous issues. WSNA and the Employer are not in agreement regarding our key issues, including Economics, PTO/EIB, and changes to Per Diem language.
The vast majority of WSNA area hospitals have Sick and Annual Leave and with good reason. It allows nurses who are sick to stay home. Under Management’s proposal, nurses will now have to use time that could have been used for vacation and will not be able to use some of their “sick” leave unless they miss more than (16) consecutive hours of work. This is especially hard for part time nurses.
Also, nurses will never know how much time they actually have for vacation because they must guess how many days they will be sick to plan accordingly. Imagine that you have a vacation planned or that you or your family members go through a rough period and you end up taking time off for illness, you may not have enough accrued PTO for your planned vacation; and we certainly don’t want anyone coming to work sick.
These are some of the reasons why nurses at Evergreen have consistently rejected Managements dangerous PTO/EIB proposals. They know, as do the vast majority of WSNA nurses around the area, that accessible sick leave is important.
With PTO/EIB, the nurses will lose other benefits. For example, the following Articles/language will be deleted:
- Article 9.2 - Personal Holiday,
- Article 11.6 - Sick Leave Conversion to Vacation,
- Article 11.6.1 - Conversion of sick leave to cash.
The only Hospital within the Seattle area with PTO/EIB is Overlake. Other WSNA covered hospitals, such as Virginia Mason, University of Washington, Seattle Children’s, and Northwest continue to have Vacation and Sick Leave – for good reasons! Non-WSNA hospitals, Swedish and Harborview, also continue to have Vacation and Sick Leave. The majority of WSNA hospitals within the state do not have PTO/EIB.
Lastly, PTO/EIB is not compatible with maintaining and balancing personal and work life.
Management is proposing an additional half percent increase (in year (3) of the Contract) across the board. If HCAHPS scores are over a certain percentage. In essence, pitting this non-guaranteed wage increase on the Hospital meeting nursing communication performance targets.
We can only assume that Management believes that Evergreen nurses have all the tools and staffing support for the Hospital to meet these goals. Meanwhile, nurses inform us about staffing problems at Evergreen.
Management fails to recognize that nurses are professionally driven and that, given the proper tools and support, provide exemplary care. Other area WSNA hospitals understand this. They guarantee full wage increases for the life of their contracts while facing similar Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement constraints as Evergreen.
We fear that Management’s dangerous “new idea” approach to compensation will give Evergreen nurses yet another reason to look elsewhere for employment where they may earn a better wage and can count on guaranteed, full wage increases.
In addition, the Hospital’s economics proposal is conditioned on WSNA acceptance of the new language on PTO/EIB!
Current Contract language, Addendum 3 - Per Diem Nurses, requires these nurses to be available to work at least (24) hours per calendar month. One of the reasons nurses work per diem is because they do not want to work an FTE position. The continued adding of hours to work, availability gets further and further away from what a per diem nurse should be. Per diem nurses should not be utilized to handle staffing issues – that focus should be on core staff. We want to keep the great, hard-working per diems we have at Evergreen. Adding to their availability will only make other area hospitals more attractive to them.
Your Negotiation Team is working hard and diligently for you! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the team members or the WSNA Nurse Rep Terri Williams. We are always interested in staff input during the negotiation process.
Terry Jorgenson, RN (email@example.com); Sue Dunlap, RN (firstname.lastname@example.org); Aurea Herman, RN (email@example.com); Becky Brandt, RN (firstname.lastname@example.org); Beth Selander, RN (email@example.com); Charlotte Hingle, RN (firstname.lastname@example.org); Cindy Collette, BSN, RN (email@example.com); Clarise Mahler, RN (firstname.lastname@example.org); Lexi Overa, RN (email@example.com); Linda Larsen, RN (firstname.lastname@example.org); Lisa Traynor, RN (email@example.com); Merry Doty, RN (firstname.lastname@example.org); Sheila Page, RN (email@example.com); Theresa Blazer, RN (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Terri Williams, MS, RN, WSNA Nurse Rep (email@example.com)
Mike Sanderson, WSNA Legal Counsel