Kindred Hospital Seattle - First Hill


June Newsletter

Kindred First Hill Newsletter - June 2019

Document unsafe conditions

If you find yourself in a situation that you believe creates unsafe conditions for patients or for yourself, such as being short staffed with nurses or CNAs, you should complete a Staffing Complaint Form/ADO as soon as possible. Best of all, the form is now readily available online! When you submit the form, a copy will go directly to your WSNA Nurse Rep, Terri Williams, MS, RN.

By completing the form, you will make the problem known to your Nurse Rep and your management, creating an opportunity for the problem to be addressed. Additionally, you will be documenting the facts, which may be helpful to you later if there is a negative outcome. Always make your Charge Nurse or Manager aware of the issue first. If it can’t be taken care of, fill out the Staffing Complaint Form/ADO.

WSNA also uses your Staffing Complaint Form/ADOs to track the problems occurring throughout your facility. When you and your coworkers take the important step of filling out the form, you are helping to identify whether there is a pattern of unsafe conditions for you or your patients at your facility. This information is used to improve your working conditions.

Representation rights

WSNA nurses have rights regarding representation! To understand your representation rights, you also need to know what an investigatory meeting is.

An investigatory meeting is when you are questioned by your manager or director about any issue that you are involved with that could possibly lead to disciplinary action. This can include tardiness, overtime, patient complaints, peer complaints, etc.

At the beginning of the meeting you should ask, “Could this meeting lead to disciplinary action?” If they answer “Yes” then you have the right to ask for representation. If they say “No” and indicate that you don’t need anyone, listen carefully to what is being discussed. If it starts to feel like it could lead to discipline, you have the right to invoke your Weingarten rights.

Weingarten rights

Under the Supreme Court’s Weingarten decision, when an investigatory meeting occurs, the following rules apply:

The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request. (Note: Do not ask the employer, “Do I need union representation?” It is up to you to make the statement that you want union representation. Remember, management is not an appropriate representative, so if they offer you the nursing supervisor or someone else to sit with you, that is not adequate.

  1. After you make the request for a Rep, the employer must choose among three options. The employer must either:
    1. Grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee; or
    2. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
    3. Give the employee a choice of: 1) having the interview without representation, or 2) ending the interview.
  2. If the employer denies the request for union representation and continues to ask questions, this is an unfair labor practice and the employee has the right to refuse to answer. The employee cannot be disciplined for a refusal to answer questions without union representation.

If called into a meeting with management, you could read the following to management when the meeting begins:

If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, I respectfully request that my union representative be present at this meeting. Without representation present, I choose not to participate in this discussion.

Frequently asked questions

Why do I need representation?

You need to take a WSNA representative to a meeting that could lead to discipline because the WSNA representative will provide you with assistance and counsel. The representative will take detailed notes of what you say and what your manager says. Usually these meetings are emotional for the RN involved. After walking out of the director or manager’s office, often the RN doesn’t remember all that was said, how it was said, what was agreed to, etc. Having your WSNA representative present can prevent later disputes about exactly what was actually said in the meeting. The representative can also help you clarify confusing questions.

Who can represent me?

Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Terri Williams, MS, RN, at twilliams@wsna.org.

If they keep asking questions, can I leave?

No, stay at the meeting, but do not answer questions until your representative has a chance to arrive. Let them know, "I will listen but I'm going to withhold any comment until I can get a representative."

Nursing Practice

The Washington State Nurses Association (your Union) helps nurses reach their full professional potential. WSNA is firmly committed to the continued quality of nursing practice and education, and the professional development of registered nurses in today’s workplace.

Our staff includes RN experts in practice, policy and education to interpret the complexities of the Nurse Practice Act and assure the quality of nursing education. We represent your workplace and practice interests with the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission and other state agencies, and we also provide input on proposals that affect your workplace safety and your practice.

Education

Visit the WSNA Education calendar to see upcoming education events.

If you have any questions regarding the above information or about your contract, please contact:

Terri Williams, MS, RN
WSNA Nurse Representative
twilliams@wsna.org

Member news: 2018 December newsletter

Introducing your new WSNA nurse representative, Terri Williams, MS, RN

I have been a RN since December 2004, a third career for me. My nursing background is Oncology and End of Life Care. I’ve been with WSNA as a nurse representative for six and a half years and love being an advocate for nurses.

I’m excited to represent the nurses at Kindred First Hill and look forward to hearing from and meeting each and every one of you. I am also excited to speak to nurses who may want to get involved in leadership of the bargaining unit. There are many ways to participate, contribute and grow the nurses’ power and voice.

Feel free to reach out to me at any time at twilliams@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3058.


Get involved

Every hospital can elect local unit officers to represent their facility. If you are interested or know of someone who might be, nominate yourself or them by contacting me.

Training is provided for all Local Unit Officer positions.

There are other ways to get involved besides a leadership (officer) position. You could be a unit representative, take part in contract negotiations or volunteer to help write newsletters, etc. For more information, please email me.


Document unsafe conditions

If you find yourself in a situation that you believe creates unsafe conditions for patients or for you, please complete an Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) form as soon as possible. Give one copy to your manager, fax or scan a copy to me and keep a copy for yourself.

By completing the form, you will make the problem known to management and the Union, creating an opportunity for the problem to be addressed. Additionally, you will be documenting the facts, which may be helpful to you later if there is a negative outcome.

WSNA also uses your ADO forms to track the problems that may be occurring in your facility. When you and your co-workers take the important step of filling out an ADO form, you are helping to identify whether there is a pattern of unsafe conditions for you or your patients at your facilities. If you would like paper copies of the ADO, give me a call and I’ll mail them to you. Find more information and a downloadable form at wsna.org/union/ado.


Contract corner

Pasted below is language from your contract:

Article 29 – Committees:

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

  • A standing Labor Management Committee consisting of no more than three (3) members of management and three (3) bargaining unit members designated by the Union shall meet upon the request of either party for the purpose of discussing matters of mutual interest and concern. There shall be two (2) Co-Directors of the Committee; one each from management and the Bargaining Unit. A Union Representative and Human Resources or Labor Relations representative may attend these meetings. Agendas for such meetings shall be exchanged one week prior to the scheduled meeting. The Hospital will compensate the three (3) bargaining unit members for all lost work time spent in the above-referenced meetings up to a maximum of one (1) hours base pay but shall not compensate employees if not scheduled to work during the meeting times. The parties shall work cooperatively to schedule meetings at mutually convenient times. The review of ADO forms may be an agenda item at the request of either party.

Your previous WSNA nurse representative states the Conference Committee has not met since June 2018. Does that mean there are NO issues in your facility that need to be discussed with management? If there are issues to discuss, let’s make sure we take advantage of this committee.

If you are interested in being one of the three RNs that would discuss these matters, let me know. I am very happy to attend them with you on a regular basis. This is a time for ANY matters - on any unit - to be discussed with management. And, you will be paid for your time spent in this meeting!


Upcoming WSNA events

Mark your calendars for upcoming WSNA events that may interest you. Find out more about all these events (including how to register), by visiting WSNA website often.

Jan. 28, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. is Advocacy Camp.

The goal of WSNA’s 2019 Advocacy Camp is to educate nurses, nursing faculty and nursing students about the legislative process and about how to effectively advocate for nurses and patients when meeting with legislators. This year’s event will take place at the Red Lion Hotel in Tumwater.

Feb. 28, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. is Nurse Lobby Day.

The goal of WSNA’s Lobby Day is to advance our legislative priorities that support nurses and patient safety. This event will include a morning briefing session to help participants get up-to-speed on key issues before the legislature. Time will also be spent role-playing to prepare for afternoon appointments with your legislators. After lunch, you will head up to the hill to attend meetings with your legislators. This is a great opportunity for nurses to talk with their lawmakers about key issues, such as the need for uninterrupted rest breaks, as well as funding for school nurses, nursing education faculty and public health.

May 1-3 is the Washington State Nurses Convention.

This bi-annual convention is at Tulalip Casino. You have the opportunity to earn 24 CNE credits and members may get registration and hotel fees covered with local unit funds. If you are interested, contact me, WSNA Nurse Rep Terri Williams, at twilliams@wsna.org.

Announcing changes in WSNA nurse representative

Please welcome WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams, MS, RN. Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, Terri will be taking over all new issues as they arise at Kindred First Hill. I will finish up most outstanding matters to their conclusion and assist Terri in the coming months as needed.

Terri can be reached at twilliams@wsna.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3058.

It has been a pleasure working with all of the Kindred First Hill RNs for the past three years. I am continuing my work here at WSNA in public affairs. I will miss the Kindred First Hill nurses but know you will be in good hands with Terri.

All my best to you,

Travis Elmore, BSN, RN, RN-BC
WSNA Public Affairs Associate Director
206-575-7979, ext. 3117
telmore@wsna.org

Make a difference for your fellow nurses

Are you a nurse advocate or know a colleague who is? Do you want to make a difference in the working conditions for RN’s at Kindred?

Your WSNA union team here at Kindred 1st Hill is in need of a registered nurse willing to step up into the position of chair or grievance officer. Your co-workers could use your assistance! The typical time commitment is only 1-2 hours a month (on average) and WSNA provides the training.

Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Travis Elmore at 206-575-7979, ext. 3117 or telmore@wsna.org if you would like additional information regarding the duties of an officer.

Nurses, please check your paystubs...again!

Carol Hiner has reported that all RNs have now received their June raise negotiated by WSNA along with the appropriate back pay. Please check your paystubs to verify that you got your WSNA negotiated wage increase along with any applicable back pay!

If you believe that you did not receive your raise and/or applicable back pay, please contact your WSNA representative for assistance! Kindred has committed to making sure that all RNs receive the pay they deserve as well as any applicable back pay.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Travis Elmore at 1 (800) 231-8482, ext. 3117 or telmore@wsna.org.

To stay up to day on the latest happenings, please take a moment to “Like” our Facebook page created for Kindred RNs.

Cafeteria time!

Travis Elmore, your WSNA representative will be in the cafeteria having lunch and visiting with RNs on May 16, 2018 from noon to 1 p.m. 

Feel free to stop by and chat or ask questions about your contract, working conditions and/or concerns.

You are WSNA!

Please contact WSNA Nurse Rep Travis Elmore at telmore@WSNA.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3117 if you have questions.

Make a difference for nurses!

Are you a nurse advocate or know a colleague who is? Do you want to make a difference in the working conditions for RNs at Kindred First Hill?

Your WSNA team here at Kindred First Hill is in need of a registered nurse willing to step up into the position of Grievance Officer. Your co-workers could use your assistance! The typical time commitment is only 2-6 hours a month (on average) and WSNA provides the training.

Contact Travis Elmore at 206-575-7979, ext. 3114 or at telmore@wsna.org if you would like additional information regarding the duties of an officer.