Union

St. Joseph Medical Center – Tacoma


Announcing changes in WSNA nurse representative


Please welcome WSNA Nurse Representative Pat McClure, RN. Beginning Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, Pat will be taking over all issues as they arise at St. Joseph Medical Center. I will be assisting Pat with this transition in the coming months as needed.

Pat can be reached at pmcclure@wsna.org 206-575-7979, ext. 3110.

It has been a pleasure working with all of the St. Joe’s RNs over the past three years. I am continuing my work here at WSNA as a nurse representative with new assignments. I will miss the St. Joe’s nurses but know you will be in good hands with Pat.

All my best to you,

Sara Frey, JD, BSN, RN
WSNA Nurse Representative
sfrey@wsna.org


Negotiation update: session #7


First and foremost, we want to give a great big thank you to everyone who has supported our negotiating team. For those who stepped up and took part in the sign making and picture taking, the signs were hung facing the management team during the session to make the greatest impact. Thank you to each and every one who wore WSNA pins as a show of support. They were certainly noticed by managers on the units. Please keep up the show of support for us, your negotiating team.

A special thanks also go out to the 7th floor for all of the tasty snacks. It was greatly appreciated.

During the session, management increased their wage proposal. We still have a ways to go, however. We are still working on the issue of floating between the Main OR and Walters. We encourage any nurse who has a story to tell about the effects of floating on safe patient care, patient satisfaction and job satisfaction to contact one of the negotiating team members to tell your story. Readable paystubs are still an issue. The practice of using PTO to cover your FTE, even if you pick up another shift, was also on the table.

Our next negotiating session is Dec. 11 at 9 a.m. at the Holiday Inn and Suites.

Remember, the Social Events are planned to take place on Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the 7 Seas and Friday, Dec. 21 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Red Elm. This is a family-friendly event and snacks are provided. Everyone is welcome!

If you have any questions, contact WSNA Nurse Representative Pat McClure at pmcclure@wsna.org or at 360-904-8004.


Negotiation update: management refuses to resume talks in the afternoon


We, your bargaining team met with management on Nov. 19 for the sixth time. Throughout the morning and early afternoon, we discussed several issues which will have an impact on our wages, hours and working conditions. We were quite disappointed when the Medical Center ended the day early and failed to come back and address our latest proposal. WSNA has made significant movement on a number of issues and the refusal to meet with the WSNA team in the afternoon was unacceptable and does not move us towards a resolution. What are some of the issues at stake?

Per Diems and Supplemental Part-time

WSNA proposed to place per diems on the wage scale in order to enhance the recruitment and retention of good nurses.

SJMC proposed to eliminate Supplemental Part Time nurses and to reduce pay in lieu of benefits from 15% to 10%. This change means Supplemental Part Time nurses will become per diems and will no longer accrue seniority and will not have the protection from the “just cause” provision (discipline). Per Diems would have a 5 shift/1 full weekend per month obligation and 2 holidays requirement.

WSNA believes these changes are not in the best interest of the bargaining unit and is a takeaway. A two-tiered system is a valuable tool in recruiting nurses who desire more or less of a commitment and are available to work to cover vacations, leaves and other events. The hospital has been unable to adequately articulate why the current two-tiered system is not working.

Clinical Groups

WSNA proposed to separate the main OR from Walters. This is a significant priority for members working in those areas who feel they are unable to remain competent due to logistics that prevent nurses from adequately cross-training and remaining competent. This creates an unacceptable safety risk. This has been an ongoing issue and it is more evident than ever that it is not sustainable.

SJMC continues to reject this proposal.

Pay in Lieu of Benefits

SJMC continues to push to reduce this benefit from 15% to 10% stating the new sick leave laws costs too much money. SJMC’s own data demonstrates that the cost is minimal.

Safe Staffing Language

WSNA proposed language that enhances safe and adequate staffing in the hospital including language that provides staffing to cover vacations, etc. and staffing levels to ensure that charge nurses don’t have to take patient assignments.

SJMC continues to propose that all staffing language is gutted from the contract.


We had a great turn out at our contract negotiations update meetings last week. Thanks to everyone for your support of our team, great questions and eagerness to fight for our rights. Please continue to check our webpage for updates and opportunities to stay involved.

For ideas on how you can support the negotiations team on negotiation days, contact our WSNA Nurse Representative, Sara Frey, at sfrey@wsna.org or at (206) 575-7979, ext. 3039.

We are working on many workplace issues

Changes to South Pavilion and 8/9th floors
We also had great turnouts at our October meetings to discuss SJMC’s proposed changes to the South Pavilion and 8 B/C and 9th. Again, thank you to everyone who gave input. Your participation guides our demands to management, so let’s keep talking – contact Sara Frey.

Violence at SJMC
There have been increased incidences of workplace violence at SJMC recently. Right now, we are fighting for our rights and safety as part of a DOSH investigation. Please contact Sara Frey now to share your experiences with workplace violence at SJMC.

Medication Scanning Problems
We all have problems scanning medications at times, because of unreadable barcodes, broken scanners, unavailable scanners, etc. Some coworkers are being disciplined for incorrect medication administration, when in fact the scanner problems are at fault. Please fill out the Medication Scanning Survey to help us quantify this problem and show SJMC that we need properly working equipment at all times.

We always want to and need to hear from you about these issues, and any others. Please contact Sara Frey or any of our WSNA officers. Contact information is on our breakroom’s WSNA bulletin board.


Upcoming Events

Please join us at the following events to visit with coworkers, get up to date on workplace issues, review our current contract and ask any questions you have. All events are casual and fun – and snacks are on us!

Questions? Contact any of the negotiation team members, WSNA officers or WSNA Nurse Representative Sara Frey at sfrey@wsna.org or at (206) 575-7979, ext. 3039.


We need to hear from you!


Workplace violence incidents investigation is underway. WSNA and your officers are working hard on your behalf to ensure all measures are taken, in accordance with state regulations, to assure your safety in the workplace. The Industrial Hygienist Compliance Officer assigned to investigate the workplace violence incidents at SJMC has now initiated her investigation as a result of our complaint filed with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) at L&I for allegations of failing to ensure our safety in the workplace, failing to provide adequate training, and failing to evaluate workplace violence incidents in order to better protect nurses and other employees from harm.

We are asking nurses who have experienced workplace violence to contact us with their experiences. If you are willing to share your experience, please provide your contact information so we can reach out to you. Nurses should not have to come to work with a fear that we will be assaulted during our shift.

Reminder: Local unit meeting and negotiation update:
You may also share your experiences with us at the Nov. 7 local unit meeting and negotiations update.

When: Nov. 7 from 1-2:30 p.m., 3:30-5 p.m. or 6-8:30 p.m.

Where: People Community Center - 1602 M.L.K. Jr Way (across from the hospital)

Feel free to drop in at any time during any of these sessions. Team members, our WSNA Nurse Rep and chief negotiator will be on hand to answer your questions. Be involved! Be informed about what is going on and what is at stake in regards to our wages, hours and working conditions. We will also have refreshments available and there will be gift card raffles.

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

Negotiation update and workplace violence complaint


We would like to give a big shout out and thank you to the ACC for providing our negotiating team with great snacks and beverages for our fifth negotiation session on Oct. 30, 2018. If your unit would like to provide some snacks or lunch at an upcoming session, please contact one of your local unit officers or a member of the negotiation team.

Workplace violence incidents are being investigated. We now have an Industrial Hygienist Compliance Officer assigned to investigate the workplace violence incidents at SJMC as a result of our complaint filed with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) at L&I for allegations of failing to ensure our safety in the workplace, failing to provide adequate training and failing to evaluate workplace violence incidents in order to better protect nurses and other employees from harm. Nurses should not have to come to work with a fear that we will be assaulted during our shift. At our most recent negotiation session, we also presented a proposal to management related to workplace violence.

We need your help. Have you experienced workplace violence at SJMC? We need to hear from you. Let us know if you are willing to speak with the investigator from DOSH.

Staffing remains a priority. We continue to fight to retain and improve staffing language in our contract and we also exchanged a “package” of proposals which the hospital is now considering.

Want more details on specific WSNA proposals and management takeaways? Come to one of the negotiation update meetings.

When: Nov. 7 from 1-2:30 p.m., 3:30-5 p.m. or 6-8:30 p.m.

Where: People Community Center - 1602 M.L.K. Jr Way (across from the hospital)

Feel free to drop in at any time during any of these sessions. Team members, our WSNA Nurse Rep and chief negotiator will be on hand to answer your questions. Be involved! Be informed about what is going on and what is at stake in regards to our wages, hours and working conditions. We will also have refreshments available and there will be gift card raffles.

Your negotiation team,

Crystal Brooten, Dian Davis, Francine Gumina, Janet Stewart, John Gustafson, Katie Miller, Linda Burbank, Melissa Garcia, Rachael DeSouza and Tiffany Repar

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


Workplace violence – it's time for action


Nurses at SJMC shouldn’t be afraid for our lives when we go to work, yet several nurses were seriously assaulted by the very patients for whom they were caring.

WSNA and your officers are aware of a recent string of violent incidents involving a patient on an involuntary hold at the hospital. These incidents have resulted in a number of nurses receiving significant injuries. SJMC has an obligation to implement all necessary measures to prevent and protect nurses and other employees from violence and threats of violence in the workplace.

It's time to act:

  • We have taken immediate and swift action. A demand for action letter was sent to SJMC’s CEO insisting they respond to this serious threat to nurses and staff. Find the letter here.
  • Demand for information requested. An information request has been submitted to determine what further steps need to be taken to ensure the hospital is in compliance with the law and your collective bargaining agreement.
  • L&I complaint filed. We have filed a complaint with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) at L&I for failing to ensure your safety in the workplace, failing to provide adequate training and failing to evaluate workplace violence incidents in order to better protect nurses and other employees from harm.

We should not have to go to work with the fear that we will be the victim of a violent attack. We have every right to expect our employer to take all precautions, as required by law, to prevent such attacks. If you have questions or believe you are being placed in a specific, dangerous situation, please contact one of us, your local unit officers, WSNA Nurse Representative Sara Frey.

Your local unit officers,

Dian Davis, WSNA Chair
Allie Jones, WSNA Secretary
Janet Stewart, WSNA Treasurer and Grievance Officer
Linda Burbank, WSNA Grievance Officer
John Gustafson, WSNA Grievance Officer
Rachael DeSouza, WSNA Membership Coordinator


Having problems scanning medication?


Have you had problems with thinking you successfully scanned a medication only to find later the medication has failed to appear in the patient’s EPIC medical record? WSNA has reason to believe there are ongoing issues with medication scanning and administration which is resulting in nurses being disciplined and the filing of multiple grievances. We need to hear about your experiences.

Please take this survey to assist us.


Important negotiations information you need to know about


We, your negotiation team, met with management on Oct. 9, 2018 for our fourth negotiation session. During previous sessions, we made proposals of basic staffing standards including adequate staffing to allow nurses to utilize their PTO. SJMC management responded by attempting to strip the contract of all staffing language in section 6.11 and 6.12. At this most recent session, management renewed their proposal to eliminate the safe staffing language from the contract, including language that protects the nurses from retaliation for raising staffing concerns.

The Medical Center is also continuing to try to condense clinical groupings and float individuals more broadly. This includes attempting to fold ACC into Med Surg. SJMC is also not willing at this time to separate Walters from the main OR despite both management and nurses raising concerns. We have significant concerns about the ability to maintain competency of the nurses who are floated and the safety of the patients and have a proposal related to floating.

Recently, some of our team members played roles in this video depicting why floating of nurses anywhere is not always the right thing to do.

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The Medical Center gave us their economic proposal and we are far apart on wages. We are working hard to assure the Medical Center is able to retain and attract nurses to care for our patients.

What’s next? Come talk to us, your negotiation team, and get the latest on negotiations. Drop in, get the scoop, be involved, know what’s going on!

Local unit meeting – negotiations update

Date: Nov. 7, 2018
Time: 1-2:30 p.m., 3:30-5 p.m., 6-8:30 p.m.
Location: The People’s Community Center - 1602 M.L.K. Jr Way, Tacoma, WA

WSNA Happy Hour

Spend some time with your peers and membership officer, Rachael DeSouza (please note the Happy Hour that was scheduled on 11/7 is canceled due to the above negotiation meetings).

When: Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 5-7 p.m.
Where:
7 Seas Brewery in Tacoma

Your negotiation team,

Crystal Brooten, Dian Davis, Francine Gumina, Janet Stewart, John Gustafson, Katie Miller, Linda Burbank, Melissa Garcia, Rachael DeSouza and Tiffany Repar


Day two of negotiations!


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Negotiations update


Your WSNA bargaining unit team of registered nurses met on Thursday, Aug. 30 for our second bargaining session. Our team forcefully advocated for improving staffing and a paycheck system that is clear and transparent.

Both sides exchange proposals and had dialogue around some non-economic issues. We were able to reach tentative agreements on smaller issues.

Our next scheduled bargaining session is set for Sept. 26. Your bargaining team of St. Joe’s nurses continues to volunteer countless hours to this process and to fight for the nurses who make St. Joe’s work. Your priorities are the driving force behind our proposals as identified through personal conversations and our pre-negotiation surveys.

United we bargain, divided we beg!

In solidarity,

Your 2018 negotiation team: John Gustafson, Tiffany Repar, Rachael DeSouza, Dian Davis, Linda Burbank, April Agnew, Crystal Collins, Melissa Garcia, Bill Klinakis, Allie Jones, Katherine Miller and Janet Stewart

Dates to remember:

WSNA Happy Hour
Thursday, Sept. 6
5-7 p.m.
7 Seas Brewing

WSNA Lunch
Tuesday, Sept. 18
12:30-2:30 p.m.
Red Elm Cafe

WSNA Happy Hour
Wednesday, Oct. 3
5-7 p.m.
7 Seas Brewing

All events are designed to allow you to drop in at your convenience and find out more about what’s going on.


Negotiations have begun!


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Your bargaining team met with your employer this week for our first negotiation session.

We presented proposals which include language promoting safe and effective staffing, and a wage increase which is competitive and encourages recruitment and retention. Our next bargaining session is on Aug. 30. It’s time to bust out your WSNA swag – WSNA water bottles, buttons, badge pulls, etc.

We are seeking additional unit reps to assist with support of the negotiation team. If your unit would like to bring snacks or would like to find out about other ways to support your negotiation team, please contact one of the officers.

Email updates and your WSNA local unit webpage is the quickest way to get up-to-date information. If we don’t have your current email address, please contact Nurse Rep Sara Frey at sfrey@wsna.org.

In solidarity,

Your 2018 negotiation team: John Gustafson, Tiffany Repar, Rachael DeSouza, Dian Davis, Linda Burbank, April Agnew, Crystal Collins, Melissa Garcia, Bill Klinakis, Allie Jones, Katherine Miller and Janet Stewart


Two days of learning, networking and enjoying Lake Chelan - for free!


Leadership Collage Chelan

Your local unit officers are reimbursing mileage, one night of lodging and meals for a limited number of nurses to attend the Lake Chelan Union Leadership Summit on Sept. 30-Oct. 1., in the beautiful town of Chelan at Campbell’s Resort. The topics are:

Safe Nurse Staffing
How to make the 2017 Staffing Law work for you at St. Joseph Medical Center.

Violence in the Workplace
Learn more about what types of violence nurses face and how you can help create a safer work environment.

Attacks on Worker Rights
The movement to silence your voice and how you can stop it.

Our discussions will include education, strategy discussions and networking with other RNs in your community. You will walk away with tools to make a difference and earn 6 CNEs.

Your local unit officers are sponsoring a limited amount of RNs to attend this important event – first come, first serve!

Contact Janet Stewart at jswsna@gmail.com or WSNA Nurse Representative, Sara Frey, at sfrey@wsna.org or at (206) 575-7979, ext. 3039 to claim your sponsorship.

The Chelan Leadership Summit at Campbell’s Resort also features:

  • Nurses Speak (Sept. 30) – an opportunity to talk to legislators about the issues you face as a nurse in an intimate, roundtable setting.
  • Evening Banquet with entertainment (Sept. 30) - Sit-down dinner with entertainment from comedian Kermet Apio, winner of The Great American Comedy Festival.

How it works:

  • Claim your scholarship with Janet Stewart at jswsna@gmail.com or WSNA Nurse Representative, Sara Frey, at sfrey@wsna.org or at (206) 575-7979, ext. 3039.
  • Because you are a WSNA member, registration for the event is free. Register here.
  • Local unit sponsorship for one-night lodging, mileage and meal stipend for meals not included in the conference will be reimbursed at the following rate:
    • One night at Campbells Resort
    • $0.45/mile
    • $40 meal stipend

Feel free to contact WSNA nurse rep, Sara Frey, at sfrey@wsna.org for any questions.


What's going on in your local unit?


Monthly happy hour

The next happy hour date is Wed., Sept. 5.

Where: 7 Seas Brewery
When: 5-7 p.m.

Please join your coworkers for happy hour! We do it every month after New Hire Orientation. We’ll provide snacks and have a copy of our current contract. We can talk about workplace concerns, contract questions and/or simply hang out and have fun together!


Lunch conversation at Red Elm

Where: Red Elm Cafe
When: Tues., Sept. 18 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Happy Hour isn’t your thing? Join us for lunch and conversation.

Come to lunch at Red Elm (five blocks from the hospital on MLK). Again, we’ll provide food, and can talk about workplace issues or simply relax together.

Some of us attended conferences this month and wrote about our experiences. Check out the awesome things SJMC are up to! If you also would like to attend a convention, let us know!



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Rachael De Souza writes:

The Washington State Labor Council Convention was in Wenatchee this month, and I attended as a WSNA delegate. There were many good workshops. I learned about the Janus decision, best practices for LGBTQ workers and our state’s voting rights act, among other topics. I enjoyed meeting people who are pipefitters, aerospace engineers, farm workers, teachers, public sector workers, electricians, food service workers and union staff supporting them. My favorite parts were:

  • Rooming with Liz Leske, the co-chair of TG’s WSNA unit, and planning future local events that SJMC and TG can do together.
  • Informational picketing at Central Washington Hospital (a WSNA facility). The technical workers, UFCW members, are in difficult contract negotiations. After the picket, management agreed to return to the bargaining table with a mediator!
  • Feeling the sense of trust, family and fun shared by labor union members.
  • Listening to Elise Bryant, president of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, speak about the labor movement and sing traditional labor songs.

The Pierce County chapter of the Washington State Labor Council meets monthly in Tacoma. If you want to learn more about local labor issues, consider coming to a PCCLC meeting. I’ll be there! Write to me for more information.



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John Gustafson writes:

I was a delegate to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Conference in Pittsburg PA. AFT has 1.7 million members and all WSNA members are AFT members, too. Edna Cortez, Chair of Seattle Children’s local unit, and I stood up in support of a resolution on Promoting Prevention of Workplace Violence.

During the 4 day conference there were speeches, presentations and much support given to nurses at the conference by Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Governors and Mayors and other legislators. I encourage all WSNA AFT members to get involved. We Care, We Fight, We Show up and We Vote. Please register and vote in the next election.

Would you like to be more involved? Have ideas for an event? Want to see something change? Please let me know! We can make it happen together.

For any questions, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sara Frey at sfrey@wsna.org.


WSNA June Membership Newsletter


Contract negotiation team forms

Our contract negotiation team has met for the first time! Thank you so much for filling out the survey about your concerns. Those results really drove the conversation and gave us great information about what matters to you. We look forward to representing all of you when we meet with management (date to be determined) to discuss our contract. Your ongoing support and enthusiasm is so important to our success as a bargaining unit!

WSNA water bottles delivered

Back in March, unit reps met and planned our Nurses Week gifts. We chose aluminum water bottles, printed at a union shop in the USA, that say “Got Break?” to celebrate our break relief settlement! We passed out many of the bottles during Nurses Week in May, and finished up distributing bottles this month. Thank you to the fun, dedicated reps who helped label, bag and pass out bottles over the last two weeks. We hope that you enjoy sipping from them on your well-deserved uninterrupted rest and meal breaks.

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Monthly happy hour, just for us!

Many of us want more opportunities for casual gathering and conversation among our fellow nurses. So, we are initiating monthly SJMC WSNA Happy Hour, hosted by your membership team! Join us at the 7 Seas in Tacoma (down the hill from SJMC on Jefferson and 21st), from 5-7 p.m. every first Wednesday of the month. WSNA will provide delicious munchies and a gift card raffle, and drinks are available for individual purchase. June 6 was our first Happy Hour, and we had a great time. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Due to the holiday, we will meet on July 5 at the 7 Seas, instead of July 4. Do not miss out!

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Let’s power up for a great 2018 negotiations!

Do you have questions? Have an idea? Want to get involved?

Please contact your membership officer, Rachael De Souza, at (253) 906-9036 or desouza.rachael@gmail.com or one of your local unit officers at St Joe’s Tacoma:

Dian Davis, Co-Chair - ddavis9660@msn.com
Janet Stewart, Treasurer and Grievance Officer - jstew4@msn.com
John Gustafson, Grievance Officer - jgwsna@comcast.net
Linda Burbank, Grievance Officer - sunshine­_linda@yahoo.com


St. Joseph officers and activists prepping for the 2018 negotiations!


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Join and help their efforts by completing the bargaining survey if you haven't already, and follow and like on Nursing Strong St Joe's Tacoma Facebook page.

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Fantastic free opportunity!


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Your WSNA officers are sponsoring attendance to the Pierce County Nurses Association annual banquet. If you would like to attend, please email Janet Stewart at jswsna@gmail.com to be added to the list.

Please RSVP with Janet no later than Friday, May 4, 2018. You are welcome to bring a spouse, friend, etc., however, your guests must register and pay separately.


Negotiations are coming up this fall!


This is your contract and we need your input.

Please assist us with identifying your needs for the upcoming fall 2018 negotiations. This is vital information that your negotiating team needs in order to best represent your needs.

Your local unit officer are also seeking volunteers for various activities surrounding negotiations including being part of the negotiation team.

This is your contract and your opinion matters! Please let your officers and negotiation team know what your priorities are. Even if you are not on the team, you play an important roll in securing a fair contract.

Questions? Contact one of your local unit officers.

Or your nurse representative, Sara Frey at sfrey@wsna.org or (206) 575-7979, ext. 3039.