Update: CommonSpirit’s Plans Regarding the COVID Caregiver Award bonus

We let you know last week that WSNA, SEIU and UFCW 21 have been notified of CommonSpirit’s plan to provide Broad Based Awards and the Covid Caregiver Award bonus for caregivers. The Broad Based Award is a $625 bonus (pro-rated) that is available to all employees who worked at least 800 hours between July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 and had at least a “satisfactory” or “meets expectations” on the most recent performance evaluation. The Caregiver Award is a $1,000 bonus that will be awarded to employees at the employer’s discretion. The employer will implement these bonuses on Friday, Oct. 16.

While your local unit officers are happy to see recognition and reward going to nurses who have performed so heroically over the last year, we strongly disagree with the employer’s decision to craft a divisive bonus that does not recognize the contributions of all employees who have stepped up in incredibly challenging circumstances. Additionally, we are appalled at the employer’s decision to unilaterally implement a bonus without negotiating the parameters of the bonus with us. Nurses at St. Joe’s Medical Center and St. Clare Hospital have chosen to bargain collectively with our employer. The employer’s actions are destructive to our labor relations relationship.

WSNA is currently evaluating our legal options. We do not have any desire to take bonuses away from nurses. We simply want to force the employer to engage in collective bargaining as required by federal labor law. In the meantime, please contact your WSNA Local Unit Officers or Nurse Rep if you believe that you have not received a bonus for which you were eligible. While the employer is not willing to change the terms of eligibility, they have committed to working with us to ensure that those who meet the terms receive the bonus or bonuses.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Barbara Friesen at bfriesen@wsna.org.