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.

Temp Shift Incen­tive (Days/​eves to nights)

  • Desig­nated for a period of time on all inpatient units.
  • RNs may work 12, 6, or 2 week assign­ment to cover vacan­cies or planned absences.
  • Lump sum received: $5,000 for 13 weeks, $2,000 for 6 weeks, $500 for 2 weeks.
  • 48 hours rest between previ­ously held schedule and former assign­ment upon return.
  • For RNs with more than 24 hours of unsched­uled absences, the bonus will be prorated for time completed.
  • Nurses who agree to a tempo­rary incen­tive shift prior to expira­tion of MOU will be allowed to carry those shifts out and receive the full incen­tive amount.

We stand with you in unity always.

Questions? Contact your nurse rep, Jaclyn Smedley BSN, RN at jsmedley@wsna.org.