Fall 2018 newsletter

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It’s that time again! Are you ready?

Our negotiation team is in place and ready to meet with the employer to make sure we continue to have a strong contract with all of the rights and benefits we deserve. The team has taken part in two prep sessions, one of them with WSNA Attorney Mike Sanderson, who will be our spokesperson at the table.

Our priorities have been set by your responses to the negotiations survey and ongoing feedback regarding issues and concerns about our current contract. We will continue to work for a safe working environment and conditions that allow RNs to deliver the safest and effective patient care.

Our first session at the table is Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Stay tuned for updates as each session continues. The following is a list of our fellow RNs who have volunteered to represent us all on the negotiation team:

7 Silver – Ortho/Spine/Neuro: Linda Snyder
6 Silver – ONC: Jessica Taylor
5 Silver – Cardiovasc. & 4 Silver – PCU: Neelam Kaur
ED – Kirkland: Holly Baker, Lexi Overa
OR: Beth Selander
PACU: Debbie Pronk, Charina Alvarez
FMC: Theresa Blazer, Jomay Ruiz
NICU/PEDS: Kathy Silvas
CCU: Clarise Mahler, Ryan O’Neill-Hawkins
Hospice Care Center: Alicia O’Neal
Home Health: Rebecca Roop-Kharasch
Hospice: Val Artamonova
Float Pool: Caine Ballew

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Who is CAT?

Contributed by WSNA Nurse Organizer Sue Dunlap, MS, RN

The answer simply is every one of us! CAT is an acronym for Contract Action Team. Every nurse at Evergreen is represented at the negotiations table by a team of co-workers. CAT makes communication between the negotiations table, and each of us, timely and seamless. Which allows all of us to be involved and support our team.

Each unit has key people who have volunteered to relay messages from the negotiations team to all nurses. Think of this like a phone tree. You should anticipate hearing from CAT and plan on sharing information and participating in activities. For example, CAT may ask everyone to wear a button one day at work to show support for the team. You may be asked to sign a petition or show up to support our team at a board meeting.

Likewise, you can share concerns and/or encouragement with CAT and it will be passed on to the negotiation team.
We are all in this together to obtain the best contract, provide the best patient care and make Evergreen the place to work. Stay tuned for communication from CAT!

The following RNs have volunteered to for the CAT:

8 Silver – Med Surg: Manju Ghimire, Nancy Wilkie
7 Silver – Ortho/Spine/Neuro: Anissa Byers, Mike Raymond, Lindsay Dandridge, Louisa Babadilla
6 Silver – ONC: Ashley Speece, Sheila Lanuza, Rebecca Woo
Float Pool: Natasha Schultz, Caine Ballew, Jessie McCann
4 Silver – PCU: Balla Sarr, Jessa Labasan, Karin Ng, Sheryl Olsen, Sandy Fleming
ED – Kirkland: Cathy Belusci, Karen Sloan
ED – Redmond: Carol Flaming
CCU: Ryan O’Neill-Hawkins, Jennifer Copeland
Hospice Care Center: Lisa Atwell
Home Health: Bea Abbott, Kevin Gleed, Joni Scott, Susan Wainer, Becky Brandt
Home Hospice: Karen Lasota, Kim Keithley, Misty Touglas, Andrew Ehlers, Carol Hile, Thomas Sanguino
HH/HO Admin: Kay Broadgate, Cate Royston
PACU: Julie Harder

We are strong!

If you are not already a member of WSNA, when was the last time you considered joining our union and professional nurses association? Our membership numbers are already high. Close to 75% of EvergreenHealth nurses are proud members of our local unit. Many of those who aren't members are often unsure what labor unions do, why someone would join or simply don’t want to pay dues, i.e. fair share. A strong and united membership is never more important than when you are in contract negotiations!

The reasons why nurses join their union cannot be reduced to any single, uncomplicated statement. Unionized workers have more power as a cohesive group than by acting individually. Through collective bargaining, nurses negotiate wages, staffing ratios, health and safety issues, benefits and working conditions with management via our union. Another important reason workers join a union is to ensure fair treatment in the workplace.
The nature of nursing is changing. Employers are trying to shed responsibility for many benefits for their employees. As a union member, you have a strong collective voice for negotiating with employers regarding pay and wages, work hours, benefits –including retirement plans, health insurance, vacation and sick leave, tuition reimbursement, etc. The higher the number of paying members, the better we as nurses fair in our contract negotiations.

If you are a paying member in good standing and in solidarity with our colleagues –great! If you are not, please take this chance to join now at wsna.org/membership/application. You will be glad you became a proud member of our EvergreenHealth local unit.

The rights of members in good standing include, but are not be limited to:

  1. The right to attend membership meetings and participate in the business;
  2. The right to be a candidate for office;
  3. The right to vote for contract ratifications, in referendums, and in the elections of Officers.

Questions? Contact one of the local unit officers or our WSNA Nurse Rep Terri Williams at twilliams@wsna.org.

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Fun facts

Clarise Mahler, CCU – Local Unit Chair

  1. I feel very fortunate to be a nurse, I love helping people and as such I want to help us all have the best working conditions possible; that always equates to our patients best healing conditions.
  2. I passionately enjoy my days off; gardening, hiking running, knitting, traveling, being politically active.
  3. I have a voice: I am able to speak the truth, and with age its clearer, stronger and willing to risk.

Debbie Pronk, RN – Local Unit Grievance Officer

  1. My husband of 40 years and I have enjoyed cruises in recent years. 9 cruises including the Panama Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.
  2. My first 4-year degree was in Sociology at UCLA 41 years ago. Went into nursing as a second career 15 years later.
  3. I am an avid reader and enjoy mysteries and action adventures. A nice break from work!
  4. I’ve been a Grievance Officer for several years and have seen first-hand what the union does to solve problems and issues in our working conditions. WSNA gives us a strong voice when communicating and working with management.

Val Artamonova , RN ­– Local Unit Membership Officer

  1. One daughter, 3 years old
  2. Reiki master/teacher
  3. Favorite hobby is camping/hiking/being out in nature

Jomay Ruiz, BSN, RN – Local Unit Secretary/Treasurer

  1. Dog mom to the cutest pup with special needs.
  2. I’m passionate about food and my plants.
  3. I love watching basketball, especially Kevin Durant!

Linda Snyder, RN – Local Unit Membership Officer

  1. I bake a lot of pies.
  2. I’m an avid hiker and cofounded a backpacking company “Cascade Trekking Co.” this year.
  3. I went to school in Pennsylvania.

Tara Barnes, RN – WSNA Organizer

  1. I knew I wanted to be a nurse in first grade and told my mother.
  2. I competed as an Irish dancer until the age of 15.
  3. I was a Rainbow girl and learned many skills about working as a team in the community.
  4. I have kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland and survived!
  5. I worked at Evergreen for 12 years and served as an officer and on bargaining team 3 times.
  6. Now I follow my passion to help build unity and strength with Nurses as staff. It is such an honor.

Sue Dunlap, MSN, RN, COS-C – WSNA Organizer

  1. I’m the token alien as I’m a Canadian citizen.
  2. I’ve been a nurse for 33 years in almost every area possible.
  3. I just left Evergreen this year after 15 years of service because I have a passion for improving the profession for all nurses and felt WSNA would provide the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the profession.
  4. I am happily married x 15 years with 1 daughter and 2 stepsons plus 2 very spoiled feline and 1 fish who actively supports and watches the Seahawks.

Terri Williams, MS, RN – WSNA Nurse Representative

  1. I became an RN at age 49 (4th career).
  2. I’ve officiated over 200 weddings since 2001.
  3. I’m a Healing Touch practitioner.
  4. I was a WSNA unit representative at Virginia Mason before becoming a WSNA nurse representative.

Update on staffing issues

Originally posted on Evergreen webpage on March 28, 2018

Nursing care requires continuous patient assessment, critical thinking, expert nursing judgment, advocating on behalf of our patients and educating patients and their families. These activities are the essence of nursing care and are critical factors in avoiding preventable complications, injuries and avoidable deaths.

When staffing levels are too low, RNs are frequently forced to compromise the care they give to their patients. Unsafe nurse staffing (including support staff) is a dangerous practice that leads to medical errors, poorer patient outcomes, nursing injuriesand burnout. Ensuring safe nurse staffing must continue to be a top priority for all nurses.

In 2017, the Washington state legislature passed the Patient Safety Act, addressing this top issue of safe staffing. The bill creates greater transparency and accountability for nurse staffing plans and the work of nurse staffing committees in hospitals. The new bill holds hospitals more accountable for staffing in order for you to deliver safe, high-quality care to our patients.

Among other amendments and additions to the law, the following additions require the RNs to take part in this accountability. The law now requires the Employer to:

  • Allow a nurse to report to, and file a complaint with, the staffing committee any time the nurse personnel assignment is not in accordance with the adopted staffing plan;
  • Allow nurses who may disagree with the shift-to-shift adjustments in staffing levels to submit a complaint to the staffing committee;
  • Require staffing committees to develop a process to examine and respond to submitted complaints, and to determine if a complaint is resolved or dismissed based on unsubstantiated data.

The Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) form (wsna.to/ADOForm) is the accepted form for the “process” mentioned above. We strongly suggest that you complete an (ADO) form regarding any staffing concerns and issues. These are utilized for real-time tracking efforts by WSNA and the Employer. ADOs are discussed with management at both the monthly Staffing Committee and Conference Committee.
To read more regarding other aspects of the new Staffing Law that affect you, visit wsna.org/nursing-practice/safe-nurse-staffing.

If you have any questions, please contact one of the local unit officers or our WSNA Nurse Rep Terri Williams at twilliams@wsna.org.