Union

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center – Bellingham


It's almost time for contract negotiations again!


Our current contract between WSNA and PHSJMC expires March 31, 2019. The pre-negotiation survey is the first step in our preparation for contract negotiations. The information we get from the survey is data we use in determining our priorities as we head to the bargaining table. For that reason, it is crucial that we know every nurse’s issues and concerns prior to the start of the negotiations.

Our power comes from the willingness of registered nurses to stand together; our strength is in unity! Remember, in order for WSNA to be an effective, strong and influential voice at the negotiation table, we need every member involved and working together.

Take the survey now, and make sure every nurse at PHSJMC you know and work with to takes it too.

In solidarity,

Sarah Newell-Chair, Geri Falacy-Secretary, Michelle Leidal-Treasurer, Rhonda Tull-Grievance Officer, Laura Bayes-Membership, Arlene Copps-Membership and Tracy Pullar-Safety Officer.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Barbara Friesen at bfriesen@wsna.org or at 206-575-7979 ext. 3056.


And the winners are...


Our WSNA Nurses Week Celebration was a great success. Lots of good food, conversation and drawings for Fred Meyer gift cards! The winners of the gift cards are:

Hannah Crawford - 4SKate Hicks - FloatJhoanna Antonio - CRU
Jennifer Langager - MCUKatie Munson - Care ManagementSarah Jane Hilliard - Float
Ashley Owen - PCUMegan Clemmer - EDTyler Osborn - 4S
Lynn Ringstad - HospiceSiobhan Burke - FloatJan McGaughy - ICU
Ashtyn Mott - HospiceLisa Amano - ORLori Lyddan - Rehab PPS
Amber Ogren. - RehabMichael Printup - Med SurgTrene Plowman - CBC
Jessi Ayers - SSUJudy Zurawski - 2nd Med SurgElaine Hahnel - OR
Jennifer Bruner - ORSherry Christopherson - EDKelley Porter - Float
Betsy Greacen - ImagingAnthony Anderson - FloatBrianna Bailey - L&D
Gail McPherson - L&DSamir Sadat - 4SKristi Pflueger - CBC
Janet Palmer - PCUAshley Gillam - MCUJamie Devin - ED
Amy Webb - FloatAlisha Poyner - Psych PPS
Amy Johnson - FloatLindy Engelsma - Surgical 3 NT

Thank you for your dedication, courage and commitment!

In solidarity,

Your WSNA Local Unit Officers;

Sarah Newell, Geri Falacy, Tracy Pullar, Michelle Leidal, Laura Bayes, Arlene Copps, Rhonda Tull and Susannah Ribeiro


WSNA’s Nurse’s Day Celebration


The regularly scheduled WSNA Cafeteria Time that is held the first Tuesday of every month from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. will be replaced for the month of May with:

WSNA’s Nurse’s Day Celebration
Monday, May 7
1 - 5 p.m.
In Conference Room 5 & 6

Please drop by and join us in celebrating all you do!


Happy Nurses' Week!


WSNA is inviting all nurses to come celebrate all that you do!

Where: Conference rooms 5&6
When: Monday, May 7 from 1 - 5 p.m.

There will be tasty treats, friends and drawings for prizes for all WSNA members. Show up and get an extra entry into the drawing!


Safe Staffing Committee nurse nominations needed!


The current members of the Safe Staffing Committee met on March 13, and determined every unit should have a staffing committee member plus an alternate representing them on the committee. Also, the length of the monthly meeting should be increased to 8-hours, at least until the staffing plans on every unit meet the requirements of the recent changes in the Safe Staffing Law.

We have received several nominations. However the units listed below still need nurses nominated. This is an opportunity for you to have an impact regarding staffing on your unit. Nobody knows more about your unit than you. This work is important and your time is paid. Please nominate yourself and/or other nurses you believe would represent your unit well.

The units immediately below currently have one nurse nominated but need at least one more nomination so there is an alternate for that unit:

CBC/Special Care NurseryICUPicc/IV Therapy
Gastro Endo LabICU FloatResource
Hospice CommunityInfusion/Cancer CenterSECU
Hospice HousePACUSurgical 3NT
ImagingPAS

The following units have no nomination, which means nobody will be on the Safe Staffing Committee representing these units. We need at least 2 nominations for each unit:

Behavioral HealthCBC/Labor & DeliveryCRU
Care ManagementCBC/Mother Baby UnitEndo/Wound Care
Cath Lab/EPCDU

The deadline for nominations is March 30, 2018.

Barbara Friesen, MS, BSN, RN
WSNA Nurse Representative
(206) 575-7979/(800) 231-8482, ext. 3056


Stay in the know with your local unit!


Letter from the Chair

Hello everyone,

The PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center/WSNA Local Unit Board sends out a newsletter at least twice a year. We hope the newsletters are informative and get you interested in your union. The nurses on the board would like to get some important messages out to the nurses we represent.

Individual bargaining:
Unfortunately there has been some individual bargaining with nurses by management at PeaceHealth. If you are a per diem nurse, your obligation is to give your availability for four shifts a month. There has been at least one incident where the management told a per diem nurse she had to do more than four shifts a month and that she had to do evening and nights. The nurse not knowing this was individual bargaining and was a violation of the contract, as well as federal law, verbally agreed with the demand she work as management said.

Another nurse was told to sign a "contract" concerning her working conditions. This also is individual bargaining and illegal.

Article 1.1 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement states "The Employer recognizes the Association as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for this Agreement shall cover, all registered nurses employed by the Employer as Staff Nurse, NTL and Per Diem Nurse." If management tells you to sign a "contract" or that your obligation is more than what is in the contract or anything you think may be individual bargaining, it is important to get ahold of one of the nurses on the board, or your nurse rep. Our contact information is on the WSNA bulletin board in your unit.

Job postings:
If you are applying for a new position within the hospital, read the job posting carefully. If there are REQUIRED job skills in the job posting, be sure you put on your application how and why you meet the REQUIRED skill sets. If the recruiter doesn't see where you have addressed the "REQUIRED" skill sets, your application will be deemed "NOT qualified."

If the job posting states certain skill sets are "PREFERRED" and you have those preferred skill sets, be sure to put this in your application as well.

WSNA Board:
PeaceHealth now has over 800 nurses. There are eight nurses on the WSNA Board. We are trying our hardest to be there for every nurse, but we need more nurses on the Board. We have a few positions open; co-chair, secretary, communication and grievance officer positions. We ideally like to have two nurses in every position except treasurer and safety officer.

There are four nurses on the Board who will be retiring in the next few years. This could potentially leave the Board with only four nurses trying to represent over 800 nurses. If you are interested in knowing more, please contact one of the nurses on the Board. For any position you are interested in, we will mentor you and support you every step of the way.

The nurses on the Board in the past and present have worked very hard to get us a fair contract and many of the benefits you enjoy because of the contract could go away if we don't have a strong board and engaged nurses. Many of the things we now have in the contract, such as premium pay and EIB could be in jeopardy in future contracts, unless we have engaged nurses who value what a unionized workplace brings. Remember the union is not the nurses on the board or the WSNA Seattle office. The union is you, all 800+ nurses at St. Joes!

In solidarity,

Sarah Newell, WSNA Chair


Submitting for education reimbursement instructions

  1. Print out and fill out the WSNA reimbursement request form (found in Crossroads, Learning and Development).
  2. Take the completed WSNA reimbursement request form, certificate of completion, receipt (or proof of payment) and program brochure/learning objectives to a copy/Xerox machine that has the ability to "scan and send" (the "scan and send" function is next to the "copy" function on the touchscreen of the copy/Xerox machine).
  3. Place all of your forms in the tray of the copy/Xerox machine.
  4. Press the "scan and send" button on the touchscreen.
  5. Enter your PeaceHealth 3x3 when prompted for who you are sending it to. Choose yourself/your PeaceHealth email address when the copy machine locates you by using your 3x3.
  6. Press the Start/Go button. It will take your forms through the feeder, scan them and email them to you as an attachment. Take your forms with you and go to a computer.
  7. Go to a computer and log in.
  8. Open your email. Open the email from scanner@peacehealth.org. Click "download" under the attachment (the paperclip symbol). At the bottom of the screen it will ask "Do you want to open or save [file] from outlook.office365.com?" Click the downward arrow to the right of "save" and then click "save as." "File name" is highlighted—name the file what you want and then click "Downloads" on the left-hand side of that window.
  9. Open Crossroads, System departments, Finance and accounting. Then click "Accounts payable" on the left. Under "Forms" click "Caregiver expense reimbursement." Sign in with your 3x3.
  10. Electronically fill out the form. All boxes in red must be filled out. Under "Company" type 800. Under "Accounting unit" type 8008671. Under "Account" type 73020. You must also fill out a few boxes that aren't in red: "Date" (in the first column: the date you did the education), "Registration, tuition" (in the first column: this is the amount you are requesting and are sending receipts for).
  11. When the form is completed, click "Click to add attachments-Max 10MB." This is 3/4 of the way down the form.
  12. A new window will open. Click "Downloads" on the left side of the window. Then double click the file name that you saved earlier (from step 8). This will electronically attach all of the forms that the Xerox/copy machine sent you. You know it attaches when a paperclip symbol appears to the right of the "Click to add attachments-Max 10MB."
  13. Write down the "Invoice #" on the bottom right corner of the form. This is your record that you filled out this form (although you should print out a copy of this in step 15, below).
  14. The final step: Click "Submit" near the bottom of the form.
  15. If it successfully submits, a new screen appears that states, "Form submitted successfully. Your invoice number is xxxxxxxxx. Please print a copy of this page for your records. Once you click ok, you cannot access this form." Click "print" and save this paper for your records.

Surviving and thriving in the workplace

I attended the WSNA Leadership Conference in Chelan, Washington on Sept. 22-24. The theme was Surviving and Thriving in the workplace. Some of the topics covered included current issues in the news: Right to Work legislation, Freedom Foundation, Patient Safety Act and the impact of Social Media in the workplace. The conference is always very informative and fun. It's good to spend time with other WSNA members from around the state and learn how things go in their hospitals. I am always so impressed with how committed these nurses are to making sure nurses are treated fairly and within their perspective Collective Bargaining Agreements. What I have learned is that our nurses at St. Joe's have one of the best, most inclusive and progressive contracts in the state. That is due, in part, to our Chair, Sarah Newell, who has worked tirelessly on the Board for the St. Joe's nurses for over 20 years. She cares deeply for nurses and makes certain we are all treated fairly by management. We are really hoping that some more of you nurses will get involved and want to be a part of making sure our nurses continue to negotiate a fair and equal contract. Please think about it, your input into our future is important and we would love to have you on the Board.


Do you know how to do a policy search?

First: Define whether you are looking for a protocol (such as the Heparin drip protocol), a procedure (such as discontinuing a central line) or a policy (such as instituting restraints).

Protocol: In EPIC: Open patient's chart > Under the Summary tab click on “Plan of Care.” In the middle of the screen there will be protocol orders. Go to the protocol order you are interested in and click on the blue writing after References (i.e.

Reference: Heparin Protocol). Protocol will pop up!

Procedure: Go to library (Crossroads > My tools >Library). Under Nursing Clinical Information choose Clinical Skills. Type in what you are hoping to find. For example, you will not find anything under "discontinuing central line," but if you type in "Central line" many items will appear, and one of them will be "Central Venous Catheter: Removal".

Policy: Go to Crossroads. Under My Tools, choose “Policies.” On left column, choose “Policies and Procedures, Hospital Network Department Search.” Choose St. Joseph Medical Center. Type the term you are looking for into the search box. For example, type Restraints and the following appears:

Title and AKA Searches. Click inside "Enter Value" below and add search word(s).

7D59294C 3C9C 4Daa 82B6 Dc8154Eb2Fb2

Unit representatives

Earlier this fall we had a gathering of unit reps, both new and long-time, for a dinner meeting. We had great attendance and it was good to see so many enthusiastic members. During the meeting we discussed what issues each unit was working on and sharing thoughts on how we can best assist our members. The unit reps are going to be your contact point on the floor, they can help answer questions and assist you with next moves if necessary. Your unit rep is there for you and understands the unique needs of your unit. We spent time defining the role of the unit rep as well as brainstorming ways to further strengthen and educate nurses so they feel empowered to get help when an issue arises. We have unit reps on almost each unit and we would like to have one rep per shift from every unit, so don’t feel like you missed out, we are happy to have new unit reps join!

The role of the unit rep:

  • Meet and greet new RNs on the unit. Orient them to the contract and education reimbursement.
  • Take turns participating in cafeteria time every first Tuesday of the month.
  • Writing articles that interest you for the WSNA newsletters.
  • Be the first to learn what is happening around the hospital.
  • Option to learn the grievance process and how to represent colleagues at meetings with management.
  • Help develop a strong, effective and meaningful unit rep network.
  • Unit rep meetings every three months the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. Next meeting is April 10.

If you are interested in becoming a unit rep please contact one of the local unit officers, unit reps or Nurse Rep Barbara Friesen at bfriesen@wsna.org.


Staffing concern form

WSNA reviews the Staffing Concern Forms with management at our monthly meeting. Please continue to document your staffing concerns on this form, as this is an important way you have to document what occurred on your shift. Your manager should be discussing with you what occurred to gather information and understanding so we all can take better care of our patients. If at any time you are told you have to ask "permission" to fill out a SCF or you feel chastised for filling out a SCF, let one of the board members know. WSNA has discussed with management that this tool is not a reflection of management, but rather documentation of what occurred on a shift. The SCF can be found on Crossroads, Nonclinical on the left hand side and then go under Staffing.


Has this happened to you?

The following are situations that have occurred to St Joseph’s Medical Center nurses. If these situations happen to you, please contact a WSNA officer.

Have you requested an education day off from work to complete online continuing education and received a response from staffing office denying the day off because “online continuing education can be done on your days off”? WSNA and management agreed that nurses can take a day(s) off from work to complete online education. The process is: the nurse requests the education day off and states what education will be completed (“online education”), the staffing office will allow that date to be taken off if staffing allows and if that date cannot be accommodated then another date within a pay period will be offered by staffing office to the nurse. Proof of CE’s from that date, in the amount of the hours the nurse took off from work, must be turned in to their manager in order to receive education leave pay.

Have you contacted your staffing office or your manager to take time off due to the death of an immediate family member and were given a personal day(s) rather than bereavement time? To clarify, personal days are either deducted from a nurse’s PTO bank or are unpaid. Article 12.8 gives nurses (not on probation) up to 36 hours of paid bereavement leave for the death of a grandparent, parent, spouse, spousal equivalent, brother, sister, child, grandchild or the step or in-law equivalent of parent, brother, sister or child.

Have you requested PTO over two weeks in length and received a response from the staffing office stating that PTO in excess of two weeks must be approved by the manager? This process is in violation of our contract which has no maximum length of PTO which can be taken as long as the nurse has, or will have at the time the PTO begins, enough hours in their PTO bank to cover that length of time off.

Have you received your final schedule on the 20th of the month, including your on-call schedule (for departments that take call), and are then told any time after the 20th of the month that you must now take additional call shifts? Article 7.11 states that the final schedule will be posted by the 20th of the month, and any changes to the schedule after the 20th of the month, including the call schedule, must be made by mutual consent.

Are you a per diem nurse that turned in your next month’s availability which included being available two weekends in a row and were then scheduled for the two weekends in a row, but were not paid consecutive weekend pay? Article 7.8 states that “…in the event a nurse is required to work either Saturday or Sunday on two (2) consecutive weekends, all time worked on the second weekend shall be paid for at the rate of one and one-half (1½) times the nurse’s regular hourly rate of pay…” This pay rate applies to both per diems and FTE nurses.

Have you attended a mandatory meeting only offered on your day off or before/after your shift, but were only paid straight time? Article 13.3 states, “if attendance is mandatory and if the meeting exceeds the regular workday or workweek, the nurse will be paid at one and one-half (1½) times the nurse’s regular rate of pay.”


Job posting MOU ratification vote passed

WSNA and PeaceHealth recently negotiated a tentative agreement regarding job posting.

  • The previous agreement required the employer to post all positions for 5 days before permanently filling any position, with the understanding positions will be posted on Thursdays.
  • The new agreement requires the employer to post all positions for 7 full-days before permanently filling any position, with the understanding positions may be posted any day Monday – Friday.

We recommend if you are interested in a position apply for it so you do not miss the timeline. You can always withdraw your application if you change your mind.


Your feedback made a difference!

Thank you to every one of you who took the time to take the Staffing Matrix Change Survey. The data you provided was instrumental in our ability to resolve our staffing grievances with management. They have agreed to return to the previous matrices that allowed for the overlap nurse and did state it would take a couple of weeks to make the change since a couple of the overlap nurses had made changes in their positions but they did hear you, responded and are making the changes you called for.

We also reached agreement to look at the Staffing Committee, how many members should be on the committee, from what areas and terms of service. Once that is determined WSNA will seek nominations and hold elections for bargaining unit members to vote on who they would like to represent them on the committee.

The goal is to have a Staffing Committee that meets the requirements of the new legislation, is transparent and helps get staffing that produces job satisfaction and subsequently patient safety/satisfaction.

Thanks for taking action standing together for patient safety and nurse satisfaction!