WSNA is working hard with our partners at UFCW21 and SEIU1199NW Health­care to keep our members safe. We are pleased to share with you the following agree­ment reached this weekend with Multi­Care that addresses paid time off during COVID-19 as well as floating within and outside of home facility.

Thanks to all our nurses who responded to our survey, and who are filling out ADOs and contacting WSNA. We were able to take real time reports of your concerns directly to the manage­ment. We hope to reach similar resolu­tions like this one with other employers across the state to ensure the safety and well-being of our members on the front lines. We need to take care of the nurses and front­line health care workers that take care of us.

DATED this 22nd day of March, 2020.

The Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion (WSNA), SEIU 1199NW Health­care Union (SEIU), and United Food and Commer­cial Workers Union Local 21 (UFCW) (collec­tively, Unions”), and Multi­Care Health System (hereafter, Employer) hereby enter into the following Memorandum of Agreement:

RECITALS:

A. The parties share a mutual interest in assuring the health and safety of patients, clients, families, staff and the community.B. Nurses and other health care workers are on the front lines in the delivery of essen­tial health services to patients during a State of Emergency. 

C. The decisions of all parties should be informed by the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organi­za­tion, and other public health agencies.

D. The parties wish to work together to take reason­able steps to protect patients, clients, families and staff from unnec­es­sary exposure to commu­ni­cable diseases, including COVID-19.

AGREE­MENT:

I PAID TIME OFF RELATED TO COVID-19

1. A nurse or health care worker who the Employer does not permit to work due to exposure to COVID-19 disease while at work shall be placed in paid leave status during any quaran­tine period required by the Employer. Paid leave status may be a combi­na­tion of L&I Workers Compen­sa­tion and Employer paid admin­is­tra­tive leave, the combi­na­tion of which will ensure the Employee will experi­ence no loss of pay or accrued time off until such time as the Employer permits the employee to return to work. An Employer repre­sen­ta­tive will be avail­able to assist employee with coordi­na­tion of federal, state and employer benefits as may be applicable. 

2. A nurse or health care worker who self-quaran­tines based on concern of social exposure to COVID-19 shall have immediate access (e.g. no waiting period) to extended illness time (EIT) or other time off accruals until the employee is able to return to work (if the Nurse or health care worker has paid time off benefits).

3. During the quaran­tine period described in the two scenarios discussed above, the health care worker is required to partic­i­pate in the Employer’s monitoring process. If criteria is met to return the employee to work, in accor­dance with applic­able WHO and/​or CDC guide­lines, and the employee nonethe­less refuses to return to work, the rights set forth in the preceding two paragraphs will no longer apply as of the date of the employee’s refusal. 

4. A nurse or health care worker who is unable to work due to being part of the CDC’s at-risk group (older than 60 or with an under­lying medical condi­tion) may request an accom­mo­da­tion. If a workplace accom­mo­da­tion cannot be granted, the employee may apply for a leave of absence under the terms and condi­tions of existing leave plans and have access to accrued time off benefits if granted leave. If the employee’s paid time off accruals exhaust during the leave, the Employer will maintain health insur­ance benefits until the employee is deemed eligible to return to work by the Employer. 

5. When possible, telework or alter­na­tive assign­ments may be provided as an accom­mo­da­tion for nurses or health care workers who are in an at-risk group identi­fied by CDC guidelines. 

6. The Employer will provide all nurses or health care workers who have been exposed (such as treating a patient who was not confirmed, but later is identi­fied to have COVID-19) with notice within eight (8) hours of Employer notice of the diagnosis. The written notice will include: the date of exposure, assess­ment of exposure risk and Employer decision on whether to permit the nurse or health care worker to work or placed on paid leave. If given electron­i­cally, the Union will be provided a copy of the written communication. 

7. Nothing in this agree­ment is intended to prevent employees from accessing other state benefits for which they may qualify, including but not limited to unemploy­ment compen­sa­tion insur­ance, paid family and medical leave, or workers compensation. 

8. Upon request from the Union, the Employer will provide the number of its repre­sented nurses or health care workers who are on leave as well as their paid leave accrual balance. It will also provide upon request the number of repre­sented nurses or health care workers who have been exposed, if that infor­ma­tion is available. 

9. Except as other­wise explic­itly provided in this Agree­ment, the terms of applic­able collec­tive bargaining agree­ments will remain in effect.

II. REGIONAL LABOR POOLS (FLOATING)

A. General Provi­sions
1. As detailed above, any nurse or health care worker may request a reason­able accom­mo­da­tion, including an accom­mo­da­tion related to floating, if they are in a high-risk group. 

2. Prior to imple­menting low census, a reduc­tion in hours, or a layoff, the Employer will offer impacted nurses or health care workers the option of floating to another unit, depart­ment, or facility whenever possible. 

3. Training & Experi­ence: The Employer is respon­sible for providing appro­priate orien­ta­tion and training to a nurse or health care worker neces­sary to safely care for the assigned patients. Float regis­tered nurse work assigned will: 1) comply with the Washington state standards of nursing practice and align with the compe­ten­cies of the float regis­tered nurse. Nurses may refuse an assign­ment if they believe their physical or emotional condi­tion would create an undue risk of harming themselves or others, in accor­dance with WAC 246840710.

1. Minimum orientation/​transition for the float regis­tered nurse or health care worker includes: 1) correct use and fitting of personal protec­tive equip­ment; 2) geography of the work area; 3) location/​use of supplies/​equipment; 4) health care team contact infor­ma­tion; 5) shift routines; 6) required documen­ta­tion; 7) safety proce­dures; 8) unit/area-specific proto­cols; 9) and partnering with a more experi­enced nurse as a resource if necessary.

1. The Unions waive appli­ca­tion of Report Pay” articles within their collec­tive bargaining agree­ments with respect to Float assign­ments for the duration of this agree­ment, except that report pay would incur if notifi­ca­tion is given less than one hour prior to the start of shift. The Employer will endeavor to continue to provide contrac­tu­ally required notice of any change of shift. 

6. Any other provi­sions in a Union’s collec­tive bargaining agree­ment applic­able to floating will continue to apply to the extent not incon­sis­tent with this Agreement. 

7. Employees will only be required to float through a Regional Float Pool assign­ment on their regularly sched­uled days except by mutual agree­ment, or if they have accepted an extra shift, or as provided for in the applic­able collec­tive bargaining agree­ment. Nothing in this agree­ment prohibits Employees from volun­teering for Regional Labor Pool assign­ments on a more frequent basis than their regularly sched­uled days. Employee sched­ules may be changed by mutual consent or by the Employer with 72 hours’ notice to Employee. The Employer will make best efforts to schedule Employees on their regularly sched­uled shift time (i.e., shift 1, 2 or 3) except as modified by mutual agree­ment or as neces­sary to address emergent needs. 

8. The provi­sions addressed in this Section to be limited to assign­ments through Regional Float Pool within an Employee’s regular schedule, or within an extra shift picked up by the Employee, i.e. it does not allow the Employer to float an Employee who is not already sched­uled to work, unless neces­sary to address emergent needs.

9. There is no pyramiding of the float premiums in this agree­ment and the other float premiums in any applic­able collec­tive bargaining agreements. 

B. Floating Within Employee’s Home Facility

1. In light of changes in the Employer’s opera­tions in response to COVID-19, the parties recog­nize that nurses and health care workers may need to float from their home depart­ment or unit.

1. The parties recog­nize that it is prefer­able for floating to occur on a volun­tary basis. Accord­ingly, before resorting to assigning nurses or health care workers through the Regional Float Pool to float to another unit or depart­ment, the Employer will seek volun­teers by sending a text or email to employees’ personal cell phone or email addresses, if on file with the employer. The Employer will allow a 15-minute window for volun­teers on a first come, first served basis, before resorting to mandating floating. Assign­ments will be awarded only to volun­teers who are not in an overtime or double time condi­tion and/​or will not be in an overtime or double time condi­tion as a result of working that shift, and where the volun­teer has the requi­site skills and experi­ence to float. 

1. Where it is neces­sary to assign nurses or health care workers to float, manda­tory floating will occur in the following order (limited to employees who the employer deems to possess the requi­site skills and experience): 

a. Non-home Employer health care workers (students, lapsed license, retirees, out-of-state tempo­rary workers)

b. Agency/​Traveler nurses or health care workers (to the extent that they can be required to float under the terms and condi­tion of their contract)

c. Per-diem nurses or health care workers

d. Full- and part-time nurses or health care workers based on seniority. 

4. Unit Float premium: Employees who are required to float (not as an accom­mo­da­tion provided to them) outside of their home unit or depart­ment (or outside of their float unit, if one is provided for in the applic­able CBA, defined not by unit geography but the type and level of care being provided in the unit) to another unit or depart­ment in the facility will receive the following premiums: 

  1. RN — $5.00 per hour
  2. CT Tech — $ 4.00 per hour
  3. Respi­ra­tory Tech — $ 4.00 per hour
  4. Telemetry Tech — $ 2.50 per hour
  5. CNA — $2.50 per hour

C. Floating Outside Employee’s Home Facility

1. In light of changes in the Employer’s opera­tions in response to COVID-19, it may be neces­sary for staff to float from their regular facility (“Home Facility”) to another facility (“Secondary Facility”). 

2. The parties recog­nize that it is prefer­able for floating to occur on a volun­tary basis. Accord­ingly, before resorting to assigning nurses or health care workers to float to another facility, the Employer will seek volun­teers by sending a text or email to employees’ personal cell phone or email addresses, if on file with the employer. The Employer will allow a 15-minute window for volun­teers on a first come, first served basis, before resorting to mandating floating. Assign­ments will be awarded only to volun­teers who are not in an overtime or double time condi­tion and/​or will not be in an overtime or double time condi­tion as a result of working that shift, and where the volun­teer has the requi­site skills and experi­ence to float. 

3. Where it is neces­sary to assign nurses or health care workers to float, manda­tory floating to another facility will occur in the following order: 

a. Non-home Employer health care workers (students, lapsed license, retirees, out-of-state tempo­rary workers)

b. Agency/​Traveler nurses or health care workers (to the extent that they can be required to float under the terms and condi­tion of their contract)

c. Per-diem nurses or health care workers

d. Full- and part-time nurses or health care workers based on seniority. 

4. The nurse or health­care worker shall experi­ence no change in status, base pay, service credit, or other related terms of employ­ment. Employees who volun­teer for floating to another facility will receive their regular rate of pay plus floating premium pay for all hours worked at the Secondary Facility. All policies and CBA require­ments relating to pay, premiums, and benefits covering the employee at the Home Facility remain in effect for the employee during their tempo­rary assign­ment at the Secondary Facility.

5. Employer will give Employee as much notice as possible before requiring floating to another facility.

6. Facility Float premium: Nurses or health care workers who float outside their facility will receive the following premiums:

7. Travel costs:

  1. The Employer will reimburse nurses or health care workers for their personal vehicle parking costs, if applic­able, as well as mileage at the IRS rate if greater than normal commute.
  2. If the nurse or health care worker’s new site is more than 50 miles from their regular facility, the Employer will reimburse up to $150/​night for lodging. The nurse or health care worker must have written permis­sion from their manager or from the Regional Labor Pool to secure lodging prior to doing so in order to be eligible for reimbursement. 
  3. Employees will be paid for travel time that exceeds the employee’s regular commute to his/​her Home Facility.
  4. Employees shall submit for reimburse­ment following MultiCare’s Travel and Employee Business and Expense Reimburse­ment Policy.

III. DURATION.

This agree­ment will extend until the Multi­Care Disaster Response is deactivated. 

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive Travis Elmore at
telmore@​wsna.​org
.