January 2024 Newsletter

Kadlec Unit Meeting

All virtual February 8 and 9
Agenda items: Staffing, Virtual Nurses/Co-Caring Model, Buddy Breaks, Rest/Meal Breaks, Accrual, and more.

Come bring your questions, concerns and solutions.

We will use the same login for all sessions.
February 8 1730-1830 and 2000-2100 
February 9 1000-1100

Microsoft Teams meeting
Join on your computer, mobile app or room device. 
Click here to join the meeting
Meeting ID: 218 160 333 408
Passcode: bxcRnK
Download Teams | Join on the web
Or call in (audio only)
+1 206-485-2614,,929138838#   United States, Seattle
(888) 313-0615,,929138838#   United States (Toll-free)
Phone Conference ID: 929 138 838#

Retention Bonus

The first full pay period of 2024 is 1/14/2024-1/27/2024 - this has a pay date of 2/2/2024.

If you have changed your FTE during the relevant times period, the employer will average the FTE (Which will be calculated based on any FTE changes made before December 31, 2023, for purposes of calculating the bonus.

Ratification and Retention Bonus: Nurses employed as of April 1, 2020, who are continuously employed through December 31, 2023 will, effective the first full payroll period in January 2024, receive a retention bonus of $5,000 (pro-rated by FTE, except that .9 will be treated as 100% and per diems being treated as a .2 FTE), provided that the nurse is still employed on the date of payment. Nurses employed as of April 1, 2021, who are continuously employed through December 31, 2023, will, effective the first full payroll period in January 2024, receive a retention bonus of $2,000 (pro-rated by FTE, except that .9 will be treated as 100% and per diems being treated as a .2 FTE), provided that the nurse is still employed on the date of payment.  Nurses will be eligible for only one of the aforementioned bonuses, depending on their date of hire.

To operationalize this action, we will be paying out the bonus to caregivers based on their current FTE. If a caregiver feels that their FTE does not accurately reflect their average FTE since 4/1/2020 or 4/1/2021 they will be allowed to complete a request form to initiate a formal review of their previous FTE.

This form will be housed on the HR Portal and available for WSNA caregivers to access no later than 2/2/2024. Once its final destination and name are finalized, we will reach back out to you so that you can provide this to your members.

Meal Break Waiver update

What Nurses Need to Know

When it comes to filing out the form, nurses are wondering, “What do I do?”

Many of you have reached out to us with questions about the communication you have received from Providence about waiving the second meal period for nurses working 12-hour shifts. State law allows nurses working 12-hour shifts to take two, unpaid 30-minute meal periods per shift. Additionally, state law allows nurses working 12-hour shifts to waive the second meal period if they so choose.  The vast majority of 12-hour nurses choose to waive their second meal period so that they do not have to extend their shift by an additional 30 minutes to accommodate for the second meal period.

A nurse who currently chooses to waive their second meal period may elect to change their mind and take a second meal period and extend their shift length by 30 minutes to accommodate for the second meal period. The reason for this is so you maintain your FTE into which you were hired.   The 30-minute shift extension does not result in an additional 30-minute of “work” time, but accounts for the 30-minutes of unpaid, nonwork time that the second meal period entails.

Likewise, a nurse who currently takes a second meal period may elect to waive their second meal.  Please note that 12-hour nurses may change their decision to waive or not to waive the second meal at any time.  You are not bound to keep waiving or not waiving your second meal period permanently. We recommend all nurses find the correct process in making any desired changes to the form from their Nurse Managers, so you are ready to make adjustments to waive or not to waive should you need to.

Why did we receive the communication from Providence?
Please note that the law has not changed. Providence has indicated to us that it wants a uniform, electronic system so that it can track accurately those nurses who have waived their second meal period and those who have not.  Please fill out the form to capture what you wish to do.  We have been told by Providence that the electronic system will allow nurses to change their waiver choices as they may so choose. We are currently engaging in conversations with Providence to make sure the system allows this.

Champions of Change – 2024 Union Leadership Conference

Don’t miss WSNA’s labor training event at Campbell’s Resort in Chelan April 28-30

Join nurses from around the state as we convene to build stronger local units, become more effective leaders, learn more about the national and state labor scenes, celebrate our successes, and strategize for what’s coming next.

Nominate a champion of change by Feb. 16 – both individuals and teams – who stepped up as a union member. Awardees announced at the WSNA Union Leadership Conference in Chelan April 28-30.  

If you are interested in attending, there are scholarships available. Please notified Meri Bukovinsky or Laurie Robinson.

Safe Staffing and the new Staffing Law

Check out important information about Safe Staffing and the new staffing law at https://www.wsna.org/nursing-practice/safe-nurse-staffing.

Staffing Committee: This meeting meets monthly and is co-chaired by Meri Bukovinsky and Kirk Harper. It is mandated by law and described within the collective bargaining agreement. (See 15.3-15.3 in the Collective Bargaining Agreement)

The Staff nurse committee members:
Meri Bukovinsky-CDU, Jamie Woodall-FSED, Anita Dennis-PAU, Melissa Morris- KCHO, Brent Knutzen-CCU, Nikki May-CCU and Tim Davis-PAU

This committee reviews Assignment Despite Objection (ADOs) submissions. Every time a nurse submits, it is sent to WSNA and Nurse Rep. It then is emailed to Kirk Harper, Meri Bukovinsky, and the Unit Manager. It is the responsibility of the manager to have a verbal conversation about the ADO as well as submit a written response to the nurse and the committee. If this is not happening to you, we want to know.

If there is any patient harm or safety concern, this includes staff safety, please file a QRR in addition to an ADO.

The committee to review or in the process of reviewing:
November: 17 ADO
December: 15 ADO
January: 5 ADO

Open positions:
November: 102
December: 111
January: 89

A big concern the Surgical matrix shared using he Co-Caring Model.

The Acute Care/Surgical Care Staffing plan was discussed in April/May 2023. At that time, we registered a concern that it was 1:5 and could flex up. At that time, they said it would rarely go to 1:6.

 Your Chair, Meri Bukovinsky, adamantly opposed this, knowing full well they would push the mark.

January 22, 2024, Staffing Committee they provided a screen share of the new matrix for the surgical unit using the co-care model (1 RN paired with a CNA and a virtual nurse) this has increased up to 1:7 when the census is 35-37 patients.

Further the employer stated that this is a 90-day trial beginning 2/6 unless there is a safety issue. They stated that they can do this because the new staffing law allows for innovative staffing. However, this is not factual. The Staffing Advisory Committee’s obligation is to consider innovative staffing and care delivery models.

We will be watching the surgical unit very closely. It is imperative that ADOs are filed for unsafe staffing. Additionally, we will send a survey to the RNs who are working on this model for feedback.

Hospital Staffing Advisory Committee meeting February 7, 2024, 12:00

As a reminder, this is the advisory committee formed under the passing of E2SSB 5236 earlier this year.

This month the Hospital Staffing Advisory Committee began discussions around the timeline of the bill requirements, including the uniform staffing plan form to be created as a result of this new law, among other things. Approved meeting minutes will be published at the Hospital Staffing Advisory Committee web page.

January 16 meeting agenda: authority to investigate complaints about staffing assignments and staffing plans, L&I Meal and Rest Break Policy Update, draft basic form- hospital staffing matrix and categories, DOH draft basic form- hospital staffing matrix and categories.

See below for link to attend meetings.
Hospital Staffing Advisory Committee | Washington State Department of Health

Conference Committee

This committee meets monthly with the Officers, Kirk Harper, and HR. The many topics that we have been discussing:

November, December, January:

On call for Cath Lab Pre/Post: the manager in this unit is not providing call back pay.

Precepting Students- Continue to seek staff to participate.

SANE: Continue to work through the details of having a non-ED RN complete the exam.

NICU High Accuity Training: No RN should be on LC if there is an opportunity for an RN to receive the training.

Retinal Scans: Any PACU RN who performs a retinal scan on a NICU patient will do so only when the NICU RN is attending the infant.

Virtual Nurses and Surgical matrix: There were over one hundred candidates. 11 total. 2 from WA state, 1 Oregon, 1 Montana and 7 Texas. Only 1 RN has experience as a virtual nurse. Cameras are turned off until the patient gives consent. The virtual RN will do admits, discharge and patient education among other duties.

Privacy Concerns: There have been multiple investigatory meetings regarding alleged privacy violations. We ask that leadership provide guidance to staff on viewing unit boards.

Breaking each other for lunches and breaks 
Zach is speaking from the ICU perspective. Caring for two critically ill patients is a lot and then having to break someone adds to that. Also, not having a break nurse makes it difficult. Vanessa brought up different facilities having break nurses. Jamie said what if you had a float nurse come in. Discussion ensued on breaks and lunches. Kirk said all leaders could step in and help when needed. All of them step in if a situation arises.

Investigatory Meetings

If you are notified by you manager that you must attend an investigatory meeting, please invoke your Weingarten Rights (On the other side of your badge buddy) You have the right to have your Grievance Officer (Anita Dennis) or your Nurse Representative (Laurie Robinson) to attend. If there is an outcome meeting with any corrective action, a grievance may be filed, it MUST be done so within 14 days.


Currently there are 5 active grievances and 5 that have moved to arbitration. Our Grievance Officer, Anita Dennis, PACU RN attends investigatory meetings and grievance meetings whenever possible. Her work is imperative in seeking out information related to what we are seeing as current problems. Some issues are only in one unit and others are throughout the facility. If we are able to resolve this through discussion at the Conference Committee this alleviates the need for the grievance process.

  • RNs experiencing retaliation, harassment, subjected to counseling/coaching and discipline after advocating for bargaining unit RNs, safety, and the CBA.
  • December 20, 2023, WSNA was notified via email by HR the hire dates of nurses in Genesis was not correct and as a result some nurses were either negatively impacted or positively impacted by PTO accrual rates.

Unit Reps

We are still looking for Unit Reps. The training is free. If you are interested in keeping your unit quickly informed sign up for a class today!

If you have questions, contact Ryan Rosenkranz our Nurse Organizer rrosenkranz@wsna.org or 206-867-4627

Local Unit Officers

We need two office positions to be filled. Grievance Officer and Member at Large.  This is a great opportunity to help your entire bargaining unit. The Grievance Officer role will be to help process grievances, represent during investigatory meetings, attend Conference and Staffing Committee meetings. The Member at Large role is to help onboard new RNs during new employment orientation,

For any questions or concerns please contact one of the Officers or Nurse Rep:

Meri Bukovinsky (CDU) Chair  
Cell: 208-739-3439   hart.meri@gmail.com

Jamie Woodall (FSED) Co-Chair
Cell: 509-572-1091 jamie.orr237@gmail.com

Vanessa Douglas (ICU) Secretary/Treasurer  
Cell: 352-682-0342 vanessa.p.douglas@gmail.com

Anita Dennis (PAU) Grievance Officer  
Cell: 509-781-3011 ardennis@rocketmail.com

Zak Mendoza (ICU) Member At Large
Cell: 509-551-5264 zmendoza0716@gmail.com

Laurie Robinson Nurse Representative
Cell: 206-620-4136

WSNA Membership: If you are not a WSNA member please consider completing a membership application today! Just click on the link!