Island Hospital

Newsletter Summer 2019

Conference Committee update/
letter from chair

So what is Conference Committee? This is a committee that is attended by department managers and your local unit team members to discuss issues, problems and solutions throughout the hospital. This is a great place to talk about the issues that affect you every day. For example, there was an issue of inequitable low census in a couple of departments that your team brought up with management and it was discovered that contrary to contract language, there was no low census log being kept tracking low census hours. A log is the responsibility of management so that low census is distributed equitably among all nurses. After this discussion, the hospital indicated they would be implementing the log in accordance with the contract so that they would be complying.

Conference committee is the venue to discuss all manner of things which affect your working conditions. We will tackle issues such as protocols, processes, policies and equipment issues. We will hold the staffing committee accountable for reaching solutions to staffing issues. This committee is bound by the contract and reflects an agreement between management and you – the nurse at the bedside – to ensure that you have everything you need to take great care of the community you serve.

If you have ideas or concerns, please make sure you contact one of your local unit team officers to bring this to our attention. This way we can act quickly to address items and bring you an answer. Please take a moment and let HR and your CNO know that you would like to have the conference committee meeting minutes posted on the intranet for all to review as needed. It is in the best interest of all and in the spirit of transparency to have these available to all nurses.

Safe Staffing Committee Update

ADOs were reviewed. These are now being filed online with WSNA and forwarded to the committee chair and co-chair allowing for quicker response times. Other items discussed include: general staffing concerns, term lengths for committee members, and looking into the committee’s charter to ensure that Island Hospital is following state regulations. Because of the continued low census, the question of minimal staffing requirements in Acute Care was addressed pertaining to ensuring a complete code team is staffed per current hospital policy. This issue is being researched further and will be discussed again at the next meeting. The committee is attempting to meet the new state requirements and will be meeting every other month. Members can attend these meetings in person or via conference call.

Calling all Unit Reps!

What is a Unit Representative?

A unit rep is the contact person between your local elected union team and the co-workers on your unit. The unit rep ideally is the first person to meet and greet new hire nurses and extend a welcome on behalf of the nurses at your facility. The unit rep is in contact with the union team leaders and will be the communication liaison between the team and your co-workers. At times, the unit rep may be asked to share communications with co-workers, circulate flyers and/or petitions, report on the working conditions and relay important information between the team and your co-workers. The role involves little to no time away from work except to watch for emails but is a critical role in making sure the issues of YOUR unit are heard by all. We are powerful and strong together and together we can make a difference.

We are also looking for any interested person(s) to become membership officers. This would entail participating in new employee orientation (NEO) to meet with new hires about WSNA to help keep up active membership.

Grievance update

Holiday Agreement: Article 9, Section 7

A registered nurse designated to work on the observed holidays as stated in Article 9.7 shall receive one and one-half times the regular pay rate for all hours worked. On Christmas Day, the recognized hours are from December 24th / 3pm to December 25th / 11 pm. Recently, a grievance was filed because it was noted that, during the previous holiday season, Christmas holiday pay was limited to 3pm on the 25th instead of 11pm. WSNA will not accept nurses being denied their entitled paid hours. If you feel there is any discrepancy, not only on holidays, but during or related to any hours worked, we encourage you to contact your unit manager to evaluate and clarify the discrepancy. If no clear resolution is available or obtained, please notify your local WSNA officer. We want to ensure every nurse is compensated appropriately.

Save the date!

October 24, 2019 there will be a FREE conference to all nurses regarding Workplace Violence and Nurse Safety as well as information on the new Rest breaks Law that goes into effect January 1, 2020. There will also be an additional education offering on Safe Staffing including the role of the staffing committee and how to advocate for each other! Details are still being ironed out but associated CEU is planned at this time.

Save the date!

Your local team is strongly advocating for you to attend this. It will take place in Bellingham – we specifically requested a close location for all of us caring for the NW Washington community and will be pertinent to our hospital. Please plan on attending this event! Contact any member of your local team for details or email your WSNA nurse representative Sue Dunlap at

Survey preparation for contract negotiations

It's almost that time! 2019 is already half over and with 2020 around the corner you know what that means? Contract negotiations! Coming soon, a survey will be put out that we hope all nurses take the time to think about and participate in. It's so important because this survey will help guide your executive team during negotiations. Let us know what issues are most important to you and your coworkers.

Are we able to get in touch with you?

Do we have your current contact information? Please make sure your cell phone number and personal email is current with WSNA, as the communication via these avenues will be used more frequently in the near future. You don't want to miss out on important updates regarding our union.


Another way to stay connected is to join our private Facebook group “IH NURSES”. Though not our official communication tool it is a way for Island RNs to discuss WSNA matters. The group was formed during our last negotiation sessions and served as a wonderful way for the RNs to discuss the current issues affecting Island Nurses. Make sure to not only join the page but to request to be added to the “group” tab.

Online ADO

Not getting all of your breaks? Working short staffed or staying late? Feel like you are taking an unsafe patient assignment? Denied earned PTO?

Yes, there is something you can do about this. Fill out a Staffing Complaint / Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) form today. Did you know this can be done online and even from your phone? It's quick & simple.

Copies of the submitted online form will automatically be sent to you, your local unit chair, co/vice chair, staffing committee co-chairs, WSNA nurse rep and manager (if you designate).

You can find the online form here at

Notes from Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap

Just a quick note to introduce myself to all of you. I am so excited to be working with all of you and so thrilled to be with a unit that is so organized and cohesive. This is a testament to each one of you as members as well as the guidance and leadership of your local unit officers.

I have been a nurse for 35 years and have had the most incredible career spanning almost every area of specialty across Canada and the United States. I recently completed my master’s in nursing education but my passion at this juncture in my life is to pave the way and make things better for the nurses coming behind me. I have worked in leadership roles in the past including management and am a previous director. In my previous employment, I served as local unit chair, grievance officer, local unit rep, conference committee chair and co-chair of the staffing committee. While I may be new to Island Hospital as the nurse representative, I am not new to the northwest and my previous employment included working at Life flight out of Bellingham, the Navy Hospital in Oak Harbor, Mt Vernon and Sedro Woolley hospitals and also within the homecare community for Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties.

We face some difficult times in the world of healthcare but united we are strong. I am excited to advocate for all the nurses at Island and help make Island the best place to work and the best place to receive care. Please feel free to contact me directly at any time for any reason – I am here for each of YOU!

Sue Dunlap MSN, RN, COS-C
WSNA Nurse Representative

New online Staffing Complaint / Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) forms are here

Not getting all of your breaks? Working short staffed or staying late? Feel like you are taking an unsafe patient assignment? Denied earned PTO?

Yes, there is something you can do about this. Fill out a Staffing Complaint / Assignment Despite Objection form today.

  • Nurses are standing together for safe staffing and completing a Staffing Complaint/ADO form is the first step.
  • These forms can help make things better NOW and can help gather needed data as we prepare for contract negotiations.
  • This new online form can be accessed through your phone making it simple and quick.
  • Copies of the submitted online form will automatically be sent to you, your local unit chair, co/vice chair, staffing committee co-chairs, WSNA nurse rep and manager (if you designate).

You can find the online form at For any questions, your nurse representative is here to help. Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Sue Dunlap, RN at or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3005.

ADO flyer sue d

OR/PACU nurses

Thursday, March 28, you will be invited to a meeting with your manager and a human resources rep.

This meeting is regarding a change in hours for the day shift staff in your department. Your local unit executive team had an opportunity to meet with management to discuss this proposal. The discussion centered around staggering the shift start times to better accommodate patient care and to address inequity in low census. We told management that the nurses need to be involved in solutions to scheduling problems.

We hope that you will take this opportunity to give your feedback. We strongly encourage you to review your contract, section 7.1, Work Week and Work Day. Management does have the right to modify work schedules with adequate notice. Because we want to address any concerns that may arise, Local Unit Chair Kim McClure and WSNA Nurse Rep Sue Dunlap will be attending this meeting with you.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Sue Dunlap at if you have any questions.

WSNA nurse representative change

Please welcome WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap, MSN, RN, COS-C. Beginning Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, Sue D. will be taking over all new issues as they arise at Island Hospital. I will finish up most outstanding matters to their conclusion and assist Sue in the coming months as needed.

Sue D. can be reached at or 206-575-7979, ext. 3005.

It has been a pleasure working with all of the Island RNs for the past three and a half years. I am continuing my work here at WSNA as a nurse representative with a few new assignments. I will miss Island RNs but know you will be in good hands with Sue D.

All my best to you,

Sue O’Donnell, MSN, RN
WSNA Nurse Representative
206-575-7979, ext. 3045

Announcing new local unit officers!

Thanks to everyone that voted in the recent Local Unit Officer election. We had a record number of ballots returned!

Please welcome your new officers:

Chair: Kimberly McClure
Vice-Chair: Heather Bush
Secretary: Amber Jones-Radcliffe
Treasurer: Stefanie Meyer
Grievance Officer: Jennifer Olmsted and Erika Mer

Please take a moment to congratulate the new officers and thank the outgoing officers who have represented you for the last three years:

    Rozetta Ludwigsen, former Chair
    Jeanne Chudy, current Chair
    Kimberly McClure, Secretary/Treasurer
    Sara Beadles, Grievance Officer
    Chris Storm, Grievance Officer

    Local Unit Update

    First – thanks to the Island nurses who were able to turn out for one of the local unit meetings we held on July 12. We are hearing that Island nurses want information, updates and opportunities for involvement as we work together to build a stronger bargaining unit!

    Here is a summary of some of our current issues:

    Low Census rotation in the Emergency Department -

    Nurses have questions/concerns regarding low census rotation in relation to their staggered work start and stop times. We will be meeting with ER nurses to hear more about what is happening and decide how to address those concerns. Of note - In July, WSNA agreed to a 3 month trail of staggered start and stop times in surgical services. One of the issues we will be assessing during this trial is how Low Census rotation "works" r/t staggered start and stop times. We will be looking at both ER and surgical services department and bring nurses’ concerns to our labor management meetings (Conference Committee).

    Overtime -

    The hospital must pay you for all time you work. There should be no retaliation from management for reporting overtime. If you are getting push back from your management, let one of your officers or Nurse Representative know.

    ADOs -

    There should be no retaliation from management for reporting overtime, or for turning in ADOs. These forms are our contractually agreed upon method to communicate our concerns to management about our working conditions. Fill out the forms - they help document working conditions and patient/nurse safety. Your manger should reply to your concerns - and we address each ADO in labor management meetings (Conference Committee). Here is some of the language from the contract:

    19.1.3 Nurse Staffing Questions. A nurse questioning the level of staffing on her/his unit shall communicate this concern to her/his immediate supervisor who will utilize available management resources to attempt to resolve the situation. When appropriate, the nurse should initiate an Assignment Despite Objection form to document the situation, a copy to be given to the supervisor, and the nurse to receive a written response. Nurses who raise staffing issues shall be free from restraint, interference, discrimination or reprisal.

    Local Unit Officer Elections -

    Watch for a corrected ballot coming your way. Corrected ballots were mailed on August 2nd. Please let us know if you have questions.

    Conference Committee -

    We will be resuming Conference Committee meetings with management Aug. 8. We have not met since prior to the start of contract negotiations. Conference Committee provides us an avenue to address nurses' issues/concerns. It is a committee that is contractually agreed upon. Here is some of the language from the contract:

    16.1 Conference Committee. The Employer, jointly with the elected representatives of the nurses covered by this Agreement, shall establish a Conference Committee to assist with personnel and other mutual problems. The purpose of the Conference Committee is to foster improved communications between the Employer and the nursing staff and the function of the Committee shall be limited to an advisory rather than a decision-making capacity. Such a Committee shall exist on a permanent basis and meet at least quarterly and shall consist of representatives of management and up to five (5) representatives of the nurses covered by this Agreement. All members of the Committee shall be employees of the Employer. A nurse member shall be compensated for time in attendance, and shall coordinate release time requests with the nurse’s Department Manager.

    Ways to get involved -

    Interested in being a unit representative? Unit Reps act as a resource for nurses they work with regarding work/contract issues and help with communication between nurses, the local unit officers, and the WSNA Nurse Representative. Let us know if you are interested in this role – and /or if you have any questions. We are also thinking about ways we can give back to our community. Some of our ideas so far include providing school supplies, maybe coat/jacket drives – basically ways for us to be present and show our support for our community. Got a good idea? Please share it!

    Questions? Concerns? Please contact Sue O’Donnell, MSN, RN, WSNA Nurse Representative at 206-575-7979, ext.3045 or

    Island RNs breakfast/dinner event

    Island nurses have questions about the recently negotiated contract, questions about how nurses can participate in WSNA, and ideas about working together to build a stronger bargaining unit.

    Join us for breakfast or dinner on July 12!

    This is a chance for you to speak up, voice concerns and bring your ideas about building RN presence in your hospital and community. We want to hear your questions, get your input and build a plan for moving forward together.

    These events are free for Island nurses represented by WSNA. If you want to purchase your own drink, a bar will be available during the dinner meeting.

    Breakfast: 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. at Calico Cupboard
    701 Commercial Ave, Anacortes
    Dinner: 6 – 8:30 p.m. at Frida's
    416 1/2 Commercial Ave, Anacortes

    RSVP required:
    (206) 575-7979, ext. 3004
    (indicate breakfast or dinner)

    Summary of the 2018 Tentative Agreement

    Your bargaining team recommends a yes vote on this contract.

    The new contract will not include incentive pay in any form! WSNA nurses at Island Hospital have clearly stated that we will not sacrifice our ethical standards or professional integrity by tying our wages to Press-Ganey or HCAP scores.

    This round of negotiations was marked by the hospital’s poor financial condition and the employer’s aggressive attempts to undermine existing contract language. Your bargaining team spent many dozens of hours, including 12 bargaining sessions (4 with a state mediator), pushing back on the hospital’s attempts to lower the working standards for nurses. The team is confident that the tentative agreement represents the best deal available to WSNA nurses at Island.


    • Ratification bonuses – Upon ratification of the agreement, nurses will receive a bonus of $500 pro-rated by FTE (per diem nurses will be treated as a 0.2 FTE). Effective the first payroll following 11/1/18, nurses will receive an additional bonus of $500 pro-rated by FTE. You must be employed at Island at the time of the bonus payout to receive the bonus.
    • Effective on the first payroll following ratification, the hospital will transition to a new step system with more uniformed movement between the steps. The transition to the new step system is an average increase in compensation of 1.8%.
    • 11/1/18 – increase the wage scale by 0.5%.
    • 11/1/19 – increase the wage scale by 0.5%.
    • No Incentive Pay!


    • The bargaining team preserved nurses’ ability to plan vacations by preserving current contract language allowing a nurse to schedule a vacation as far in advance as possible.
    • The PTO accrual cap will be reduced from 2 year’s accrual to 1 year’s accrual. The hospital will notify nurses affected by this change. Affected nurses will have 12 months to either use accrued PTO above the 1 year cap or cash it out. The hospital has committed to working with affected nurses to ensure you will be able to schedule PTO time during the 12 month period.
    • The EIB accrual cap will be reduced from 720 hours to 520 hours. Nurses who have more than 520 hours will not lose any time. However, you will not earn any new time until accruals fall below 520 hours.
    • The bargaining team preserved the current language allowing nurses to opt out of using PTO time when your department closes on a day you were scheduled to work in observance of a holiday.

    Shift Differential

    Effective 1/1/19, nurses in departments operating Monday – Friday will no longer be eligible for the shift differential. WSNA will withdraw its pending grievance. In consideration, nurses who work in Oncology will receive a bonus of $750 pro-rated by FTE on the first pay period following 1/1/19.

    Callback hours Callback hours will not be considered part of a continuation of the normal work day shift and WSNA will withdraw its pending grievance. The bargaining team fought this move to the very end and agreed to this compromise only when advised by both the attorney and the mediator that the Association’s chances of winning the grievance were poor. The bargaining team was able to win a larger ratification bonus for all Island nurses in consideration for this move.

    Additional contract changes

    • Per diem nurses will advance to the next step of the wage scale after 24 months – regardless of the number of hours worked.
    • The hospital will publish a draft schedule by the 5th day of the month immediately preceding the month in which the schedule becomes effective. Nurses must make requests for days off or extra shifts by the 1st day of the preceding month. Per diem nurses must submit their availability by the 10th day of the preceding month.
    • The hospital must notify WSNA of all disciplines imposed.
    • Nurses will have the right to request removal of any discipline in your personnel file if there has been no reoccurrence of the problem for 3 years. The new contract strengthens the voice of nurses at Island by enabling all 5 of your local unit officers to participate in the Conference Committee.

    Your bargaining team recommends a yes vote on this contract.

    Please plan to cast your ballot on May 9, 2018

    Where: Cypress Room

    When: 7-9 a.m. and 2:30-7 p.m.

    For questions, please contact Sue O’Donnell, WSNA Nurse Representative, at 206-575-7979, ext. 3045 or

    Negotiation update #11 and Call to Action

    Our eleventh contract negotiation session took place yesterday April 9, 2018. This was our 3rd session with the PERC mediator. Your bargaining team has fought, and will continue to fight, for a contract that respects the contributions that nurses make to Island Hospital.

    The hospital has maintained its unacceptable demand to for incentive pay tied to Press-Ganey scores. In addition, they have continued to push an agenda of takeaways from our contract language while rejecting the safe staffing committee language that we want to keep our patients safe.

    We are scheduled to meet for another session on April 23, 2018.

    It is time for all of us to step up and show management that we deserve a fair contract and we want it now.

    Your negotiating team members are distributing window signs to place in cars, home windows and business windows. We are also distributing YARD signs and postcards, and we are asking for your help!

    Tomorrow, Wednesday 4/11 we will be parked on 25th and Commercial from 2:30 – 4:30 pm distributing signs and postcards. Come pick them up! If you aren’t able to come by tomorrow just let one of us know and we will get them to you.

    NOW is the time to take ACTION!

    In Solidarity,

    Your WSNA/Island Hospital Negotiating Team: Rozetta Ludwigsen, Chair - Oncology; Jeanne Chudy, Co-Chair - Acute Care; Kimberly McClure, Secretary/Treasurer – Family Birth Center; Sara Beadles, Grievance Officer – OR; Chris Storm, Grievance Officer – PACU

    Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O’Donnell at (206) 575-7979, ext. 3045 or at

    Negotiation update #10

    On Thursday, Feb. 15, Island nurses stood strong together in support of their negotiating teams’ continuing fight for a fair contract!

    Island RNs assembled at the Board meeting holding signs with messages to the Board members. Rozetta Ludwigsen, WSNA/Island Chair, was invited to speak to the Board. Rozetta delivered a clear message to Board members.

    • Negotiations are moving far too slowly.
    • Nurses will not accept incentive pay and other unfair takeaways.
    • Members of the Board need to show their support for Island patients by supporting Island RNs.

    Your negotiating team met with the PERC mediator before the board meeting and throughout the rest of the day. By the end of the day, we did not have a contract.

    We are planning to meet with management and the mediator again. Our action at the Board meeting showed that we are standing strong together. We will be sending management additional messages that we stand united.We will be counting on your continued support! Contact one of us to find out about how you can be involved.

    In Solidarity,

    Your WSNA/Island Hospital Negotiating Team: Rozetta Ludwigsen, Chair - Oncology; Jeanne Chudy, Co-Chair - Acute Care; Kimberly McClure, Secretary/Treasurer – Family Birth Center; Sara Beadles, Grievance Officer – OR; Chris Storm, Grievance Officer – PACU

    Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O’Donnell at (206) 575-7979, ext. 3045 or at