Union

Skagit Regional Health


We ratified our contract!


Voting was attended by a great turnout of nurses and the vote result was a solid YES!

A special thank you to everyone for support and assistance
during this very long negotiation.

Together we have shown what can be accomplished
and that we are truly stronger together!

Your WSNA Negotiation Team:

Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood),

Randi Dykstra (Case Management),Rachel Yates (MPC),

Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy)

and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at 206-575-7979, ext. 3005 or sdunlap@wsna.org.


Your bargaining team recommends a YES vote!


We thank the nurses at Skagit Regional Health for standing up and supporting your bargaining team so that we could achieve a fair contract after 20 hard-fought bargaining sessions.

The WSNA/Skagit Regional Health RN contract general summary is available in the documents section or through the link below.

Your voice matters! If you are a WSNA member in good standing, we welcome you to exercise your right and benefit of voting for your contract! Remember - your negotiating team is recommending a YES vote. The summary of changes, your negotiation team members and copies of the full contract will be available at the voting sites for your reference. Drop in, bring your questions and vote!

June 11, 2019

Garden Conference Room from 7:30 - 9 a.m.
Shuksan Conference Room from 4 - 8 p.m.

Questions? Contact WSNA Representative Sue Dunlap at 206-575-7979, ext. 3005 or sdunlap@wsna.org.


We have a tentative agreement!


After 20 negotiation sessions,we are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with Skagit Regional Health.

The new contract has significant wage increases, vastly improved staffing language and additional significant improvements. We will have a contract summary available online early next week and a full contract will be available for review at the vote.

Voting will occur on June 11, so stay tuned for times and locations.

Remember you MUST be a member in good standing to vote. Membership gives you rights and privileges – including the right to vote on this contract.

If you are unsure of your membership status, please call the WSNA membership department at 206-575-7979, option 1, or email them at membership@wsna.org. They will be happy to assist you. Now is a great time for nurses who are not members to join WSNA.

Your team worked hard and long – and we think all that time and work was worth the effort. We need to stay strong and show our unity as we vote on the contract and then continue to build a strong bargaining unit – where Skagit nurses' voices continue to be heard. Watch for June 11 voting times and locations.

Your team extends a heartfelt thanks…. RNs standing strong and together helped us obtain this tentative agreement with management.

The team is not paid for their 20 days at the table, so if you are able to donate PTO to help, that token of thanks is greatly appreciated! Donation forms will be available at the vote as well.

In solidarity,
Your WSNA Negotiation Team: Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlalp@wsna.org.


Negotiation update


Management recently sent out a “Bargaining Update” and shared its perspective on the current negotiations. We’d like to give you our perspective and set the record straight.

On April 24, 2019, we had our 19th bargaining session, again with the assistance of a mediator. This process has taken a long time – too long. For much of these negotiations, Management has demanded that we settle for a contract which would have subjected our fellow nurses to much uncertainty and the possibility of reduced wages and benefits. Only recently, have they begun to move away from these unacceptable positions. Management told us at the start of negotiations that they were still tying to figure out what they wanted to do about benefit levels and demanded that we agree to language that could have resulted in the reduction of wages and medical and retirement benefits during the life of the contract.

If this story sounds familiar, it is. During our last negotiations over two years ago, Management told us the same story -- that they were not prepared to bargain over benefit levels. And when the current negotiations began, Management STILL was not ready.

Moreover, through much of these negotiations, Management has taken very hard lines on many issues that are of great importance to the bargaining unit and provided us with lip service rather than meaningful proposals. Several of their proposals stuck out like sore thumbs when compared to the contracts of other WSNA-represented facilities. Only recently, have they started to come around. It has taken the hard work of your fellow nurses on your WSNA bargaining team along with the incredible support of the bargaining unit over the past year to move Management off their objectionable positions. But there is work still to be done.
So where are we now? We have two more mediation sessions scheduled, and here is where we stand on some of the bigger issues.

Wages

WSNA came into negotiations proposing guaranteed wage increases for each year of the contract, as is common with other WSNA nursing contracts. In contrast, Management decided to rock the boat by proposing to tie wages to performance and by proposing possible wage reductions during the life of the contract. It was only after MONTHS AND MONTHS of bargaining that Management proposed to withdraw their troubling wage proposals but ONLY IF we ceded to their demands on a dozen other issues.
We are closer on wages now, but what Management conveniently neglected to mention in its update is that they are still insisting that any wage increase will be effective only after the contract has been ratified. Under Management’s proposal, there would be no wage increase for the year that we have been bargaining the contract. This is unacceptable, given that Management came to the table unprepared and insisted for a long time on proposals that were out of the norm for nursing contracts. We continue to propose wage increases for the “lost" year.

Benefits

It’s a similar story with benefits. For months and months, Management insisted on the to ability to try to reduce medical and retirement benefits during the life of the contract. It was only recently that they have moved away from this position.

Staffing

Since day one of bargaining, your WSNA team has been pushing hard on the issue of staffing. We have proposed language that would give nurses greater voice in staffing decisions through the staffing committee and the staffing complaint process. We have proposed language that would require Management to provide staffing levels that would ensure the safety of patients and the nurses, to refrain from assigning more patients than allowed by the staffing matrix, and to allow nurses the ability to take meal/rest breaks and much-needed vacations. For months and months, Management rejected these proposals and insisted that the only contract language that it would consider was to provide WSNA with information regarding staffing – information to which WSNA was already legally entitled! WSNA rejected this absurd and insulting proposal and continued to press for real staffing language. It was only after nearly a year of bargaining that Management began to put substantive staffing language on the table. While we have made progress in recent bargaining sessions on staffing, we are not done yet.

We hope that you now have a better understanding of why these negotiations have taken so long. We have recently begun to make much progress, and we expect to continue to making progress. If we do not, we will be reaching out to the bargaining regarding next steps to ensure that we get the contract that we deserve.

In solidarity,
Your WSNA Negotiation Team: Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlalp@wsna.org.


New online Staffing Complaint / Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) forms are here


Not getting all of your breaks? Working short staffed or staying late? Feel like you are taking an unsafe patient assignment? Denied earned PTO?

Yes, there is something you can do about this. Fill out a Staffing Complaint / Assignment Despite Objection form today.

  • Nurses are standing together for safe staffing and completing a Staffing Complaint/ADO form is the first step.
  • These forms can help make things better NOW and can help gather needed data as we prepare for contract negotiations.
  • This new online form can be accessed through your phone making it simple and quick.
  • Copies of the submitted online form will automatically be sent to you, your local unit chair, co/vice chair, staffing committee co-chairs, WSNA nurse rep and manager (if you designate).

You can find the online form at wsna.org/ADO. For any questions, your nurse representative is here to help. Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Sue Dunlap, RN at sdunlap@wsna.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3005.

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Negotiation update: session 16


We held our third session with our PERC mediator on Thursday, March 8 and we are encouraged that we are seeing some forward movement.

Management has indicated willingness to move off of health care and retirement reopeners as part of a package proposal. We are encouraged by this movement, and that management is finally hearing that Skagit nurses expect their health and retirement benefits to be secure during the life of this contract. We are also making some progress on wages, and we continue to push hard for retroactive pay.

We also continue to work on safe staffing language and layoff proposals and expect to have significant discussions over these issues during our next session on March 22.

We will keep you advised of our progress followings the next session.

Together in unity,

Your WSNA Negotiation Team: Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org for any questions.


Negotiations update: session 15


We had our second mediation session on Thursday, Feb. 28.

We had substantive discussions with management on all major issues and we believe that we are making some significant progress, but that we still have much to do.

It was clear that the rally had a positive effect on the negotiations as we stressed our concerns to management. We hope to continue to make progress at the next mediation session, scheduled for Thursday, March 7, and will report more after that.

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA RN negotiation team:

Peter Moore (MPC), Rachel Yates (MPC), Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Randi Dykstra (Case Management) and Sue Dunlap (WSNA Nurse Representative)

For any questions, contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org.


Welcome Cheryl Barrie, our new grievance officer!


Please join us in welcoming Cheryl Barrie, RN to the local unit officer team. She will be joining us as a grievance officer and she will do a great job representing you and our union. You can reach her at cherylbarrie@gmail.com.


Negotiations update session 14


At the start of the day, we posted pictures in the negotiations room of our very successful rally. Thank you to all of the nurses who participated in our pre-rally sign making party and to those of you who were able to come to the rally.

Our actions are sending a clear message to management:

  • Skagit RNs are passionate about providing the highest quality of care to the community we serve
  • Skagit RNs take these negotiations seriously
  • Skagit RNs expect a fair contract settlement that provides for safe staffing, retention and recruitment of quality nurses, and protects health and retirement benefits during the life of the contract

This was our first mediated session. Mediators work to settle a contract by identifying each sides’ positions on unsettled proposals/issues and looking for a path toward resolving those issues.

During our first session, we presented compelling arguments to the mediator in support of our position on unsettled issues. Our proposals would provide Skagit nurses with a stable and predictable work environment that will help retain and recruit nurses. Skagit nurses need safe staffing, better wages, and predictable health care and retirement benefits. Our question now is – why WON’T Skagit management support their nurses and their community?

We will return to negotiations with our mediator at the end of February. In the meantime, we must continue to demonstrate unity and solidarity. Our rally at the Skagit Courthouse included nurses from our hospital, local firefighters, community members and nurses from Bellingham, Sedro Woolley, Children’s and Kirkland hospitals, demonstrating solidarity and standing united with us in our fight for a fair contract. We must continue to show that we are firm in our convictions and support each other as we continue these negotiations. We must ALL be visible in our support!

Right now we are asking you for extra diligence in completing the Nurse Staffing Concern (previously ADO) forms to document staffing issues. Fill them out and turn them in to your supervisor and WSNA officers. Please also be in communication with your CAST (contract action support team) members as well as all of us (negotiation team members) with any questions or concerns you may have. Again, a special thank you to all who helped with the rally and a reminder that we will continue to ask you to demonstrate your commitment to the community and each other as we work toward settling a fair contract.

Together in unity,

Your WSNA Negotiation Team: Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlalp@wsna.org for any questions.


Yesterday, we rallied and stood together in solidarity as #SkagitNursesShowUp for our community


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We came, we rallied, we fought. We asked our community to get involved to help us fight for our patients and profession – they delivered!

We'd like to extend a thank you to our union brothers and sisters from Mount Vernon Professional Firefighters Local 1983, Camano Island Firefighters Local 4033, Burlington Professional Firefighters Local 4111, IAFF 7th District, LiLuna Local 292, the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, the Labor-Dem Work Group, Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, the Skagit Democrats, We Do The Work and the 40th Democrats for standing alongside us in the fight for a fair contract.

We'd also like to thank our speakers for sharing their experiences and being the voice for all Skagit nurses. Our community is listening. The Skagit Herald covered our rally, read it here.

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We continue negotiations this Friday, Jan. 25.

You can help our efforts at the table to secure safe staffing by filling out nurse staffing concern forms every time you have a staffing concern. If you don’t report it, it is as if it didn’t happen. After filling out the form, email a copy of the completed form to WSNA Chair Liz Rainaud at tulipcityquilt@aol.com and WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org. Stay tuned for more updates and information!

Thank you all for your continued support and congratulations on a successful rally!

Your WSNA Negotiation Team:

Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

If you have any questions, contact a negotiation team member, WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O'Donnell atsodonnell@wsna.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3045 or WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3005.


Negotiation update #12


We held our 12th negotiation session on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018.

We were able to reach a few tentative agreements during this session; however, we are still far apart on the key issues of staffing, wages/benefits, reopeners and layoffs. We have continued to press management on staffing issues, but they have rejected our proposals for specific solutions to help with staffing. We talked about the need for 24-hour IV therapy, additional resource nurses who are not pulled, a designated triage nurse who is not pulled in the ED and the need for meal and rest break coverage.

Remember, you can help our efforts at the table to secure safe staffing by filling out nurse staffing concern forms every time you have a staffing concern. If you don’t report it, it is as if it didn’t happen. After filling out the form, email a copy of the completed form to WSNA Chair Liz Rainaud at tulipcityquilt@aol.com and WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org.

Thank you all for your continued support of our negotiating team – we are working hard for you at the table. We have another session scheduled for Jan. 10 and are in the process of scheduling additional dates. Stay tuned for more updates and information.

In solidarity,

Your WSNA Negotiation Team:

Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Questions? Contact a negotiation team member, WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O'Donnell at sodonnell@wsna.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3045 or WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3005.


Negotiation update #11


We held our eleventh negotiation session on Wednesday, Nov. 14. We reached several tentative agreements in an attempt to move these negotiations forward, but management has not fundamentally changed their positions on issues Skagit nurses care about.


Staffing:

In our previous session, we talked about specific solutions to staffing issues related to Resource Nurses, ED Triage Nurses and IV Therapy.

During negotiations on Nov. 14, management replied by saying they do not find evidence that a need exists for our proposed solutions.

Instead, they proposed supplying WSNA with information, including information related to short staffing, missed breaks, overtime, etc. on a monthly basis for review in Nurse Conference Committee. The information they propose supplying is information WSNA is already entitled to receive. Management’s plan to review these issues in Conference Committee is NOT a substitute for bargaining real, substantive changes to the contract that will help improve safe patient care and alleviate staffing shortages – including the three items we proposed previously. Nurse Conference Committee is an advisory committee only, meaning WSNA is not able to bargain issues that are brought to the committee. And, Conference Committee has not met since early spring 2018. We want our very real safe staffing issues addressed at the table, NOW.

Layoff:

We had a lengthy discussion with management about their layoff and restructure proposals. Management continues insisting on reducing nurses’ options and protections in the event of a layoff. Under this proposal, management would have the ability to change nurses’ FTEs, shifts and hours with far fewer options than nurses have now.

WAGES/Reopeners:

Management brought a package proposal to the table that does not tie wages to quality metric scores and proposes that your wages would not be reduced if the contract is reopened. BUT – the package continues to contain contract reopeners to your healthcare and retirement benefits. Management isn’t willing to guarantee that those benefits will not be reduced if the contract were to be reopened. Even if your wages are maintained, you would still be making less money if you are paying more for healthcare and having less money going toward your retirement.


Next steps

Thank you to everyone who sent messages to Skagit’s negotiating team by signing “Signs of Solidarity.” We displayed your messages/posters on the walls of the room where we held negotiations. It was a boost for us seeing your messages of support and it was good for management to be reminded that the negotiating team represents all of you - the bargaining unit!

STAY TUNED for more information on how you can make your voice heard on our important issues in negotiations!

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA Negotiation Team: Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O'Donnell at sodonnell@wsna.org for any questions.


Negotiation update #10


We had our 10th negotiating session on Tuesday, Oct. 30. During prior sessions, we reached tentative agreements with Management on enhanced sick leave use, charge nurse premium increases, and education premiums. To be clear - it was WSNA who brought those proposals to the table. The support of the bargaining unit has helped us make progress on these issues. Your continued support is essential and appreciated. But there is much more work to be done.

Here is where we stand on some of the major issues:

STAFFING:
WSNA has heard your concerns about safe staffing and has made a substantive proposal to address these concerns that would:

  1. Require SRH to provide staffing levels that enable nurses to take meal and rest breaks while maintaining quality patient care;
  2. Prohibit SRH from requiring nurses to provide care to more patients than anticipated by the agreed staffing matrix;
  3. Require SRH to maintain staffing levels that enable nurses to meet their responsibilities under the Nurse Practice Act.

To date, Management has rejected each and every one of these proposals and has offered no substantive contractual proposal that would address these staffing concerns. Management merely tells us some of the actions it has taken independently, such as hiring traveler nurses into the float pool. These actions are not sufficient to address the issues that we have raised. More importantly, we have told Management that nurses want contractual language regarding staffing and not just promises of what it intends to do.

At our most recent session, we told Management that we believe that patient care would be enhanced by instituting and reinforcing the roles of:

* Resource Nurses

* ED Triage Nurses

* IV Therapy Nurse

LAYOFF:

Management is still insisting on reducing nurses’ options and protections in the event of a layoff. Under this proposal, Management would have the ability to change nurses’ FTEs, shifts and hours without following the current layoff procedures which have been in the contract for years. Management’s dangerous proposal would dilute the power of seniority and give us far fewer options than we currently have.

WAGES:

The wages for RNs at SRH have lagged behind those of nurses working at nearby WSNA Hospitals for some time now. WSNA has been proposing that SRH increase wages since day one of bargaining to correct the competitive wage disadvantage that Management has insisted upon in past negotiations.

Meanwhile, Management is still insisting on tying wage increases to quality metrics goals. If the Hospital doesn’t meet these goals, nurses will not get their full potential wage increases. We can only assume that Management believes that SRH nurses have all the tools and staffing support for the Hospital to meet these goals. Meanwhile, nurses tell us about staffing problems at SRH; and Management refuses to agree to substantive, meaningful approaches to staffing problems. Management fails to recognize that nurses are professionally driven and, that given the proper tools and support, provide exemplary care. Other area WSNA hospitals understand this and do not hold their nurses’ compensation hostage as part of a misguided pay practice. They guarantee full wage increases for the life of their contracts all the while facing similar Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement constraints as SRH. We fear that Management’s dangerous new approach to compensation will give SRH nurses yet another reason to look elsewhere for employment.

Moreover, Management has recently insisted on the ability to try to reduce your wages during the life of the contract. That’s right. In addition to wanting the ability to try to reduce your medical and retirement benefits during the life of the contract, Management now wants a crack at your wages.

Finally, Management has communicated to you that it wants to complete contract negotiations soon so that you can get raises. What Management chose not to tell you is that they have proposed that any wage increase will not be effective until the contract has been ratified. Since day one of bargaining, WSNA has proposed that wage increases will be effective from the expiration date of the current contract. Management’s proposal is nothing but a strong-arm tactic to pressure nurses to accept a sub-standard contract. WSNA has been ready and willing to bargain all issues throughout negotiations, including medical and retirement benefits. Meanwhile, Management tells us that it needs more time to figure out what it wants to do with medical and retirement benefits. Nurses’ timely wage increases should not be held hostage because of Management’s lack of preparation for these negotiations.

NEXT STEPS:

Our next sessions are scheduled for November 14 and 26.

Thanks to All of you who attended the Board Meeting on October 26. Nurses delivered a powerful message to members of the Board.

Stay tuned

for more information on how you can make your voice heard in these negotiations!

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA Negotiation Team: Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O'Donnell at sodonnell@wsna.org for any questions.


Attend the Skagit Regional Health Board meeting THIS Friday, Oct. 26!


Call to action – step up and be seen:

Plan now to attend the Board of Directors meeting this Friday, Oct. 26 at 7:50 a.m. in the Sahale Room at the hospital. We want a show of nurses. The Board needs to see that management is still not taking our proposals and demands seriously.

7-9 a.m.: Drop-in Q&A in the cafeteria with members of the negotiation team before or after the show of support at the board meeting.

View the event flyer here.

Negotiation update: Our ninth negotiating session took place on Thursday, Oct. 18.

We have reached tentative agreements on enhanced sick leave use, charge nurse premium increases and education premiums. But we are still apart on safe staffing, retirement and insurance, wages and layoff language.

Management continues to resist our proposals on safe staffing, breaks and our need to know what health care and retirement benefits to expect over the life of this contract. They are still proposing to condition some of our wage increases on metric scores.

In response to our staffing and break concerns, management is bringing proposed solutions that they want to implement without meaningful nurse input. They are not including us in these decisions. These are issues that should be addressed by exchanging proposals at the table, not by bringing processes management is trying without our meaningful input.

Along with safe staffing and breaks, we have other substantive issues on the table. Management wants to drastically reduce our rights in the event of a layoff. Over the past several years, approximately one dozen departments have been affected by layoff and restructure. Layoff is real. Limiting our options is not what we as nurses want.

Tell management that we, your negotiating team, are here to bargain a contract now. We were at the table in 2017 and agreed to a one year contract in part because management didn’t have a proposal for us regarding healthcare and retirement benefits. They are telling us they still can’t give us these. They have had more than a year to get this together. They need to bring these items to the table and bargain them now. We are interested in bargaining a fair, comprehensive contract now.

Our next negotiating session is scheduled for Oct. 30. Watch for further actions to come.

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA Negotiation Team: Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O'Donnell at sodonnell@wsna.org for any questions.


Contract Bargaining update


Our ninth contract negotiation session, scheduled for Oct. 5, was canceled. Our next bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 18.

We are asking for all Skagit RNs to help us gather data for our staffing proposal by completing the Safe Staffing and Workplace Violence Survey today.

Want to help in other ways? Come to the next CAST (Contract Action Support Team) meeting:

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

USW Local 12-591
47 Alder Ln, Mount Vernon

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA RN negotiation team: Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Organizer Sydne James, 206-575-7979 x3004.


Contract bargaining session #9!


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On Sept. 28, Skagit nurses packed the room at the board of commissioners meeting to hear four of their colleagues give testimony: Bruce Cornwall, RN, PCC, Cammie Rome, RN, CCU, Patricia Rhinevault, RN, ED and Kyla Malean, RN, OR.

This is how we demonstrate power at the contract bargaining table.

Contract bargaining session 9 will be Friday, Oct. 5.

Visit the WSNA table in the cafeteria on Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to learn more, get involved and to help win at the table.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Organizer Sydne James at sjames@wsna.org.


SRH Nurses: Are you safe at work?


Workplace violence and inadequate staffing are not acceptable! Together, we can and must make SRH a safe place for nurses, colleagues and our patients.

Nurses at SRH shouldn’t be afraid when they go to work. Even so, nurses are fearful of some of the very patients for whom they care. Some of us have been victims or have witnessed violence in our workplace.

Please take a few minutes to fill out our Workplace Violence & Safe Staffing survey. Your personal information will be kept confidential.

Questions? Contact your Nurse Representative Sue O'Donnell at 206-575-7979, ext. 3045 or sodonnell@wsna.org. You may also contact Barbara Friesen at 206-575-7979, ext. 3056 or bfriesen@wsna.org


Skagit nurses speak to SRH Board of Commissioners


Support them by packing the room with Skagit nurses!

When: Sept. 28, 2018
Time:
7:55-8:15 a.m.
Where:
Sahale Conference Room

Showing up tells the Board and administration that you support the WSNA contract negotiation team.

Join us!

Questions? Call WSNA at (206) 471-2687.


Our eighth contract negotiation session was on Aug. 29


We spent a majority of the day talking about staffing issues and how to make the staffing committee more effective.

Management provided its perspective on staffing and acknowledged that there is often a bottleneck due to the boarding of patients in the ED because of insufficient resources to transfer patients out of the ED and staffing issues house-wide.

Management still insists on tying wage increases to quality metrics goals. Likewise, they are still maintaining their proposal to be able to try to reduce health and retirement benefits during the life of the contract. As your WSNA RN negotiation team, we continue to press SRH that we are here to bargain wages and benefits now and that the way to improve patient care and nursing safety and morale is to implement real improvements to our staffing.

We have a plan to win at the bargaining table and it involves all of us. We need to show SRH that an overwhelming majority of nurses support our negotiation team. That is how we demonstrate power at the bargaining table and how we will get the best contract.


Participate in our PLAN TO WIN:

  • Attend the WSNA meeting on Sept. 6, from 5 – 8 p.m., drop-in style meeting at Skagit River Brewery
    • 404 S 3rd St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273.
    • Refreshments provided.
  • Pack the room at the next hospital board of commissioners meeting, Friday, Sept. 28 from 8 – 8:15 a.m., in the Sahale conference room at the hospital.
    • Nurses will be speaking to the board about issues of safety, staffing and support.
  • Fill out Staffing Concern Forms every time there are staffing concerns, including missed breaks.
  • Put car signs in your cars so that the parking lot is a “sea of blue.”
  • Donate annual leave to the nurses on the negotiating team. The bargaining sessions are unpaid time for us and your donations show management that you value our time. Download a form and return it completed to any negotiating team member or mail it to WSNA.

Your WSNA nurse negotiation team:

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Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Questions? Contact any of us or WSNA at 206-575-7979, ext. 0.


The 7th session of negotiations was held on Aug. 23


We did not achieve any tentative agreements.

Our team came prepared to discuss staffing to help management fully understand what staff nurses are facing in their work every day. We came with real stories as well as Staffing Concern Forms. We wanted them to recognize how our proposals will improve patient care by addressing significant staffing shortcomings. We were shocked when management told us they feel that hearing the nurses concerns would not be productive since they had already come up with a remedy for the Emergency Department. Management told us that they would increase the float pool by 4.8 FTEs to address staffing issues in the ED.

After a great deal of pressing by WSNA, management listened to the negotiating team nurses tell what has been reported to them by their colleagues. They told of understaffing that prevented nurses from getting rest breaks and meal periods in the ED as well as the med/surg units, the need for the triage nurse to be reinstated in the ED and the need for STAT nurses for the house. They also shared information from Staffing Concern Forms which also revealed inadequate staffing.

Your negotiating team is continuing to press hard to get real long-term improvements to our staffing, but we cannot do this alone. We need your help!

What you can do to help:

  • Fill out Staffing Concern Forms every time there are staffing concerns including missed breaks.
  • Put car signs in your cars; share them broadly with community members and businesses so they can post them in support of the nurses too.
  • Donate Annual Leave to the nurses on the negotiating team. They are doing this important work on unpaid time for you, the patients and the community.
    • You can get an Annual Leave Donation form from your negotiating team members or download a form to print yourself. Then return the form to a negotiating team member or mail it to WSNA.

Your WSNA nurse negotiation team:

Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)


We met with management on July 30 for our sixth negotiation session


Management continues to present proposals that benefit them and that are bad news for us.

Their latest unsavory proposal is called “Reallocation.” Under this proposal, management would have the ability to change nurses’ FTEs, shifts and hours without following the current layoff procedures which have been in the contract for years. Management’s dangerous proposal would dilute the power of our seniority and give us far fewer options than we currently have.

There are other proposals that they have made that are not good for nurses.

Wages:

The wages for RNs at SRH have lagged behind those of nurses working at nearby WSNA hospitals for some time now. WSNA has been proposing that SRH increase wages since day one of bargaining to correct the competitive wage disadvantage that management has insisted upon in past negotiations.

Meanwhile, management is proposing an uncompetitive 1.25% across-the-board wage increase in each year of the contract, and conditions a further one-time .75% wage increase in 2019 upon whether the hospital meets quality metrics goals regarding nurse communications. If the hospital doesn’t meet these goals, nurses will not get their full potential wage increases. We can only assume that management believes that SRH nurses have all the tools and staffing support for the Hospital to meet these goals. Meanwhile, nurses tell us about staffing problems at SRH; and management refuses agree to substantive, meaningful approaches to staffing problems. Management fails to recognize that nurses are professionally driven and, that given the proper tools and support, provide exemplary care. Area WSNA hospitals understand this and do not hold their nurses’ compensation hostage as part of a misguided pay practice. They guarantee full wage increases for the life of their contracts, all the while facing similar Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement constraints as SRH. We fear that management’s dangerous new approach to compensation will give SRH nurses yet another reason to look elsewhere for employment where they can earn a better wage and count on guaranteed wage increases that are higher than what management is proposing.

Decrease in healthcare and retirement benefits:

Management is still proposing that they be permitted to try to reduce your health and retirement benefits during the life of the agreement, if it so desires. Management has rejected our proposal to improve health and to preserve retirement benefits.

Some of our other proposals:

Charge nurse premium: We proposed to increase this from $2 to $2.50.

OT on holidays: We proposed double time for OT on a holiday.

Education time: We proposed to increase this from 24 hours to 40 hours.

Staffing: We can only assume that, rather than meaningfully engaging WSNA on substantive staffing and resource solutions, management believes that the solution to improving quality metric benchmarks is to have nurses work harder so that they can realize the full value of a potential wage increase without a corresponding commitment by management to ensure that nurses have the proper staffing and resources to provide excellent care. We believe there is a better approach and have proposed staffing language so that the level of care can be improved.


Here is WSNA’s latest proposal on staffing:

Staffing. The Employer’s staffing plan and its implementation shall in no event violate the following commitments. Each unit in the employer’s facilities shall maintain staffing levels that provide for safe patient care and for the health and safety of nurses. In order to provide safe patient care and for the health and safety of nurses, the employer shall:

Provide staffing levels that enable nurses to receive meals and rest breaks;

Provide staffing levels that enable nurses to utilize their accrued paid time off;

Refrain from assigning nurses to provide care to more patients than anticipated by the agreed staffing matrix;

Maintain staffing levels that enable nurses to meet their responsibilities under the Nurse Practice Act.

Management’s response to this common-sense proposal is “NO.”

How does management expect nurses to help them meet their goals when they refuse to agree to staff so that nurses provide safe patient care or so that they can receive meal and rest breaks? They won’t even agree to abide by the staffing matrix. The next time you are working short-staffed, ask yourself what management is doing for you to help them meet goals relating to nurses’ communication with patients and their families. After all, under management’s proposal, your patient’s quality of care and your paycheck will depend on it.

Make no mistake about it, management is proposing sweeping, fundamental and disturbing changes to your contract that we believe will be bad for nursing and bad for patients. Now more than ever, it is important that all nurses be informed about these issues and to join us in our defense of nursing at SRH.

New WA State Staffing Law updates – free dinner and 2 CNEs for WSNA nurses

August 15, 2018 from 5-8 p.m. at Best Western Skagit Valley Inn and Convention Center
2300 Market St, Mount Vernon, 98273

Seating is limited. RSVP today!

Call Sydne James at 206-575-7979, ext. 3004 or email sjames@wsna.org to RSVP.

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United we stand; divided we beg.

Your WSNA nurse negotiation team:

Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)


If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to get more involved in helping our team get the best contract for all the Skagit RNs, contact any bargaining team member or your WSNA nurse representative, Sue O'Donnell (sodonnell@wsna.org).


On July 24, WSNA’s negotiation team met with management for our fifth contract bargaining session


We are hearing a lot of good questions from nurses about what is happening in negotiations and we are excited that so many of you are interested in what is going on at the bargaining table.

One of the things that we want you to know is that the work we do in negotiations is different than a fast-paced shift on the floor or in a clinic. Work at the bargaining table is often times slow and methodical. Consequently, we may not have a lot of “new news” after each session.

We are working hard right now to fight off proposals from management that will not benefit Skagit RNs. These include management’s continued push to be able to reopen the contract and renegotiate our healthcare and retirement benefits. Think renegotiate = reduce! And at our latest session, management proposed tying an even greater percentage of wages to “designated quality metric benchmarks.” We are not fooled by any suggestion that this is good for nurses.

We need a guarantee of adequate staffing, a safe patient care environment and appropriate support in order to be able to deliver quality patient care. Along with fighting off management’s repugnant proposals, we continue to push our agenda for safe staffing during these negotiations.

We are working hard on the behalf of all WSNA represented Skagit nurses. Right now, Skagit nurses need to stay informed, involved and visible as we work for a fair contract. We need to send the message to management that we are united and that we will fight to maintain our benefits and to get a fair contract now! Understand that we will get the best contract if a majority of Skagit RNs show support for the WSNA contract bargaining team. There are many ways to show your support. Keep reading to find out how!

July 30 – our next negotiation session Stop by Skagit cafeteria on July 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to talk with WSNA Organizer Ione Fullerton.

Aug. 2 – a local unit meeting Drop-in from 5 to 8 p.m., Sahale Room, Skagit Hospital. Attend to get updates from the July 30 negotiation session, have your questions answered, learn more about your contract benefits, find out how to get more involved and get tips on how to use the Nurse Staffing Concern forms to affect change.

Speaking of staffing... mark your calendar for a free CE event!

Aug. 15 - WSNA Executive Director Sally Watkins will give a presentation on the new state staffing law.
This event includes 2 CEUs and a free dinner.

All Skagit RNs in the bargaining unit who are interested in learning more about improving our staffing concerns should attend. If we don’t understand the law, and our rights around the law, how can we stand up for ourselves and make things better?

When: 5-8 p.m. (dinner at 5:30, presentation begins at 6)
Where: Best Western Plus Skagit Valley Inn and Convention Center
2300 Market St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273

Seating is limited, so RSVP today by contacting WSNA Nurse Organizer Sydney James at 206-575-7979, ext. 3004 or at SJames@wsna.org.

In solidarity,

Your WSNA RN negotiation team;

Peter Moore (MPC), Rachel Yates (MPC), Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Randi Dykstra (Case Management) and Sue O’Donnell (WSNA Nurse Representative)

For any questions, contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O'Donnell at sodonnell@wsna.org.


Negotiation Update


We met with management for our 4th contract negotiation session on June 21. We continued to address issues around Safety, Staffing, and Support during that session. Nurses are showing a lot of interest in these contract negotiations – and we need your continued interest and support. We will be looking to you, WSNA represented RNs, to help us get your messages to management as we work to get the best contract possible.

One of the issues we are addressing is adequate staffing related to meal and rest breaks. You are entitled to two 15-minute breaks in an 8-hour shift and three 15-minute breaks in a 12-hour shift. Are you getting all of your 15 minute breaks? Let us know – email Sue O’Donnell Nurse Representative at sodonnell@wsna.org.

We had a great turnout at our Local Unit Meeting on June 12. Thanks to those who were able to attend. And thanks to the nurses who have contacted us with your questions and comments. We will be holding additional meetings as negotiations progress and will keep you informed of when and where these will happen.

Our next negotiation session is scheduled for July 24 and additional sessions are scheduled in July and August. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We will get a fair contract by standing together to promote the welfare of our patients and our professional integrity. Ask your negotiating team members how you can support us in having our voices heard and getting that work done!

In solidarity!

Sue O’Donnell (WSNA Nurse Representative), Peter Moore (MPC), Rachel Yates (MPC), Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Liz Rainaud (FBC) and Randi Dykstra (Case Management)


Nurse Staffing Concern Forms


If you find yourself in a situation that you believe creates unsafe conditions for patients or for you,
complete the Nurse Staffing Concern Form.


The third contract bargaining session was on June 5


Negotiation update


The third contract bargaining session was on Tuesday, June 5.

We have been trying to set a tone in these negotiations that will facilitate an open dialogue between WSNA and Skagit management. While we have reached tentative agreements on several minor issues, we are a long way from agreement on major issues including safe staffing, rest and meal breaks and economics.

This week, we spent time explaining to management why nurses need to be able to take their meal and rest breaks without compromising patient care. We hope management heard our concerns and will act on those concerns.

What is also concerning is management's proposal to potentially reopen the contract and renegotiate healthcare and retirement benefits during the life of the contract. We are here to bargain these issues now.

We all have a role in these negotiations. If we are going to get the best contract possible, we need to show Skagit that we stand in solidarity and that all the Skagit nurses are in support of the negotiation team.

  1. Wear a WSNA button every shift. This is how we show support and solidarity.
  2. Clock and report all missed breaks. We are telling them this is an important issue. If you don’t report it, they believe it’s not important to you.
  3. Attend the drop-in meeting on Tuesday, June 12 from 4:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Round Table Pizza (115 E College Way).

* For those who are unable to attend the drop-in meeting, contact WSNA Nurse Organizer Sydne James at 206-575-7979, ext. 3004 to find out what you missed and how you can help.

They want to wear us down. We will wear THEM down!

In solidarity,

Sue O’Donnell (WSNA Nurse Rep), Peter Moore (MPC), Rachel Yates (MPC), Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Liz Rainaud (FBC) and Randi Dykstra (Case Management)


We have given them our proposals on staffing, education, premiums and wages.


Your WSNA negotiation team met with Skagit Regional Health administration for our second contract bargaining session on Wednesday, May 30.

Administration has made proposals that jeopardize the security of our retirement and health benefits.

We have our work cut out for us - let’s show them that we are up to this!

How you can help your WSNA negotiation team get the best contract:

  1. Wear a WSNA button every day you are at work.
  2. Attend a CEO Forum and speak to Brian Ivie in support of our WSNA negotiation team:
    • June 5 in the main campus, Sahalee Room
      • 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
      • Noon - 1 p.m.
      • 5 - 6 p.m.
    • June 6 in the Riverbend Clinic conference room
      • Noon - 1 p.m.
    • June 13 in the Riverbend Clinic conference room
      • 7 - 8 a.m.
    • A WSNA member will hand you a “cheat sheet” before you speak to him so we are all saying the same message in support of our contract negotiations.
  3. Mark your calendar for a drop-in style WSNA meeting on June 12 from 4:30 - 8 p.m. at Round Table Pizza in Mt Vernon. Your WSNA RN bargaining team wants to meet with you!
  4. Talk about negotiations while you are at work and on break. The breakroom is always a safe place for this. We want our managers to know that nurses are talking about contract negotiations.

Our next contract bargaining session is Tuesday, June 5. Stop by the WSNA table that day from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. to get “real time” updates from WSNA organizers. This is also a great way to get buttons, to share issues and to find out how YOU can help us all get the best contract.

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Your WSNA contract bargaining team,

Liz Rainaud, Alice Riddle, Jessica Knutzen, Rachel Yates, Alyssa Stirpe and Peter Moore

For questions, contact a member of your bargaining team or WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O'Donnell at sodonnell@wsna.org or at (206) 575-7979, ext. 3045.


SRH Nurse Staffing Concern Form


If you find yourself in a situation that you believe creates unsafe conditions for patients or for you,
complete the Nurse Staffing Concern Form.

By completing the staffing Concern Form, you are helping to make the problem known to management, which creates an opportunity for the problem to be addressed. Additionally, you are documenting the facts, which may be helpful to you later if there is a negative outcome due to the concerns that you identify.

Types of Situations Where You Should Complete a Staffing Concern Form:

  • Charge nurse is unable to perform charge nurse duties, secondary to increased patient care assignment
  • Inadequate nurse to patient ratios for patient acuity based on your clinical judgment
  • Insufficient support staff requires you to assume additional duties
  • You are not trained or experienced in the area assigned
  • You have not been oriented to this unit / case load
  • Patient care equipment missing or unusable
  • Necessary equipment is not available (e.g.: supplies, IVs, medication availability)
  • You are not trained or experienced to use equipment in assigned area
  • System failure (e.g.: computer, phone, pyxis, call system)
  • An assignment poses a serious threat to your health and safety
  • An assignment poses a serious threat to the health and safety of a patient under your direct care
  • Forced / Mandatory Overtime
  • Missed breaks

Learn More — Guidelines for the Registered Nurse in Giving, Accepting or Rejecting an Assignment

Download this free WSNA Handbook (PDF)

Take this free WSNA Online Continuing Education Course


Join your local WSNA executive team and WSNA nurse rep for a pre-negotiation local unit meeting


Share comments, ask questions, hear the survey results and eat pizza.

When: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 5 - 8 p.m.
Where: San Juan Conference Room

If you have any questions, please call Sue O’Donnell, WSNA Nurse Representative at (206) 575-7979, ext. 3045 or via email at sodonnell@wsna.org.

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA Local Unit Officers:

Liz Rainaud, Chair; Alice Riddle, Membership Officer; Jessica Knutzen, Secretary/Treasurer; Rachel Yates, Membership Officer; Peter Moore, Grievance Officer

And Sue O’Donnell, Nurse Representative


Layoff and restructures update!


WSNA met with management on Monday, Feb. 19. As of today most, but not all, potentially affected nurses have been notified that their department is included in layoff/restructure. Nurses in Case Management, Oncology, Women’s Health Clinic, Nephrology Clinic and Rheumatology Clinic have been notified they are affected.

As of Feb. 19, management had not notified the least senior nurses who may be affected. These least senior nurses comprise the Low Seniority Roster. The Low Seniority Roster for this layoff/restructure include RNs working in Clinical Care Group C, who were hired since January 2018. WSNA will be reaching out to these nurses beginning today. See the CBA, page 37, for definition of Clinical Group C.

WSNA continues to represent your interests as we work with management and move through this layoff/restructure. If you have questions/concerns please contact Sue O’Donnell, WSNA Nurse Representative, at (206)575-7979, ext. 3045 or sodonnell@wsna.org.

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA Local Unit Officers:

Liz Rainaud, Chair; Alice Riddle, Membership Officer; Jessica Knutzen; Membership Officer; Rachel Yates, Secretary/Treasurer; Peter Moore, Grievance Officer

and Nurse Representative: Sue O’Donnell


Negotiation survey available now until Feb. 23


Preparations for WSNA contract negotiations are underway!

The negotiation survey will be available until Friday, Feb. 23.

Your WSNA local unit officers and leadership team are preparing for contract negotiations and we need to hear from all of the nurses at Skagit. It has been a challenging year for Skagit with financial issues and changes to leadership. It is essential that we hear from you as we plan to negotiate on your behalf. Your input and participation are vital in getting the best possible contract for Skagit RNs. Here’s how you can be involved:

  • Update your contact information with the WSNA Membership Department at membership@wsna.org or by phone at (206) 575-7979.
  • Consider becoming a unit representative.
  • Consider becoming a member of the negotiating team – we cannot represent your interests unless we have nurses from various units at the negotiating table.
  • Continue to watch your Skagit homepage and your email for updates and information.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O’Donnell at (206)575-7979, ext. 3045.


WSNA was notified this morning that SRH plans to implement layoffs of a “small number” of registered nurses covered by the WSNA/SRH collective bargaining agreement


We want you to know that we are aware of this situation and are working to protect the interests of SRH/WSNA represented registered nurses. Your collective bargaining agreement provides a specific process in layoff/restructure that will be followed.

When we have more information about the potentially affected departments/nurses we will be back in contact with you.

In the meantime, if you have questions please contact:

Sue O’Donnell, WSNA Nurse Representative at (206)575-7979, ext. 3045 or via email at sodonnell@wsna.org.

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA Local Unit Officers:

Liz Rainaud, Chair; Alice Riddle, Membership Officer; Jessica Knutzen; Membership Officer; Rachel Yates, Secretary/Treasurer; Peter Moore, Grievance Officer

and Nurse Representative: Sue O’Donnell