November 2022 Newsletter


  • WSNA pushes on hospital leadership for an increase in wages
  • Hospital ignores WSNA nurse staffing recommendations
  • Ways to get involved
  • Incentive Pay MOU
  • Contract Corner – Vacation and Personal Holiday

WSNA pushes for increases in your wages

Your WSNA officers and unit representatives have been clear with hospital leaders that they are behind the competing hospitals in pay, which will cause an exodus of nurses and inhibit recruitment. In the Nurse Staffing Committee on Monday, November 21, WSNA brought this up with leadership again and followed up with a letter addressed to CEO Jeff Tomlin, CNO Mary Shepler, and CHRO Jessika Groce. We will continue to fight for better wages to recruit and retain nurses, but we need all of you to become part of the fight. Please see below for upcoming events.

Hospital leadership ignores nurses’ recommendations for 2023

Your WSNA Nurse Staffing Committee representatives and unit-based council nurses worked hard to evaluate each floor's operations and staffing needs in preparation for staffing plans in 2023. Our goals are to have safe patient care and prevent nurses from leaving EvergreenHealth. Unfortunately, all of our requests were tallied up into a dollar amount and rejected outright by hospital leadership. We brought up the $3 million in CARES money that was used to shift funds that enabled "Leader At-Risk Compensation Goals." Many nurses have told us they would likely have found better uses for those funds.

We aren’t giving up on the Nurse Staffing Committee! Please keep filling out ADOs to document your concerns and protect your licenses. Because ADOs cover many topics, we recommend you fill one out every time you have a problem. If leadership thinks it's inappropriate for the staffing committee, we will address it in our conference committee. We will be looking beyond the nurse staffing committee to find additional ways for you to be heard and improve working conditions. ADOs will be an extremely useful tool, so please keep them coming!

Events and collective actions planned – join the fight

We need to help Evergreen leadership understand how dissatisfied nurses are at EvergreenHealth with wages, benefits, and chronic staffing problems. We have nearly 1100 nurses in the WSNA Evergreen Bargaining Unit. It is time you are heard. Please stand with us to collectively fight for better wages and working conditions.

Please join the “WSNA - Evergreen RNs” Closed Facebook Group

RSVP for in person November 28 meetingat Evergreen 6-8:30 p.m.

-or- RSVP for virtual Teams November 29 meeting 6-8:30 p.m.

RSVP for the December 20 Board of Commissioners Meeting held in Tan 250 on EvergreenHealth campus. Public comment period starts at 6:30 p.m. We meet in the lobby outside the board room at 6 p.m. Phone call in at 6:25 for those joining virtually.

Incentive Pay Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Your WSNA nurses worked hard over months to get an MOU reflecting past incentive practices used by the employer . Different departments have been using various incentives, and the rules were constantly changing. This MOU is now in place for the entire bargaining unit. We highly recommend getting to know the specifics and asking for these incentives when staffing is critically low. WSNA expects the employer to make all reasonable efforts to properly staff before considering mandatory overtime. Incentive pay is a reasonable effort, so ask for it.

Contract Corner

Personal Holiday – Use it or lose it

Your WSNA contract references Section 9.2 Personal Holiday, which gives you up to 8 hours of holiday pay based on your FTE. The Personal Holiday does not carry over to the following year, so make sure you use it soon!

What you need to know about vacation balances
Vacation accumulation in section 10.4 limits your vacation accumulation to 200 hours. If you exceed 200 hours, your accumulation stops, and you lose hours the longer it goes unnoticed.

Cashing out vacation hours can be done anytime during the year per article 10.5 Direct Cash Payment Option. A communication was sent to all employees by HR indicating employees must cash out PTO during the open enrollment period. WSNA nurses have vacation hours rather than PTO, and you can exercise this option at any point in the year.

If you are resigning, by article 10.6, you must give 21 days' notice to cash your vacation hours. Article 5.6 Notice of Resignation has language that could prevent the payout of accrued vacation benefits if vacation or "unverified sick leave" is used in that 21-day window. If you are in that period, consider using your WA Sick or WA Family Medical Leave options if they rightfully apply. Protected leave should prevent you from losing those vacation hours, as employers cannot retaliate if employees use these protected leave options.

Sick Leave Conversion to Vacation is covered in article 11.6. Eligible nurses have the opportunity to convert some of your unused sick leave hours to vacation hours.

Membership always matters

Membership matters more than ever right now. We are not an exclusive “club” of a few nurses. We are WSNA . Counting on everyone else to get things done and pay for the resources makes us weaker and it shows. We know so many of you are exhausted and ready to look for jobs somewhere else. Help us to help you. If you are not a member, why not? We would love to have one of our fellow Evergreen nurses follow up and address your concerns. If you want to talk about it reach out to Nurse Organizer Tara Barnes at Tbarnes@wsna.org or Nurse Representative Bret Percival at Bpercival@wsna.org.

If you have questions or concerns please contact one of your WSNA Local Unit Officers, or Nurse Representative Bret Percival at bpercival@wsna.org or 206-471-0876.

In unity,
Theresa Blazer, FMC, Local Unit Chair
Holly Baker, Kirkland ED, Treasurer
Sandy Gott, FMC, Grievance Officer