NEGOTIATIONS DAY 2 – Looks like we’re gonna play some defense…

  • Updates from the table
  • Come observe the process
  • What we all can do to get the best contract possible
  • Skagi2
  • Skagi1
  • Skagi3

It’s getting hot at the table!

Given the short staffing, the seemingly increasing number of travelers, and the Hospital’s refusal to renegotiate wages a few years back even as other nurses started seeing double-digit increases, we were a little surprised to see the Hospital coming to the table with take-aways and some pretty brash proposals.

We started with a robust discussion around the issues of Nurse Residents Agreements (including when residents are hired to an FTE by the Hospital but are not being provided with enough work time, and the payback provisions for on-the-job training – other labor agencies have found these provisions unlawful). We also voiced concern that the Hospital   not only isn’t following the job posting language and seems to be hiring outside candidates over internal candidates but may be trying to remove job classifications out of bargaining unit by floating them between Skagit and Cascade without bargaining. This erodes our strength as a Union!

The Hospital proposed some big changes including:

  • CALLBACK: the Hospital proposed that nurses be called back from “off the premises” before qualifying for callback pay. We raised several issues we’re seeing in the OR already, including nurses on-call just being kept over (so that the Hospital avoids callback pay) – meaning, they’re forced into mandatory overtime.
  • FLOATING BETWEEN HOSPITALS:  the Hospital proposed that nurses could voluntarily float between SRH Main campus in Mt. Vernon and Cascade hospital in Arlington for a $2/hour premium. Any agreement on floating between hospitals would require that WSNA, the union representing Cascade, and the Hospital all agree. This opened up many questions for us regarding differences between two different nurse contracts especially with regards to reporting structure, low census order, time and travel calculations, etc.  By the way, we have attempted to negotiate this twice before without success and still have the same questions that remain unanswered about the working conditions under this proposal.
  • ANNUAL LEAVE:   the Hospital pointed out many of the same concerns we have about scheduling annual leave; however, we didn’t see any solutions in their proposal. For example, they did not have a response to our question of why currently even very large departments are only allowing one nurse to take vacation at a time. In addition, they proposed that nurses may only utilize the 18-month in advance request once every three years for a vacation of one week or longer. The most shocking aspect was the proposal that if a nurse cancels their vacation before the scheduled time (except for FMLA, bereavement, or certain military actions), the nurse would forfeit those annual leave hours! We see no issues resolved in this proposal, and plenty of take-aways.

We proposed changes that would clarify that nurses can participate in other unions’ pickets or strikes outside of work time and not face potential penalties, would clean up our grievance & arbitration language to make the process more equitable for nurses, and would clearly limit the Hospital’s ability to do whatever it wants without negotiating with the Union. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the Hospital to provide information we need to prepare our additional proposals – we are not about to make uninformed proposals, but that has limited our ability to address some of the most important issues nurses identified in surveys.

We are crafting our economic proposal as well as other proposals that were indicated as high priorities for the bargaining unit.

Come Observe the Process!

Do you wonder what really happens at the table during negotiations? How this all shapes out and what is actually said to each other across the table? Come witness bargaining first hand!

If you would like to participate by being an observer, consider attending the APRIL 5 SESSION. Submit your name and contact information along with your department information to WSNA Organizer Sam Scholl by emailing him at SScholl@wsna.org Sam will walk you through expectations and let you know where and when to attend. The first 5 nurses who reach out can attend this initial session; we will expand these opportunities at future negotiations. Like your bargaining team co-workers at the table, this is voluntary and on your own time, but we welcome you to experience this bargaining firsthand.

NEW!   Sip and Chat

Join us for “sip ‘n chat” virtual meetings every Thursday evening starting Thursday, March 28 at 6 p.m. for all WSNA-represented nurses to log into from home computer or smart phone.  Bring your questions and concerns to a regular scheduled meeting and speak with your Nurse Rep Sue Dunlap and at least one of your officers or bargaining team members at every session. We will happily answer questions about bargaining, how this process works, and other issues affecting union nurses at Skagit.  To attend please log into the meeting by clicking on the link below.  Please register for the meeting with your name and Department you work at when you log in.

Cafeteria time

Show Management that we are serious about our contract by showing support for our bargaining team by coming by the cafeteria and signing posters expressing *why* we demand a great contract. Look for the blue WSNA sign in the cafeteria at the Hospital main campus in the cafeteria April 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again on April 4 from 3 to 5 p.m.. (Clinics – we haven’t forgotten about you! Let’s brainstorm the best way to get these posters to all nurses!)  Also watch the Facebook pages and our Instagram for “Pop up” cafeteria times as the officers are able to arrange.

Sticker up!

Wear a sticker on our next bargaining day on April 5 to show that you support our team and our contract. Keep sending those pictures to Union chair Liz by texting 360.421.2505 or Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at 425.263.0522.  Contact any of your officers or bargaining team members to request stickers to hand out to your department!

The photos we have received are STELLAR!   Remember if you don’t see your department represented in the photos, just wear a sticker, snap a photo and text it!   *NB* There may be a surprise for the “best” photo!

In solidarity,
The Bargaining Team


Liz Rainaud, FBC, Co-Chair
Jessica Magner, Urgent Care, Co-Chair
Rachel Yates, UC, Treasurer
Kim McCann, FBC, Membership
Kyla Malean, OR, negotiation team member
Lacey Bernick, PERI-OP, negotiation team member

Questions or comments, contact Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org or 425.263.0522 or Organizer Sam Scholl at sscholl@wsna.org.