Seattle / King County Public Health - Supervisors

We, your local unit officers, would like to provide you with a couple of updates:

Officers - Lois Schipper was elected to a Vice Chair position. Congratulations to Lois! Lois is not new to an officer role. She recently rejoined the bargaining unit, volunteered to fill one of the vacant positions and, thus, a ballot was sent out. Several folks have asked about officer positions. It is currently mid-term. Grievance officer and Secretary Treasurer are currently vacant positions. Because it is midterm, you can self-nominate at any time if you would like to serve in one of the open roles and a ballot will be mailed out. If you are interested, please contact WSNA Nurse Rep. Sara Frey, Local Unit Chair Sean Dumas or Local Unit Vice-Chair Lois Schipper.

Negotiations - Several folks have asked about upcoming negotiations. Your contract expires at the end of the year. Some time around the end of June or early July, WSNA will be sending out a survey to find out what is working or not working, what improvements you would like to see, etc. We will also seek volunteers at that time to be on the negotiation team. Stay tuned!

Changes to the clinics – WSNA is aware of the recent meeting that was held to announce changes at the clinics. There were several WSNA Nurse Reps in attendance. At this time, we do not have any more specifics than what was discussed at the meeting. Your officers discussed this topic at Conference Committee when we met on April 30, 2019. We hope to have updates for you soon. Our understanding at this time is that changes for the supervisors will be minimal. If you are receiving other information from management, please forward that on to your Nurse Rep.

Conference Committee – Your officers met several months ago to reestablish Conference Committee. Conference Committee is an advisory meeting where supervisors and management can discuss issues or other topics of mutual interest. The past meeting we discussed a charter. There was also discussion around a class specification document for jail nurses. We are allowed three members at this meeting. While we have representation from the jail, we would very much like to have that third member from one of the clinics so those interests are represented. If you are from a clinic and would like to attend as a representative, please contact Lois, Sean or our nurse rep. Our next meeting is July 16 at 1 pm. The meeting is 2 hours and WSNA attendees generally meet about 30 minutes ahead of time to discuss agenda items. Here is an overview of topics discussed at the meeting on April 30:

  • We received an overview of the planned reorganization of the clinics.
    • It is our understanding there will not be any layoffs for supervisors.
    • The nature of the work being performed will not change for supervisors
    • We conveyed some of the concerns related to the timing in light of changes to WIC. Also, managing groups that are out of office and potentially spread out is a concern. Those particular details are upcoming discussions for work groups.
    • Work groups are being established to work out details of how the new groups will function and the implementation. At this time, we were informed that details are not known. As the details related to this restructure continue to unfold, please feel free to reach out to update WSNA and let us know if you have concerns.
  • We finalized the Conference Committee charter
  • We wrapped up discussions about the jail class spec
  • We asked for “staffing” to be a standing agenda item as we would like to monitor vacancies, open shifts, etc. that impact the supervisors' work.
  • We received an update related to jail vacation requests, i.e. – number granted, number denied. Only one day was denied out of nearly 100 days requested.

WSNA events – WSNA received feedback that supervisors would like to plan some sort of dinner or event. If you would like to participate in planning such an event, let’s do it! Please let us know that you are interested in helping coordinate a meaningful event.

Nurse Reps – over the past few months, WSNA Nurse Reps have all been transitioning to new facility assignments. Sara Frey is your new nurse rep. Sara has been with WSNA for 10 years. She will continue to work with Ed Zercher, when needed, as she becomes familiar with the County and the various units/positions.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sara Frey at sfrey@wsna.o

Results of public health nurses meeting

Nurse Representatives from WSNA attended the county’s PHN meeting on Thursday, April 4.

During this meeting management rolled out their proposals for restructuring PHN Care Models in Women’s and Infants programs. The details of the proposed changes have not been completely determined, but it is clear that PHN nurses working in these programs will be impacted. Effects may include changes to work processes, including work sites and schedules, as well as layoff.

The County’s current plan includes layoff of up to 15 WSNA PHN nurses, although that number has not been finalized. The county is offering its Voluntary Separation Program to eligible nurses. If eligible nurses receive VSP, the number of layoffs will decrease.

The time line provided at the April 4 meeting included submission of VSP applications from mid-April on, with determination of eligibility In June/July. Layoff notifications are to be sent following VSP determinations.

It is possible that PHN nurses working in other programs, and other WSNA represented RN positions, will receive layoff notifications.

Layoffs would be effective Dec. 31, 2019.

Management has been meeting with PHN nurses this week. Meetings will continue into May. WSNA will be attending the meeting Monday, April 15 at the downtown clinic.

We also plan to meet with management next week for a preliminary discussion of the effects of their proposed changes. We will update you following that meeting.

Questions? Please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sara Frey at sfrey@wsna.org or 206-575-7979 ext. 3039.

In Solidarity,
Sara Frey, WSNA Nurse Representative on behalf of your Local Unit Officers

FREE Convention registrations available

Your local unit officer is sponsoring two WSNA members, one from jail services and one from clinic services, to attend the Washington State Nurses Convention, May 1-3, 2019 at the Tulalip Resort Casino

Don’t miss amazing speakers, great professional development and a full year of CNEs!

The sponsorship covers your registration fee of $450 so that you can attend this fun and educational event.

More information, including the full convention agenda, at rnconvention.org.

Please contact me, WSNA Nurse Representative Sara Frey, at sfrey@wsna.orgor at 206-575-7979, ext. 3039 to reserve your spot.

Scholarships will be given on a first come basis.

Also available: Mandatory Suicide Prevention Training Add-on
(Not included in Local Unit sponsored free registration.)

With the University of Washington School of Nursing, WSNA is offering the opportunity to fulfill your 6-hour mandatory suicide prevention training requirement for licensure as part of your trip to Convention. This training is approved by the Washington Department of health and on their model list. Separate registration required. Lunch provided. 6 CNEs

Announcing changes in WSNA nurse representative

Please welcome WSNA Nurse Representative Sara Frey, JD, BSN, RN. Beginning Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, Sara will be taking over all new issues as they arise at Seattle & King County Public Health - Supervisors. I will finish up most of the outstanding matters to their conclusion and assist Sara in the coming months, as needed.

Sara can be reached at sfrey@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3039.

It has been a pleasure working with all of the Seattle & King County PH supervisors. I am continuing my work here at WSNA as a nurse representative with a few new assignments. I will miss the Seattle & King County PH supervisors but know you will be in good hands with Sara.

All my best to you,

Ed Zercher, BSN, RN
WSNA Nurse Rep
206-575-7979, ext. 3022

Nurse recruiter vote ratified

By overwhelming majority, the bargaining unit has voted to move the nurse recruiter classification to the supervisor bargaining unit. A copy of the Memorandum of Agreement can be accessed in the contracts and documents section.

For any questions, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org or (206) 575-7979, ext. 3022