Reminder: Low Census - Mandatory vs Voluntary

Originally posted on January 5, 2017

Your bargaining unit officers, WSNA representative and hospital management have worked collaboratively to ensure the language of the contract surrounding low census is followed correctly. The Employer has recently announced that the LaborWorkx system is now capable of tracking voluntary and mandatory low census hours separately. This change took effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Your Mandatory Low Census (MLC) hours are limited to (48) hours per each designated six month period. Voluntary Low Census (VLC) hours do NOT count towards this limit. MLC must be assigned using the rotation list on each unit, regardless of whether you have or haven’t taken VLC.

During periods of low census, the Employer will assign Low Census (LC) in the following order:

  1. To nurses working on a regularly scheduled day off and being paid at a rate of time and one half or higher;
  2. Volunteers;
  3. If no volunteers, MLC will be rotated equitably among all nurses working their regular scheduled shift with:

a. Agency and Per Diem Nurses first; b. Then, the next nurse on the Rotation List.

  • A traveling nurse who is employed on a contract basis for a defined period of weeks shall participate in the rotation of low census with other full-time and part-time employees;
  • Nurses taking low census shall receive credited hours as provided in Section 4.8 on canceled hours of work for purposes of computing longevity steps, seniority, vacation and sick leave under this Agreement;
  • It is the nurses’ option as to whether they use vacation pay for low census. If taken unpaid, it still counts as credited hours.

In solidarity,

Your local unit officers: Debbie Pronk, RN, Sue Dunlap, RN, Merry Doty, RN, Clarise Mahler, BSN, RN and Cindy Collette, BSN, RN;

and WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams, MS, RN (twilliams@wsna.org)