WSNA nurses demand safe staffing!

We all know staffing has been a big problem throughout the bargaining unit. Here are five things we want you to know that involve you and your fellow nurses at EvergreenHealth:

  1. ADO Forms — document problems you face at work. This is impor­tant to fix these problems and to protect yourself in the workplace.
  2. Manda­tory Overtime – WSNA is aware it is happening in some depart­ments, and we want to make sure the nurses and patients remain safe in times of critical staffing needs.
  3. Incen­tive Pay – WSNA is demanding to bargain incen­tive pay that is fair and equitable for all nurses in our bargaining unit.
  4. The Nurse Staffing Committee is hard at work to create staffing plans to be proposed this summer for 2022. In these plans nurses are asking for improve­ments that account for things like acuity, census, avail­able resources, and staff and mecha­nisms for nurses to get their breaks.
  5. Lastly, but definitely not least, it is time we get rolling for contract negoti­a­tions! Expect a survey to come to you shortly and please take the time to fill it out. Not a member yet? No problem! Join today and get involved. We must bargain from a position of unity and strength.

Our member­ship speaks loudly at the table with manage­ment that the nurses place value on the security and quality of a fair contract https://​www​.wsna​.org/​m​e​m​b​e​r​s​h​i​p​/​a​p​p​l​i​c​a​tion/union.


ADO forms #

We need all nurses in our bargaining unit to document what is happening by filling out an ADO form.

ADO — Assign­ment Despite Objec­tion or Unsafe Staffing Forms

We know after a long shift, without enough staff, the last thing you want to do is stick around and fill out a form. Thank­fully, you can fill out an ADO form later, from the comfort of home or anywhere else. It is ideal to fill the form out as soon as possible but there is no formal deadline.

By submit­ting the ADO you are taking part in a process improve­ment committee, laying out an issue you faced so a resolu­tion can be worked on in collab­o­ra­tion between nurses and manage­ment. A couple impor­tant examples of when it is impor­tant for you to be filling ADOs out:

  • If you work through breaks and do not document that they were missed, you really are being part of the problem. Some WSNA bargaining units have success­fully negoti­ated adding the use of break nurses to ensure nurses are receiving rest breaks and meal periods. If we can show that you are missing your breaks, and why you are missing them, it will be much easier to work with the employer to find solutions such as break nurses.

  • If you are given an unsafe assign­ment or put into an unsafe situa­tion, you have liability as a nurse, and could be putting your job and your license on the line. It is essen­tial to document the situa­tion that put you into that position, and help be part of the solution to prevent it from happening again.

Differ­ences between WSNA’s ADO form and EvergreenHealth’s SafeLinQ Form

ADO:
The content on these forms was gener­ated by WSNA based on language agreed upon by the major health­care unions and the Hospital Association.

SafeLinQ:

  • This is an internal form for use by the employer only, WSNA is not affil­i­ated with this form.
  • The employer does not share copies of these forms with WSNA or notify WSNA of issues submitted on these forms.
  • If there is an issue submitted through SafeLinQ, the employer does sometimes issue disci­pline to staff depending on what happened. WSNA does not agree with this policy of issuing disci­pline based on this form of process improve­ment, but the employer chooses to despite WSNA objec­tions. Contact Nurse Rep Bret Percival at bpercival@wsna.org if you have received disci­pline as the result of submit­ting a SafelinQ.


Which form do I fill out? This is ultimately up to you as a nurse. If it is appro­priate, fill out a SafeLinQ based on the guidance from your employer but also consider if it is appro­priate to fill out an ADO at the same time. Let the Nurse Practice Act of Washington guide your decision. It is the legal and ethical standard to which we nurses are held. By submit­ting ADOs when indicated, nurses uphold the standard of safe practice which protects their patients and license.

Now let’s look at why an ADO is not just indicated but the right thing to do for you and patients:

An example is, if you are having a terrible shift and do not have the support you need, you and your coworkers are more likely to be involved in medical error. We are all human and mistakes will eventu­ally happen. If a SafeLinQ is submitted by yourself or another employee over an error or anything else, the exten­u­ating circum­stances and systemic factors that played a role that report may or may not be accurately described and may not even be consid­ered. The employer has acknowl­edged Just Culture in commu­ni­ca­tions to all employees.

If you fill out an ADO, with the circum­stances and systemic factors listed around a problem­atic shift or event, those facts are now documented, open and readily avail­able for the union to work to both help fix the problem and to help protect you as a nurse. This brings trans­parency that is not avail­able with the SafeLinQ form alone.

Digital ADOs are super quick! About 2 minutes on average to complete and submit right from your smart phone. If it takes a lot longer, you are writing too much. Be brief but describe the safety factor in the free text option box. Save access to digital ADOs as an icon or bookmark for easy access every shift, as needed. When in doubt, fill one out! Here is the link. Share with your peers, show them how and why you can demon­strate unity and strength with ADOs: https://​www​.wsna​.org/union/ado.


Mandatory overtime #

Manda­tory overtime appears to be becoming a problem and should always be the last option. We recog­nize that unfore­seen emergen­cies may happen, and manda­tory overtime may be a rare incon­ve­nience we face as nurses. However, if it is happening over and over, that is a chronic problem and must be addressed. If you are kept over after your shift, fill out an ADO to document that it happened.

There are laws that restrict the use of manda­tory overtime and there maybe viola­tions to the contract. By reporting the manda­tory overtime in an ADO, the situa­tion can be inves­ti­gated, and we will look for resolutions.

Also impor­tant to consider, is that as a nurse you are respon­sible for providing safe patient care. You have the right and respon­si­bility to speak up if you are put in a position where you feel you are no longer safe to provide care or stay working. Per the Evergreen­Health and WSNA contract:

Subject to the Nurse Practice Act, no nurse will be expected to work beyond the end of the nurse’s sched­uled shift to the extent that the nurse is not able to function with reason­able skill and safety with respect to care of the Medical Center’s patients. If the nurse can no longer function with reason­able skill and safety, the nurse should immedi­ately discuss the matter with her/​his immediate super­visor. The super­visor shall take all practical measures to transi­tion the nurse’s duties as soon as possible.


Incentive Pay #

Incen­tive pay is being offered by the employer but has not been bargained with WSNA and we would like to see some changes in how the hospital offers it. While WSNA agrees with the employer that the use of incen­tive pay is an appro­priate tool to help fill critical needs in staffing, we do not agree to the employer unilat­er­ally imple­menting incen­tives with out clear guidance or equal treat­ment of all nurses in the WSNA bargaining unit. WSNA has demanded to bargain with the employer over incen­tive pay. WSNA has no inten­tion of obstructing the employer for paying nurses well deserved premium pay to fill critical needs in staffing. WSNA seeks a single incen­tive pay policy that can be used across the bargaining unit in a fair and equitable manner. WSNA believes this is a subject that is mutually benefi­cial to both the nurses and the hospital. If you are not being offered incen­tive pay but are receiving endless notifi­ca­tions to pick up shifts, maybe it is time to ask why?


The Nurse Staffing Committee and 2022 Staffing Plans #

The WSNA nurses are working hard to improve staffing. Currently the Nurse Staffing Committee (NSC) is devel­oping staffing plans for 2022. These plans are mandated by law and our contract to be a joint effort with WSNA nurses and manage­ment to come up with plans that account for factors such as: census, acuity, experi­ence of staff, support staff, need for equip­ment, layout of floor, staffing guide­lines by national nursing profes­sional associ­a­tions, and strate­gies to enable nurses to take meal and rest breaks, as required by law. This covers most nurses in acute care, though the different areas of the bargaining unit like home care or clinics have some different processes due to limita­tions in the Nurse Staffing Committee law.

Regard­less of where you work in the bargaining unit, if you submit an ADO, it will be inves­ti­gated and WSNA will look for resolu­tions. Per the Evergreen­Health and WSNA contract:

The NSC will consider all received complaints brought by Regis­tered Nurses. The NSC will desig­nate each complaint as either resolved, dismissed or unresolved. The NSC will produce a state­ment of expla­na­tion for each designation.


Contract Negotiations #

It is time to go back to the table to negotiate our contract between WSNA and Evergreen­Health. Expect to see your pre-negoti­a­tion contract survey this week in your email. We need to hear from you to know what needs to be looked at. For refer­ence, follow this link to review the contract that is currently active: https://​cdn​.wsna​.org/​a​s​s​e​t​s​/​l​o​c​a​l​-​u​n​i​t​-​a​s​s​e​t​s​/​e​v​e​r​g​r​e​e​n​-​h​e​a​l​t​h​c​a​r​e​/​E​v​e​r​green-2019 – 2021-FINAL-CBA-with-signatures.pdf.

We know everyone wants a raise! What else is bothering you? What are the things you really want to see fixed? There are roughly 1100 RNs in our bargaining unit. If we have 10 nurses fighting for a better contract it will not be nearly as good as it would if we had 1100 nurses working together. 1100 voices in a unified workforce of nurses is very powerful. Don’t you agree?

You all have stepped up in an incred­ibly diffi­cult time and have been called heroes by both your employer and the public that depends on you. It’s nice to hear words like hero being used to describe nurses, but when nurses are not treated like heroes at work, there is a feeling of betrayal. We have seen that feeling of betrayal cause your fellow nurses to leave for other hospi­tals, to retire, or to leave the profes­sion all together. We hope that in such trying times in health­care that the employer will show the nurses that they are respected, and that they are valued.

Next steps you can make to help improve your wages and working conditions:

  • If you have changed your phone number or personal email or mailing address, let us know ASAP so you can get the updates and survey!
  • If you are a member or non-member, please fill out the survey as soon as possible once receiving it. This really is impor­tant in knowing what needs to be fixed and prior­i­tizing issues.
  • Get involved! There are many ways to be involved with varying levels of commit­ment. If you have a lot of time, or just little, we work with you to find something that you are comfort­able with!

To be a member of a committee or to even vote on the contract, you must be a WSNA member.

If you are not a member, join now and become a member. This is the heart of collec­tively working together to improve the workplace. The combi­na­tion of engaged members and dues makes every­thing happen. Employers spend a great deal of money and resources to ensure the best deal for the employer. To stand up and fight for a good contract (and day to day condi­tions) takes a lot of work and resources. That is only possible by pooling these together for our shared benefit. Standing in solidarity through member­ship is the founda­tion of a fair contract. It is even more impor­tant to demon­strate this today than when we last negoti­ated three years ago. If you are a non-member, look at our contract and know that it was earned over decades of hard work and dues of Evergreen WSNA members before you. Is it fair to do nothing and expect great things from the work and dues of other nurses? We invest in what we value. What do you value in your working condi­tions? What about our WSNA contract provides that in a secure and enforce­able way?

Join today at https://​www​.wsna​.org/​membership.

In solidarity,

Jomay Ruiz, Local Unit Chair FMC
Jessica Taylor Brown, Secre­tary Oncology
Holly Baker, Treasurer ED
Theresa Blazer, Griev­ance officer FMC
Sandy Gott, Griev­ance officer FMC
Val Artamonova, Member­ship officer Hospice Care Center
Bret Percival WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive bpercival@wsna.org
Tara Barnes WSNA Organizer tbarnes@wsna.org 206 – 713-2241

Message your officers and Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive right from this webpage.