Update for ED nurses

Your WSNA leadership team met with Island management and HR last week to discuss the proposed changes to the nurse’s schedules in the emergency department. We appreciate all your input and took your feedback to management. We reviewed the contract that you as members voted on and had some lively discussion about the situation. Our goal in all of this is to support each and all of you!

Management has heard clearly your concerns. Their desire is to work with you and provide you all with the best working schedule and conditions while preserving the function of the ED and being fiscally responsible to the shareholders of the hospital and the community you serve.

It should be noted that contractually, each nurse has ownership of his/her FTE but does NOT own their schedule. However, there is language that states in article 7.11 that a posted schedule may only be changed by mutual agreement and that the employer “shall make reasonable efforts to maintain a nurse’s regularly scheduled day off”. That still gives them the ability to make changes that benefit the smooth operation of the department while at the same time provide impetus to honoring that nurses (as all employees) need some degree of predictability in their lives.

Article 8.4 discusses charge nurses. The employer needs to have qualified and trained nurses in this role of responsibility who embrace both the responsibility and tasks that come with this assignment. The goal is to be fair to all. Please note that 8.4 clearly states that the charge nurse role is an assignment and is not a unique and specific position that a nurse is hired into. That means there needs to be a balance and rotation of those who are assigned so it is equitable to all.

We as your local executive leadership team are very happy to say that management values and respects each one of you and recognizes you all for the role you play in the smooth daily operations of the emergency department. They also recognize and respect those nurses with longevity and value the level of expertise they bring to the department. At this time, your manager will be drawing up a proposed schedule that is in alignment with the current schedule pattern and assigning the charge position in an equitable and fair rotation manner among those with the ability to function in this role and doing the absolute best to maintain schedule patterns as they are currently. Your manager feels she can accomplish this with the least amount of disruption to the patterns that have been in effect.

It should be noted with regards to contractual language and as a reminder to all, that you do own your FTE, but you don’t own your schedule. You are strongly encouraged to review schedule patterns when determining to make changes to your FTE PRIOR TO accepting a new FTE position.

Please feel free to contact any member of your local executive team for any questions or concerns or contact Sue Dunlap, your WSNA nurse representative.

Thank you for all you do every day for the patients you serve!