WSNA Nurses Unite for Safe Staffing!Nurses at the bedside know that staffing levels have reached crisis levels due to burnout, moral injury and hospitals’ failure to take action to retain nurses. But even before the pandemic, so many of us were stretched to the limit, forced to take too many patients and work long shifts without a break. We need more than a quick fix – we need action to ensure safe staffing now and in the future. Learn more.
Nurses at the bedside know that staffing levels have reached crisis levels due to burnout, moral injury and hospitals’ failure to take action to retain nurses. But even before the pandemic, so many of us were stretched to the limit, forced to take too many patients and work long shifts without a break. We need more than a quick fix – we need action to ensure safe staffing now and in the future.
WSNA Nurse Rep office hours are Monday – Friday. If you need reach a local unit officer at any time, or need assistance outside of these hours, call Voice-Tel 1-866-305-5612.
Posted Oct 12, 2021
Temporary Shift Incentive MOU and Recognition and Referral Bonus MOU
Over the past several weeks, your WSNA Officers and Nurse Representative have been in conversations with Providence HR involving topics specific to two new MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) which would become part of your WSNA contract: A Recognition and Referral Bonus MOU, and a Temporary Shift Incentive MOU which financially incentivizes nurses who voluntarily move from days/evenings to nights for a period of time.
Over the course of the past month, we have had concerns on the amount of bonus Providence was initially offering in their Bonus MOU proposal. Your officers felt an approach to recognize nurses based on years of service would be a better fit, beginning with a bonus of 10K as the top tier. The officers felt nurses in other hospitals were securing as much, if not more, so this number would help retain the skilled and talented body of nurses Sacred Heart currently has.
Our ask was rejected, and Providence held firm on their initial $1,000 offer, based on FTE. This did not satisfy us. Therefore, another attempt was made to ask Providence to increase their number to what other markets were bearing, seeing that the mandate deadlines were approaching, and staffing has been in dire crisis. Your WSNA nurse rep and officer team conducted a staffing survey where stories were collected in an effort to show management the acute working conditions being managed by their frontline caregivers. We felt that, by painting a graphic picture, it would move Providence to a place of true recognition for Sacred Heart nurses. Coupled with the survey results, a counter was sent, asking for a match on what other units (Kadlec, in Richland Tri-Cities) secured. Our efforts and rationale sought to retain skilled nurses at SHMC versus risk losing them to other competing offers, but our efforts fell on deaf ears.
On Oct. 5, 2021, Providence communicated their offer of $1,000 remained and would be their best and final offer. There would not be room for movement. A vote put forth to the bargaining unit was considered by the officers but ultimately, WSNA advised that the Cabinet on Economic & General Welfare authorized WSNA to enter into MOUs as necessary with employers during the duration of the current coronavirus pandemic emergency, provided such MOUs are deemed to be in the best interests of the affected nurses and that local unit officers are consulted during the process of negotiations prior to the execution of such MOUs.
We are not satisfied with the amount finalized in the MOU. We feel the nurses of Sacred Heart are worthy of more. We are ready to keep this topic a high priority of conversation, with the ultimate goal being staff retention and, by extension, staff safety and quality patient care, both of which are inextricably linked.
The end total does not match the sacrifices you have made. However, the WSNA officers did prevail on other gains to the MOUs highlighted below.
Recognition and Referral Bonus MOU
Full-time and part-time nurses employed on or before June 26th 2021 are eligible for $1,000 pro-rated bonus based on FTE. A comparison of actual hours worked vs position FTE will be conducted, and the greater of the two will be used to determine the bonus amount. This will reflect true hours worked and recognize our valiant staff who have been working much higher hours than their budgeted FTE. Please double check your paycheck to ensure this was carried out.
Half will be paid after execution of MOU, and the other half in December.
Caregivers on FMLA will be included.
Per diem nurses who have worked an average of 20 hours a week or greater will receive a bonus amount.
Referral bonuses are available to staff who help recruit new hires who are eligible for their hired role, from $1000-$7500. This includes any staff role in any department.
If you find yourself in a situation that you believe creates unsafe conditions for patients or for you, you should complete a Staffing Complaint / ADO Form as soon as possible.
By completing the form, you will help make the problem known to 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.
WSNA also uses your ADO forms to track the problems occurring in your facility. When you and your coworkers 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. This information is used by your conference committee, staffing committee, and WSNA labor staff to improve your working conditions.
If called into a meeting with management, 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.