What happened to dependent care benefits?

WSNA and your elected Island officers are aware that open enrollment has already started, and that Island hospital is continuing to offer benefit options through PEBB. As you may recall, we had been quite vociferous with leadership during negotiations about the impact of no dependent care options available to employees and how this is impacting ability to recruit and retain quality nurses.

We have asked upper leadership about this as we had anticipated entering into negotiations with management this fall prior to open enrollment. We have been assured that management has had and will continue to have ongoing discussions about how to incorporate this benefit into their overall package offerings to employees. At this time, management has stated they are not able to move forward with a change due to projected increasing cost of premiums and other logistical barriers.

However, we have received a firm commitment from leadership that they will continue to pursue options and will begin preparing for potential change next enrollment period.

Your officers meet with leadership regularly in our Nurse Conference Committee and we will place this as a standing agenda item. In this way we can assist in keeping them on task for completing their research to find the best plan and also will update you the members following our NCC meetings to keep all of you informed as well. We have worked hard to make this happen for all the employees to have a dependent care option available and will continue to push on this important issue.

In solidarity,
Adrian Fewing, BSN, RN - Chair
Stefanie Meyer, RN - Co-Chair
Natalie Canniff, BSN, RN - Secretary
Merilee Bennett, RN - Treasurer
Kate Scherer, BSN, RN, CEN - Grievance Officer
Mary Wexman, RN - Grievance Officer

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org.