Nego update session #3

Your WSNA team met with management yesterday for our third session of negotiations. We are very frustrated that management has not come forward with any economic proposals for the nurses. We have asserted multiple times this is a key issue for all the nurses and they need to provide us with this proposal.

Even though management has not discussed anything to do with pay or benefits, your team was able to obtain some agreements that are beneficial to all the nurses at Island. We reached a “T.A.” (Tentative Agreement) on some key issues such as:

  • Public Information Requests – protecting privacy by requiring notification if someone requests employee records.
  • Employer Neutrality – Island management will not engage in actions to promote nor discourage union membership.
  • Per Diem scheduled review of hours worked – permitted request for an equivalent FTE posted position if per diems are utilized to staff regularly. (If per diem is working that much, we probably need a position.)
  • Meal and Rest break language – to provide easier recording of missed breaks and prevent pushback from management when they are missed.

We have clearly heard and understand what is critically important to all the nurses at Island. We resolutely spoke and asked them to bring economics to the table at our next session. We stressed it is critically important to all nurses to discuss:

  • Improved wages
  • Better benefits including employer supplemented dependent coverage
  • Stronger staffing language

While we are fighting for the above priorities, we are also having to fight off managements’ proposals. Instead of engaging in discussions about the priority items like pay, management is pushing to:

  • Increase the Low Census Cap.
  • Open up “closed” units to allow floating hospital wide.
  • INCREASING per diem nurses work requirements every month.
  • Have nurses agree to be at home by the phone and delay their start time but management does NOT want to pay for standby pay and does NOT want to pay call-back pay for working after being “on call.”

Your team is absolutely determined to get the best deals for Island nurses and truly bring Island back up and competitive with other hospitals with respect to nurses’ wages, benefits and working conditions. We will not give in nor will we give up!

Stay tuned for updates including information for a planned local unit meeting after New Year’s. We will discuss what has occurred at the negotiations table and what our next steps are.

Additionally, management is being paid to attend these negotiations, but Island Hospital does not commit to paying the nurses full salary for missed days of work while negotiating the contract. Your officers would be extremely grateful for any PTO hours you can contribute towards paying these nurses who are fighting for you! Please email your HR contact to request a PTO Donation Form for the negotiating team.

We are not done yet! We will be back at the table next on January 19. Watch your email inbox and your IH Nurses Facebook page for updates. As always, you are welcome to reach out to your team members via email. Your team thanks you all for your support and encouragement as they fight the hard fight!

Kimberly A. McClure, RN–Chair
Adrian Fewing, BSN, RN–Vice Chair
Jeanne Chudy, RN–Secretary
Stefanie Meyer, BSN, RN–Treasurer
Kate Scherer, BSN, RN, CEN– Grievance Officer

Questions? Email your nurse representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org or call 206-575-7979 ext. 3005.