CHI Franciscan St. Joseph Medical Center – Tacoma


All SJMC Nurses

WSNA was notified this week that a major restructure/rebid is taking place in all of the Med-Surg units for all that are not already on 12-hour shifts. These include: 2-South, 4-South, 7th Floor, and 9th Floor. This change has not been presented to the Nurse Staffing Committee.

We have demanded a meeting with management to inquire what the rationale is and what business reason is driving this drastic change.

Per WSNA contract article 8.1.1, the hospital may be violating the contract.

8.1.1 If a nursing unit does not now have ten (10) or twelve (12) hour shifts, a majority vote of the unit would be required prior to implementing ten (10) or twelve (12) hour shift schedules for the unit on an involuntary basis.

While some nurses may welcome the change, not all nurses have the stamina to work 12-hour shifts. More and more, nursing research shows that 12-hour shifts may lead to increased nurse burnout and job dissatisfaction.

We pointed out the following to hospital administration and will be addressing this.

The financial implications of a decrease in FTE can be drastic. Nurses are scared about potential pay cuts if there aren’t enough 0.9 FTEs. Being forced from a 1.0 to a 0.9 FTE, or 0.8 to 0.75 FTE will affect your wages. Losing your evening shift differential will impact many.

Residents who are in their repayment period signed contracts and bid on patterns that stipulated work hours and FTE. Those who are unable to continue due to family or other obligations are scared at the prospect of having to repay the hospital the full amount.

Everyone would likely agree that leaving a child in daycare for more than 12.5 hours plus travel time is never in a family’s best interests and interferes with brain development in children under the age of 3. This also creates an increased financial burden for having to utilize longer hours in childcare. Families with children in daycare/childcare are by law limited to 10 hours, but the law makes “exceptions” due to work hours and travel time. However, you took this 8-hour position because it worked for you and your family’s schedule. Probably most of you have made plans around your work schedules. Some of you may be in school or involved in your children’s sports activities, and have been doing well at maintaining a positive work-life balance.

We understand further that management traveled to Hawaii and hired nurses under contract. During staff meetings, currently employed nurses were told that the new nurses had signed contracts for a 0.9 FTE. WSNA believes that all new hires should have been held until the rebids were complete to offer currently employed nurses optimal choices. For those nurses coming in as new hires, seniority must be factored and currently employed nurses cannot be displaced. We have requested copies of the contracts signed by these newly hired nurses.

For those that simply cannot work 12-hour shifts, we will be demanding that the hospital allow you to select a vacant position. We have requested a list of all units that currently have 8-hour shifts. If there are no 8’s and you have no other options, we will demand that the hospital allow you to select the option to be laid off. This would include access to unemployment.

Please follow the directive to submit your rebid selection so that you don’t miss the timeline, November 26, 2019.

We have made an extensive information request to continue to investigate this and to advocate on your behalf. We will be in touch as soon as we learn any new information.

Please continue to send your questions and concerns to Hanna Welander, WSNA Nurse Rep at hwelander@wsna.org or call (206) 575-7979, Ext. 3035.

Judge dismisses St. Joseph's appeal of Safety & Health citation

Industrial Appeals Judge Craig C. Stewart has dismissed the appeal by St. Joseph Medical Center which had challenged the citations against the hospital for multiple "serious" occupational safety and health violations.

On April 11 of this year, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH) issued a citation against St. Joseph for five serious violations and imposed fines totaling $14,400.00. DOSH cited the hospital for illegally excluding representatives of nurses and other employees from investigations of workplace violence incidents, illegally failing to notify WSNA and another union about physical assaults on their members, illegally conducting a safety and health committee composed of less than half employee representatives selected by the employees' unions, illegally operating a safety committee on which the chair was not elected by the committee members, and illegally failing to ensure that the safety committee reviewed and evaluated safety inspection and incident investigation reports.

The citation came about after a DOSH inspection of St. Joseph in response to a complaint filed by WSNA.

St. Joseph's lawyers lodged an appeal with the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, challenging the DOSH citation. WSNA filed a motion to dismiss the hospital's appeal as untimely.

The judge agreed with WSNA and ruled that St. Joseph's appeal, filed May 8, was too late. Under the law, unless an employer files its appeal of a DOSH citation within fifteen working days, the citation and penalty becomes final "and not subject to review by any court or agency."


If you have questions, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at (206) 575-7979, Ext. 3035 or hwelander@wsna.org.

Announcing Local Unit Officer election results

Congratulations to the new Local Unit Officers who have been duly elected to serve as your WSNA representatives at SJMC.

Thanks to all of you for taking part in this important vote. Your new slate of officers is:

Co-Chair:

Dian Davis

Allie Jones (by special appointment of the Local Unit Officers)

Secretary:

Sally Budack

Treasurer:

Janet Stewart

Grievance Officers:

Matthew McGuire

Linda Burbank

Janet Stewart

Membership Coordinators:

Melissa Garcia

Rachael DeSouza

For questions, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Fall Newsletter - 2019

Local Unit Officer elections are happening!

Watch your mail for your ballot and remember to vote! Postmark deadline is Oct. 18, 2019.


Rest Break settlement meetings continue:

SJMC has agreed to provide additional break nurse FTEs for 4 South and 7th Floor (in accordance with the Rest Break Settlement terms). Please continue to document missed breaks!


Extra Shift Incentive Issues

We are hearing that the Extra Shift Incentive is only being paid if it is documented in the Kronos Edit Log, using the term Extra Shift Incentive or ESI. Nurses are evidently not being paid the premium otherwise. Please submit a PAR if there is a discrepancy in your pay.


Memorandum of Understanding from new WSNA Contract, p. 46

Extra Shift Incentive

Effective August 25, 2019: The Employer and the Association agree that in response to staffing issues, a shift incentive of $5.00 per hour will be added to the RN’s regular rate of pay for nurses who work an extra shift in patient care. The purpose of this incentive is to encourage nurses to voluntarily sign up to work extra open shifts beyond their FTE. This incentive will be available through December 31, 2020.

Nurse Eligibility Requirements:

  • The nurse must work a direct patient care shift
  • The nurse must have an assigned FTE of 0.6 or greater
  • The nurse must work her/his assigned FTE during the work week in which she/he picks up the extra shift(s) in order to receive the incentive pay. If a short notice absence occurs in the work week the extra shift is worked, the nurse will be ineligible for incentive pay.

WSNA Files DOH Complaint for Violation of the Nurse Staffing Law

On October 8, 2019, WSNA filed a complaint pursuant to RCW 70.41.420 as set forth in ESHB 1714 (2017) pertaining to Nurse Staffing Committees. WSNA requested that the Washington State Department of Health open an investigation into St. Joseph Medical Center due to violation of the following provisions of the Nurse Staffing law:

  • Failure to follow the nursing personnel assignments in a patient care unit in violation of RCW 70.41.420 or shift-to-shift adjustments in staffing levels in violation of RCW 70.41.420.


WSNA analyzed 497 submitted ADOs. The complaint and request for DOH investigation relates to 32 complaints that have been reviewed by the Nurse Staffing Committee and marked as “unresolved.” To date, 64 of the complaints have been resolved.


The Power of the ADO (Assignment Despite Objection)
By Linda Burbank, SJMC Co-Chair of Safe Staffing Committee

There have now been over 500 ADOs filed by the nurses. Thanks to each and every one of you for taking the time to complete them. Please continue to submit ADOs so that staffing and safety issues can be tracked and addressed. Common themes identified in the ADOs include: insufficient staffing, charge RNs and support staff being pulled, staff unable to get adequate breaks and inappropriately staffing based on patient acuity.

A separate ADO sub-committee had to be formed to manage the volume of ADOs. This sub-committee has had several meetings to review the ADOs and determine if they are resolved or unresolved. They report back to the larger Committee so that issues can be addressed.

Sally Budack has been instrumental in creating a database to track and trend the ADOs. Her contributions have been trailblazing, to say the least. This has allowed the Safe Staffing Committee to closely track unresolved issues. We are seeing a distinct pattern over multiple 60-day periods of unresolved complaints.

Now more than ever, we need direct feedback from the nurses regarding safe staffing. This can be accomplished by: filing ADOs, communicating with the Safe Staffing Committee members, completing the Safe Staffing survey and by serving as a member or ad hoc member. The Safe Staffing Committee will be reaching out to nurses to get input about the Staffing Plan for their floor. If you are available to assist in this manner please contact Linda Burbank, ACC/2-South; Sally Budack, Main SADU; or Melissa Garcia, 7th Floor.


Nurse Safe Staffing Survey Coming Your Way

Watch for the Nurse Safe Staffing Survey coming at the end of the year. Your participation and feedback are needed.


Wage implementation date:

We have determined that per contract language in 9.2, the employer fulfilled its obligation by implementing wage increases on the first full pay period in July after the July 19 contract ratification session. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of your Local Unit Officers or WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander, 206-575-7979, Ext. 3035.


Paycheck Errors Committee Commencing Soon

The Division Director of HR Operations and the Medical Center HR Director shall, within ninety (90) days of contract ratification, meet with a committee of three (3) nurses as appointed by the Association for up to two (2) hours to hear and discuss concerns regarding pay stubs, paycheck errors and related payroll issues. Thereafter, the Division Director of HR Operations and the Medical Center HR Director shall meet with the WSNA committee up to three (3) times for two (2) hours during the succeeding twelve (12) months. The nurses who attend the meetings shall attend on paid time.


With the new contract, we achieved language to set up meetings to discuss paycheck errors with the Division Director of HR Operations. Three nurses have been appointed.


Breaks and Overtime Protections bill for healthcare professionals/Workplace Violence Bill

We Won! Now What? Learn about the legislative provisions and implementation strategies for meal and rest breaks, overtime protections, and workplace violence prevention.

Join your West Coast colleagues for an informational event on November 6, 2019, in Aberdeen/Grays Harbor. Other venues can be accessed.


More Counties Join PCNA:

On December 6, 2018, the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) reorganized the boundaries of its regional professional organizations. As a result, Pierce County Nurses Association (PCNA)’s boundaries expanded to cover Pierce, Thurston, Grays Harbor, Mason, Kitsap, Jefferson and Clallam counties. All WSNA members who live or work in these counties now have access to all PCNA programs, activities and events.



Union Members’ Right to Representation

Investigatory interviews

An investigatory interview is when you are questioned by your manager or director about any issue that you are involved with that could possibly lead to disciplinary action.

This can include tardiness, overtime, patient complaints, peer complaints, etc. You should ask at the beginning of the meeting, “Is this a meeting that can lead to disciplinary action?” If they answer “Yes” then you have the right to ask for representation. If they say “No” and indicate that you don’t need anyone, listen carefully to what is being discussed. If it starts to feel like it could lead to discipline, you have the right to invoke your Weingarten rights.

Representation rights

Under the Supreme Court’s Weingarten decision, when an investigatory interview occurs, the following rules apply:

  1. The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request. (Note: Do not ask the employer, “do I need union representation?” It is up to you to make the statement that you want union representation.) Remember, management is not an appropriate representative, so if they offer you the nursing supervisor or someone else to sit with you, that is not adequate.
  2. After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose among three options. The employer must either:
    1. Grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee; or
    2. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
    3. Give the employee a choice of: 1) having the interview without representation, or 2) ending the interview.
  3. If the employer denies the request for union representation and continues to ask questions, this is an unfair labor practice and the employee has the right to refuse to answer. The employee cannot be disciplined for a refusal to answer questions without union representation.

If called into a meeting with management, read the following (or present the Weingarten palm card) to the management when the meeting begins:

"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, I respectfully request that my Union Representative be present at this meeting. Without representation present, I choose not to participate in this discussion."

Frequently asked questions

Why do I need representation?
You need to take a representative from WSNA in for meetings that could lead to discipline. While the representative may not disrupt or obstruct the interview, management must allow the representative to speak and provide you with assistance and counsel. In addition, the representative should take detailed notes of what you say and what your manager says. Usually these meetings are emotional for the RN involved. After walking out of the director or manager’s office, often the RN doesn’t remember all that was said, how it was said, and what was agreed to, etc. Having your WSNA representative present can prevent later disputes about exactly what was actually said in the meeting. The representative can also help you clarify confusing questions.

Who can represent me?
You should first ask for your Local Unit Grievance Officers. To contact them, call WSNA or the officers directly. If the Grievance Officers are not available, one of the other Local Unit Officers can attend. You have the right to have a reasonable amount of time to get representation.

If they keep asking questions, can I leave?
No, stay at the meeting, but do not answer questions until your representative has a chance to arrive. Let them know, “I will listen but I’m going to withhold any comment until I can get a representative.”


Questions about this newsletter or its contents?

Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Your contract is online

Attention WSNA/St. Joseph Medical Center nurses:

Your new contract is now available on the WSNA website!

Please take a few minutes to review these important changes. You may also review a copy of the summary that was provided at the contract vote.

If you have questions, contact Hanna Welander, WSNA Nurse Representative, hwelander@wsna.org

or (206) 575-7979.

Reminder to nominate officers

WSNA/SJMC Nurses:

Do you have ideas to make things better at St. Joe’s? Be involved in your union. It’s time for nominations for Local Unit Officers, Unit Reps, and Committee participation!

Our local unit’s strength and effectiveness is determined by the level of participation of all its members. Elected WSNA Local Unit Officers, appointed Unit Reps and appointed Committee Members work in partnership with the WSNA Nurse Representative and are the backbone of our local unit. Descriptions of each position or committee are included in the nomination forms below.

The forms are fillable pdf format. Once you have downloaded the form and filled it out, save it and email it back to hwelander@wsna.org.

For any questions, please contact Hanna Welander at (206) 575-7979, Ext. 3035 or by email.

Do you have ideas to make things better?

WSNA/SJMC Nurses:

Do you have ideas to make things better at St. Joe’s? Be involved in your union. It’s time for nominations for Local Unit Officers, Unit Reps, and Committee participation!

Our local unit’s strength and effectiveness is determined by the level of participation. Elected WSNA Local Unit Officers, appointed Unit Reps and appointed Committee Members work in partnership with the WSNA Nurse Representative and are the backbone of our local unit. Descriptions of each position or committee are included in the nomination forms below.

The forms are fillable pdf format. Once you have downloaded the form and filled it out, save it and email it back to hwelander@wsna.org.

For any questions, please contact Hanna Welander at (206) 575-7979, Ext. 3035 or by email.

Important contract updates

Now that your contract has been ratified, here is some important information for you:

  • The ratification bonus will be paid on the August 30 paycheck. You must have been on the payroll between November 1, 2018-July 14, 2019 for all of the 19 pay periods and you must be on active payroll as of the date of the payment, August 30. If you were hired after November 1, 2018, you are not eligible for the ratification payment.
  • The parties have a disagreement about the implementation date of the 6.5% raise. The employer has claimed that the raise is effective as of July 28, 2019. WSNA believes that the parties agreed to a raise effective upon ratification – July 19, 2019. Stay tuned!
  • Per diem nurses will be placed on wage scale plus 10% July 28, 2019.
  • Per diem work availability requirements will not become effective until 1/1/20.
  • Extra shift incentive of $5 will begin August 25, 2019.
  • Charge Nurse pay increase to $2.50 will begin the pay period starting September 22, 2019.

For other questions, please do not hesitate to contact your WSNA Nurse Rep, Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or (206) 575-7979, Ext. 3035.

Contract ratified

By an overwhelming majority, members have ratified their contract. The solidarity and strength of WSNA members led to this historic victory. Thanks to Amy Blackburn, Ahmir Buen, Oakley Myers and Katy Heffernan for being willing to witness and certify the count Friday night with members of the negotiating team.

Now the real work begins: All of us must participate in our union and make staffing and working conditions better. Sign up for committees, complete Staffing Complaint/ADO forms and continue the dialogue with each other and your WSNA Local Unit Officers.

In Unity from your Negotiating Team,

Linda Burbank, Janet Stewart, Melissa Garcia, Sally Budack, Tiffany Repar, Richie Tiamzon, Francine Gumina, Matthew McGuire, Rachael DeSouza, and Chelsey Roos

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org.

Historic and enforceable staffing language

Linda endorses

The employer has committed to staffing standards in our contract that are enforceable and allow us to hold the employer accountable despite the administration telling us they would not agree to staffing language beyond the requirements of the staffing law. In this agreement, they have agreed to staffing standards in our contract for the first time. We believe that these standards give us a solid foundation to continue to advocate for improved staffing at SJMC.

We negotiated meaningful and concrete staffing language to strengthen our collective voice on nurse staffing committee. Specifically, it includes:

  • Agreement from the employer that the hospital will strive to maintain staffing levels that provide for safe patient care and health and safety of nurses.
  • Agreement that all changes to the staffing plan (aka alternative staffing) in any unit will go back to the staffing committee for approval.
  • Commitment from the employer to endeavor to:
    • Provide staffing levels for nurses to get breaks.
    • Provide staffing levels for nurses to use their PTO.
    • Refrain from assigning more patients than in the staffing plan.
    • Avoid assigning charge nurses to patient care duties.
  • Commitment to hold nurse staffing committee meetings at least every 2 months.
  • Agreement to have a WSNA nurse representative attend staffing committee meetings.

We will be able to hold the employer accountable through the grievance process that may lead to a neutral 3rd party arbitrator to enforce these standards. Our fight for safe staffing doesn’t end with the contract. We are actively compiling evidence for a complaint to the Joint Commission and the Department of Health.

We achieved gains in all three of our key priorities on wages, staffing and retro pay. This is a significant building block towards our next contract. We need your activism and commitment to continue the movement we have built here at St. Joe’s.

Contract Ratification Vote

July 18, 2019
Noon-3 p.m. - Lagerquist C
3:30-5:30 p.m. - Lagerquist C
6-9 p.m. - Lagerquist C

July 19, 2019
6-9 a.m. - Lagerquist C
10 a.m.-1 p.m. - Lagerquist C
2-4:30 p.m. - Lagerquist C
6-9 p.m. - Lagerquist A/B

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or by calling 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Contract ratification vote

After negotiations lasted into the early hours of Saturday morning, July 13, 2019, we achieved many gains based on your feedback and achieved a tentative agreement. We are recommending a YES vote. The agreement includes:

  • Retroactive wages
  • 2019 Wage increase now instead of November 1
  • Staffing language that provides protections never before reached.

Contract ratification vote times and locations:

July 18, 2019
Noon-3 p.m. - Lagerquist C
3:30-5:30 p.m. - Lagerquist C
6-9 p.m. - Lagerquist C


July 19, 2019
6-9 a.m. - Lagerquist C
10 a.m.-1 p.m. - Lagerquist C
2-4:30 p.m. - Lagerquist C
6-9 p.m. - Lagerquist A/B


Your negotiating team,

Linda Burbank, Janet Stewart, Sally Budack, Melissa Garcia, Rachael DeSouza, Francine Gumina, Tiffany Repar, Richie Tiamzon, Matthew McGuire, and Chelsey Roos

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or by calling
206-575-7979, ext. 3035.




Members fought and we all won!

We all won

Early Saturday morning, after negotiating for 17 hours with the assistance of Federal Mediators, we reached a tentative agreement with hospital administration.

We achieved:

  • FULL retroactive pay, 3% on all gross earnings back to Nov. 1, 2018;
  • Higher wage increases of 6.5% upon ratification and 3.5% on Nov. 1, 2020;
  • Extra shift incentive of $5/hr. will be added to the RN's regular rate of pay for 0.6 FTE and above;
  • Delayed implementation of increased per diem work requirements to Jan. 1, 2020, but immediate increase in wages upon ratification;
  • Stronger nurse staffing committee language and actual commitments to begin the process of improving staffing;
  • Plus, all previously negotiated tentative agreements

This is a major victory! We achieved gains in all three of our key priorities on wages, staffing and retro pay. The Rapid Response Organizers diligently and systematically had one-on-one conversations with every nurse and collected signatures on strike pledge petitions in unprecedented numbers. Members were united and committed. Together, we did it!

The Strike Authorization Vote on July 15 &16 is officially canceled.

We will use the originally scheduled dates and times so that you can come and hear about the details of the new contract. The team recommends this tentative agreement and will be available at the meetings with WSNA staff to answer questions.

Local Unit Meetings:

Location:

IBEW Hall, 3049 S 36th St, Tacoma, WA 98409

Dates/Times:

July 15, 2019: 2-4:30 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m.

July 16, 2019: 5:30-10 a.m. and noon-2 p.m.

Thank you for standing with us!

Your negotiating team,

Linda Burbank, Janet Stewart, Sally Budack, Melissa Garcia, Francine Gumina, Tiffany Repar, Richie Tiamzon, Matthew McGuire, and Chelsey Roos

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or by calling 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Sometimes walking is the last option to improve patient care



Standing together in solidarity on the strike line is the biggest “no” our profession has to offer. No more poor staffing, no more marginalization of patient care, no more treatment of staff that leads so many to walk away.

For more on the subject, read the latest blog by WSNA Director of Nursing Practice and Health Policy Mathew Keller.

Colleagues, family, and community members asking how they can support us in this effort? Direct them to this online petition they can sign calling on St. Joseph Medical Center administration to bargain in good faith with the Washington State Nurses Association to reach a contract that meets nurses’ reasonable demands for safe staffing.

What overall patient safety grade do you give St. Joe’s? It is not too late, there’s still time to add your voice to the Patient Safety Survey.

In case you missed it - read the latest coverage in the Tacoma News Tribune about the strike authorization vote coming up.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or by calling 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Speaking up for nurses in the Tacoma News Tribune

As we lead up to the strike authorization vote scheduled on July 15 & 16, our top priority continues to be safety: for our patients and our nurses.

Eloquently stated by our union leaders Janet Stewart and Linda Burbank in the Sunday opinion editorial published by the Tacoma News Tribune:

Janet and Linda
“If nurses are expected to take care of more patients who are sicker, we simply need more nurses to do that. Administrators know this, but they are dragging out contract talks on the backs and hearts of nurses who deliver the lifeline to patient care…
We know St. Joe’s can afford to invest in safer staffing. Over the past five years, the hospital earned record profits totaling more than $408 million, according to the Washington Department of Health. In 2018, St. Joe’s secured a 12-percent profit margin ($84 million), five times the average profit margin (2.3 percent) of nonprofit hospitals in Washington…
Feel-good hospital mission statements mean nothing if you refuse to live up to them. While our CEO’s salary rose 86 percent between 2015 and 2017, administration has refused to allocate resources in our contract that we believe will allow us to recruit and retain the nursing staff necessary to ensure quality and safe patient care…
A strike is a last resort. We would prefer to accept a contract that recognizes our concerns. We believe our expectations are reasonable.
As a flagship hospital in our community, St. Joe’s should commit to safe staffing standards that serve its stated mission and ensure the safety of its patients and nurses.”

Important dates:

Rapid Response Organizer Celebration: food, prizes and preparation to get out the vote!

When: Wednesday, July 10 at either 4:30 - 6 p.m. or 7:45 - 9:15 p.m.

Where: IUOE Local 612 Hall at 1555 Fawcett Avenue Tacoma, WA 98402. Please enter at the back of the building.

Unfair labor practice strike authorization vote July 15 & 16

Location: IBEW Hall, 3049 S 36th St, Tacoma, WA 98409

Dates/Times

July 15, 2019: 2-4:30 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m.

July 16, 2019: 5:30-10 a.m. and noon-2 p.m.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or by calling 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Strike Authorization Vote

Strike Authorization Vote July 15 & 16

Unfair labor practice strike authorization vote scheduled for July 15 & 16

Location: IBEW Hall, 3049 S 36th St, Tacoma, WA 98409

Dates/Times:
July 15, 2019: 2:00-4:30 PM; 5:30-9:00 PM
July 16, 2019: 5:30-10:00 AM; 12:00-2:00 PM

You must be a WSNA member in good standing to vote.

Management is scared – so they’re trying to scare us

Management is worried about this vote. They’re scared of the unity and power we have built during 10 long months of contract negotiations. They’re terrified we’ll use our right to strike, so they're trying to terrorize us.

That’s why we’ve been getting scare tactic updates from SJMC management. Their July 3 RN Update warns us against violence, retaliation, permanent replacements and even fines from WSNA! Here’s what we all need to know:

  • We are not violent — we’re strong.
  • We don’t want to harass anyone — we want to talk to each other about the very important decision on whether to authorize a strike
  • We will challenge any attempt by the Employer to hire strikebreakers to permanently replace you — we are providing evidence of management’s illegal conduct to the National Labor Relations Board. Those unfair labor practices are an important part of why we’re contemplating a strike.
  • WSNA is not going to fine you — we’re going to support each other. SJMC management was dead wrong in their July 3 RN Update when the told nurses WSNA members who work during a strike may be hit with expensive fines. It’s not in WSNA’s Bylaws and Local Unit Rules, and WSNA has NEVER imposed fines against nurses who choose to work during a strike.
  • Management is scared. We are not. We will not stop standing up for safe patient care!

Come and vote your conscience. Make your voices heard.

In solidarity, your Negotiating Team,

Janet Stewart, RN
Linda Burbank, RN
Melissa Balla, BSN, RN
Tiffany Repar, RN
Sally Budack, RN-BC
Francine Gumina, BSN, RN
Melissa Garcia, RN
Matthew McGuire, RN
Richie Tiamzon, RN
Chelsey Roos, RN

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or by calling 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Bargaining update

Bargaining Update: New members on your team

Our priority is a fair contract for our nurses at SJMC. In order to have a full and robust negotiations team representing the broad interest of the nurses at SJMC, we have added three additional members to our negotiating team:

  • Matthew McGuire, ED
  • Chelsey Roos, Walters PACU
  • Richie Tiamzon, PCU

We met on July 2 to begin prep for the upcoming mediation on July 12. We had thoughtful deliberations on the priority issues of staffing, retroactive pay and wages. We will be meeting again on July 6 to continue work on the development of bargaining proposals. We understand the need for transparency and will inform our members of our proposal to the Employer, to the extent that publicizing it doesn’t compromise our strategic position for bargaining.

Urgent: Take the Patient Safety Survey

Your answers to our Patient Safety Survey will give us the data we need to make a strong argument to management and the public that our safe staffing concerns are real and must be addressed in our contract.

We need more responses to make the data as strong as possible.

The responses we’ve received so far tell us that:

  • 3 out of 4 of us say there is patient safety problems on the unit and there is not enough staff to handle the workload.
  • Fewer than 2% say their unit is always adequately staffed.
  • 43% of nurses do not believe that SJMC has an organizational commitment towards resources to address safety concerns.

These numbers are appalling. It’s beyond time for management to do something about it.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or by calling 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Real answers

“Why is management so out of touch with the frontline nurse’s interests?”

Staffing

St. Joseph’s management asked a very good question in its June 28 “SJMC RN Update.” Too bad they didn’t really answer the question. Management is out of touch because they have failed to take our staffing concerns seriously. They are out of touch because they failed to address those concerns in our contract.

We are completely committed to reaching a contract agreement that addresses those serious staffing concerns. When we voted down previous contract agreements, we showed management that we have power and we’re ready to use it to get something better. That’s what we’re fighting for.

We’re not considering a strike lightly. It’s not our first option. But we’ll strike if we have to. Here’s what you can do to help your bargaining team get a meaningful, respectful contract:

  • Complete our Patient Safety Survey. We need the strongest possible data and messages to clearly articulate what’s at stake for patient safety and why nurses are preparing to take the bold action of a strike. Add your voice!
  • Be prepared if we have to strike.
    • Sign the petition saying you’ll strike if you have to.
      WSNA nurse members assigned to every unit at the hospital have been trained as a Rapid Response Organizers and have the strike commitment petition ready for you to sign. You can also contact your WSNA Nurse Representative using the contact information listed at the bottom of this message.
    • Sign up for a strike committee.
      Print the form, fill it out, take a photo of it and email it to tbarnes@wsna.org.
    • Prepare financially.

Here are our answers to SJMC’s questions.

1. What is SJMC doing about staffing challenges at our hospital?
Not enough. Management acknowledges that “high patient volumes” have become the “new normal.” They acknowledge that “Our nurses have demonstrated tremendous pride and reverence in delivering high-quality care to patients over these months under difficult circumstances.” Now they have to do something about it.

We know that charge nurses are regularly pulled to take patient loads; we know that we are taking more patients to cover surges. This is not OK. We are demanding that St. Joseph commit to maintain staffing levels on each unit that provide for safe patient care and for the health and safety of nurses, and we demand substantive staffing reforms written into our contract. St. Joseph’s management has had ample opportunity to address staffing over the past 10 months of bargaining and has failed to do so.

Instead of spending money to hire replacement workers in the event of a strike, St. Joseph’s should be spending money to address the very real staffing concerns of us nurses.

2. How did we get into our present situation?
Management acknowledges that they “did not accurately predict the patient volume and were not adequately prepared with staffing support.” But what about their decision to eliminate health unit coordinators and reduce CNA and care assistant positions? They say patient volumes started going up in winter 2017 – a year and a half ago! And still, we are taking on too much to feel confident we’re meeting all of our patients needs on every shift. This has to stop. We need substantive staffing reforms in our contract.

3. Why is management so out of touch with the frontline nurse's interests?
Because they’re not listening to us. Only now, with the threat of a strike looming, are they paying attention to our very real concerns.

4. Is there a chance the parties will go back to the table before the strike?
Yes. We had hoped to go back to the bargaining table this week and were ready to do so. Unfortunately, due to management and mediator scheduling conflicts, our next mediated bargaining date is July 12.

We will be adding members to our WSNA bargaining team to fill seats that are empty due to members leaving St. Joseph’s and to bring the voices of frontline nurses across the hospital to the table. Tomorrow, our team is prepping to go back to the table and fight for what nurses need.

We hope St. Joe’s management will come back to the table with greater respect for the professionalism, hard work, sacrifice and loyalty we demonstrate every day.

5. Is it ok to ask my manager questions about the management proposals?
They actually answered this one pretty well: “Management is prohibited from asking you directly about union activities or plans. There are strict laws governing management behaviors during open contract negotiations. For example, management may not make promises or suggest new proposals to employees as such activity constitutes direct dealing.”

You can initiate a conversation with your managers if you wish to do so. Management cannot. If they do, it constitutes an Unfair Labor Practice. If a manager initiates a conversation about contract negotiation or seeks your input on issues at the table, we need to hear from you. If you have been threatened or retaliated against for union activities, including filing a grievance or submitting a Staffing Complaint/ADO form, we need to hear from you. Fill out the Unfair Labor Practice Report Form.

We recommend that you direct your questions to a bargaining team member or a Rapid Response Organizer to get the most accurate answers.

6. Doesn't SJMC care about nurses? We have high turnover and can't retain people because of working conditions.
They say SJMC “deeply cares.” We say “show it” by coming to the bargaining table prepared to address our serious staffing concerns.

They say, “RN turnover is not going up.” We say, RN turnover at SJMC is unacceptably high. Take a look at the data in our blog post.

7. A union representative came to my unit today and was taking names of people who will strike and who will not strike. Am I required to give them information?
We are actively assessing our readiness to strike by asking nurses to sign a form saying they’ll strike if they have to. This is a protected union activity, and St. Joseph’s management knows it. We recognize that the decision to go out on strike is a personal one. By honestly answering questions about your personal readiness, you are helping us know where we are as a group.

8. I feel like I am being harassed about union matters. What can I do?
There is a lot of conversation happening right now given where we are with bargaining and strike preparation. But we don’t want anyone to feel “harassed.” Talk to us.

9. Does management have a plan to staff and deliver care during a strike? What will happen to my patients?
Make no mistake about it—if we go on strike it will be FOR our patients. Our staffing and patient safety concerns are real. We need St. Joseph’s management to address them, for the sake of our patients.

If a strike is called, we will give St. Joseph’s the required 10-day notice so that administration can plan for patient care. In addition, WSNA’s strike preparation includes establishing an RN Emergency Standby Team Committee that would solicit volunteers to work in the case of an emergency. You can sign up for this and other strike committees by submitting this form.

The ANA Nursing Code of Ethics states that “the nurse, through individual and collective effort, establishes, maintains, and improves the ethical environment of the work setting and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe, quality health care.” By demanding that St. Joseph Medical Center address nursing staffing and patient safety issues, we are doing nothing less than making an ethical stand on behalf of the patients we serve.

We need a contract that addresses our staffing problems and demonstrates respect for our professionalism and dedication. We don’t want to go on strike, but we will strike if we have to.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or by calling 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

We need the strongest data to win this fight

The numbers will tell the story - we need you to add your voice

This is a critical time in our fight for a fair contract. We need the strongest possible data and messages to clearly articulate what’s at stake for patient safety and why nurses are preparing to take the bold action of a strike. That’s why we are launching this survey and urging you to take the time to complete it.

Your responses to this survey will bring forward the collective voice of nurses at SJMC and our concerns on safe staffing. We will use the results to convey a powerful message to hospital management and the public. Survey results will also be used to support complaints to The Joint Commission and Department Health for unsafe staffing.

The power of representation comes from the willingness of registered nurses to unite; our strength is in unity! United, we can present the facts in a voice that cannot be silenced. Take the Patient Safety survey now and make your voice heard.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or by calling 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Turnover is real

Cutting corners on RN benefits and working conditions proves costly for St. Joseph Medical Center-Tacoma

We know from our experience that nurses are leaving St. Joe’s. We are stretched too thin, working under moral distress and burned out.

WSNA pulled the numbers, and the statistics confirm our feelings. Read our latest blog post and you’ll learn that:

 “… turnover at SJMC in 2017 was a whopping 44% higher than the national average, while 2018 turnover came in a close second at “only” 21.5% greater than the national average. These numbers are unacceptable.”

We’re taking these numbers to the public and we’re taking them to management. We’re telling them this is obscene. Arm yourself with the facts.

Talking to the Public
We’re getting media attention and soliciting community support. How we talk about our bargaining efforts at St. Joe’s matters. That’s why we’ve put together some guidance on what you can say to educate those who may ask about our issues – and get them on our side!
Download our guide.

Official Launch of Strike Preparation!

Power

We have officially launched preparations to strike and nurses have turned out! On Thursday, June 20, WSNA offered Strike Assessment Training to the newly formed Rapid Response Organizers. Friday, June 21 and Monday, June 24, hundreds of nurses turned out for Local Unit Meetings at the IBEW Hall to get their questions answered about striking, signed strike commitment petitions and signed up for strike committees. Solidarity is in the air.

You may have seen the letter from CHI asking what the nurses want. How bizarre! Over the last ten months, the negotiating team has been unequivocal and committed to your top priorities: wages, retroactive pay, and staffing. We have consistently articulated these priorities to management. The employer is clearly feeling the pressure, let’s keep up the momentum.

Here’s how you can take part in our strike preparations:

  1. Sign the strike commitment petition and pledge that “If it is necessary, I will join my co-workers on strike and participate in picketing on all of my assigned picket shifts.”
  2. Sign up for a strike committee.
  3. Be informed, stay engaged.

Questions? Feel free to contact Hanna Welander, Nurse Representative, at hwelander@wsna.org.

Your strike questions answered

Unionstrong

Come to the launch of our strike preparation

Important union meetings June 21 & 24

What happens if we vote to authorize a strike? A lot.

At these preparatory meetings, we’ll be talking about what we need to do for a successful strike. We’ll be explaining strike committees and getting people signed up. We’ll be handing out WSNA strike manuals and answering questions like:

  • How can friends, neighbors and community groups support a strike?
  • How do I prepare financially for a strike?
  • What are our next steps?

We are all in this together! We can do this if we stand united and support each other.

Don’t miss these important meetings.

URGENT UNION MEETINGS:
IBEW Union Hall
3049 S. 36th St, Tacoma, WA 98409
Friday, June 21: 5:30-6:30 a.m., 8-9 a.m., 1:30-2:30 p.m., 4-5 p.m.
Monday, June 24: 5:30-6:30 p.m., 8-9 p.m.

STRIKE AUTHORIZATION VOTE: Soon!
We’ll share place, date and time as soon as details are finalized.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

We have spoken, now it’s time to act

Activist Strike Prep Training
90-minute sessions will repeat throughout the evening
June 20 between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.
IUOE Union Hall
1555 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402


There is much work to be done before a strike authorization vote.
Next up is attending a 90-minute activist training to find your place in this movement
for change and start making some headway immediately.

We will be discussing our plans to engage every RN
to present a strong united front telling administration,
we stand united and we have had enough!

June 2O, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Drop in for 90-minute content
IUOE Union Hall
1555 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402

Parking AND entry will be at the back of the building, not thru the front business office.

All nurses who are ready to go beyond talking and get down to business,
this is your time and your place to be.

RSVP today!
Tara Barnes WSNA Nurse Organizer
tbarnes@wsna.org or call/text 206 713 2241

All RNs at St Joseph’s are welcome whether you RSVP ahead of time or not.

After this meeting on Thursday, June 20,
please also plan to attend the local unit meetings
on Friday, June 21 or Monday, June 24
to dive deeper into your questions
around what it means and what to consider about a strike.

Standing Up and Speaking Out!

WSNA members are standing up and speaking out against the unfair labor practices the employer is engaging in. We will not be kept silent when their actions interfere with our rights or are coercive or retaliatory. We have filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board. This should serve as another wake up call to management. We will not back down!

If you answer YES to the questions below, then the employer may have committed an Unfair Labor Practice, which is illegal. We need to hear from you; please fill out the Unfair Labor Practice Report Form.

  • Has any manager spoken to you about the contract negotiations or sought your input on issues on the table?
  • Have you been threatened or retaliated against for union activities (e.g. filing a grievance, submitting a Staffing Complaint/ADO form)?


Your Strike Questions Answered

We know you have questions about what would happen if we strike. We want to make sure we’re well prepared to answer all your questions. Submit your questions and concerns in advance.

Be sure to attend one of these important union meetings coming up June 21 and 24.

URGENT UNION MEETINGS:

IBEW Union Hall

3049 S. 36th St, Tacoma, WA 98409

Friday, June 21: 5:30-6:30 a.m., 8-9 a.m., 1:30-2:30 p.m., 4-5 p.m.

Monday, June 24: 5:30-6:30 p.m., 8-9 p.m.


STRIKE AUTHORIZATION VOTE: Soon!

We’ll share place, date and time as soon as details are finalized.


Your WSNA Negotiation Team

We are ready to fight

We have been disrespected.

We have been told we have a bad attitude.

We are ready to fight.


Yesterday’s “no” vote on the latest contract offer sent a powerful message – to every nurse at St. Joe’s and to management. If we want better, we have to do more.

As promised, your WSNA officers and bargaining team are moving forward with local unit meetings, followed by a strike authorization vote. A strike vote is a big step, and every one of us needs to come to these preliminary meetings to talk about what we need to do if we are going to be successful.

URGENT UNION MEETINGS:

IBEW Union Hall

3049 S 36th St, Tacoma, WA 98409

Friday, June 21: 5:30-6:30 a.m., 8-9 a.m., 1:30-2:30 p.m., 4-5 p.m.

Monday, June 24: 5:30-6:30 p.m., 8-9 p.m.

STRIKE AUTHORIZATION VOTE: Soon!

We’ll share place, date and time as soon as details are finalized.

Do you want meaningful staffing language in your contract? Are you beyond ready to tell management you will do whatever is needed, for however long it takes, to have the staffing we need to deliver safe patient care every shift? Every single one of us is going to have to be ready and willing to sign up for strike committees, sign up for picket shifts and commit to standing in unity if we are going to succeed.

At these meetings we will address your questions about what a strike authorization vote would mean and what we need to do to make this a successful strike. Nurses have asked:

· Can I use my PTO or get unemployment benefits?

· What happens to my health insurance?

· Can I work per diem at another hospital?

· Can I be replaced?

· What happens to my patients?

Be there. Let’s talk.

In solidarity, your bargaining team.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR ALL SJMC NURSES: CONTRACT NOT RATIFIED!

The contract was NOT ratified by members today, June 13, 2019.

More than 700 of St. Joe’s nurses voted over the course of the day. Thank you for stepping up and making your voices heard. Thanks to Amy Blackburn and Tracy Harris for counting and certifying the contract vote on Thursday evening.

WSNA will immediately begin the process of scheduling local unit meetings and a subsequent strike authorization vote.

Stay tuned for more information in the coming days.

For any questions, please contact Hanna Welander, WSNA Nurse Representative, at hwelander@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, Ext. 3035.

Get the scoop on strike!

What happens next?
CONTRACT RATIFICATION VOTE
Thursday, June 13, at Lagerquist C.
You must be present between 6-9 a.m., 10 a.m–1 p.m., 2–5 p.m., or 5:30–8:30 p.m.

If the contract is ratified:

Of the WSNA members who cast ballots, if 50% +1 vote in favor of ratification, the contract will become effective immediately.

Raises and bonuses will be paid on either the first or second pay period following ratification.

If the contract is not ratified:
If the membership votes to reject the tentative agreement,
WSNA will immediately begin the process of scheduling a strike authorization vote which may be preceded by one or more strike information meetings.

If WSNA is authorized to call a strike - Important facts to remember:

Threshold for success – Only dues-paying WSNA members are eligible to cast a vote. If 67% of the votes cast are in favor, a strike authorization is obtained. While this vote is an important threshold, a successful strike will require a much higher level of commitment as measured by the near unanimous support and participation of all SJMC nurses. A strike, while a powerful weapon, does not guarantee we will achieve what we ask for from the employer.

Duration – The duration of the strike will be determined by WSNA based on multiple factors including employer and local unit/WSNA power considerations, as well as communication and systems support.

Use of vacation/PTO – Employer is not required to allow strikers to use their accrued vacation time or other benefits during a strike unless they are otherwise entitled to do so.

Unemployment benefits – Under Washington law, a worker is not entitled to receive unemployment compensation benefits when the individual is out of work due to a strike.

Return to work after strike
Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike: When workers engage in a strike to protest unfair labor practices committed by the employer – such as threats to coerce employees to refrain from union activity, or spying on employees’ union activities, or refusing to bargain in good faith – the employer may only hire temporary replacement workers, and when the strike ends the employer must promptly reinstate the strikers to their former positions.

Economic strike: When employees engage in a strike solely to try to compel the employer to agree to their economic demands (such as union recognition, higher wages or better working conditions), the employer may legally hire other workers to permanently replace the strikers. At the end of an economic strike, when the union on behalf of the employees makes an unconditional offer to return to work, the employer is not legally required to reinstate the strikers to their jobs. The employer has no obligation to discharge the replacement workers and is only required to place the strikers on a rehire list with preferential recall rights. So, while the strikers are not fired and technically remain “employees” for certain legal purposes, they may not have a job or any income.

If WSNA is NOT authorized to call a strike - this significantly weakens the bargaining power of WSNA.
Potential impact includes:

Working without a contract – In the absence of a contract, the employer is required to maintain all of the present terms and conditions of employment. As a result, our current wage and step scale will remain at status quo. There would be no raises, except for step-related increases, and also no reductions. Terms such as PTO accrual and scheduling, layoff language and premiums and differentials will remain in place.

Grievance and Arbitration Clause – Enforcing our contract could become more difficult as the employer will not have an obligation to arbitrate grievances that arise during the interim period between contracts.

Employer’s optionsPotential actions by the employer include:

  • SJMC would have the right to lock us out in an attempt to force us to accept their proposed contract. In such case, nurses would not be fired, but we would not be allowed to work. We would go without paychecks for the duration of the lockout. Insurance benefits would cease at the end of the month previously paid by the employer.
  • The employer could gain the right to unilaterally implement its proposed contract at the point the parties reach impasse. Impasse is a legal term based on a fact-specific scenario. In general, impasse means a stalemate in which further negotiations would be futile. If SJMC asserts that the parties are at impasse, it could implement the proposed tentative agreement.
  • The employer’s final option is to simply allow the status quo to remain. Again, under the status quo, there are no raises (except for step increases) or bonuses paid. SJMC would benefit from the maintenance of the status quo as the employer makes money with each passing day that we do not get our raises.


Unilateral implementation is a threat to our collective voice – A unilateral implementation by an employer is a morale-busting experience for workers. An implementation by SJMC would feel extremely defeating – both for the current contract and future negotiations. Also, our collective voice as a union could be lost altogether.

More information: wsna.org/union/st-joseph-medical-center

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at
hwelander@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Please make your voice heard by casting your vote

What is included in the contract:

Salary Increases of 3% upon ratification, 3.5% on Nov. 1, 2019 and 3% on Nov. 1, 2020.

Ratification bonus, prorated by FTE (0.9 FTE = 100% bonus)
Steps 1-15: $1,100; Steps 16-30: $1,300.
Supplemental part-time and per diems will get 0.2 FTE as per above.

Walters Protections for Walters OR nurses hired before Jan. 1, 2015 against cross-training to Main OR.

Per diems Implement pay increases at the same time as implementation of new work requirements.

Staffing Nurses who pick up extra shifts will receive a $5 per hour incentive when a department has above 3% overtime for all paid hours for two consecutive pay periods. Nurses with 0.6 FTE and above are eligible for this premium. The incentive periods are from January 1 – April 30 and July 1 – August 31 of each year.

Supplemental part-time nurses Current nurses will be grandfathered and protected from any reductions in premiums.

You will no longer have to use your prescheduled PTO if you have worked your FTE for the week.

Workplace violence protection Ensures RN input on the Medical Center’s Safety Committee to oversee policies, practices and responses regarding acts of violence.

Travelers Conference Committee meets every August to discuss hiring of travelers.

What's not included in the contract:

Retro pay Employer rejected full retro pay The increased ratification bonus closes the gap between retro pay and the bonus, but it is not full retro pay.

Staffing Employer rejected our proposal of $15 per hour incentive pay for every extra shift worked.

Salary Employer rejected our proposal for higher wages.

What happens next?

CONTRACT RATIFICATION VOTE

Thursday, June 13. You must be present between 6-9 a.m., 10 a.m–1 p.m.,
2–5 p.m., or 5:30–8:30 p.m.

Yes
Of the WSNA members who cast ballots, if 50% + 1 vote in favor of ratification, the contract will become effective immediately. Raises and bonuses will be paid on either the first or second pay period following ratification.

No
If the membership votes to reject the tentative agreement, WSNA will immediately begin the process of scheduling a strike authorization vote.

More information: wsna.org/union/st-joseph-medical-center

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at
hwelander@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Announcing the appointment of three new Local Unit Officers

We are very pleased to announce that Sally Budack, Melissa Garcia and Melissa Balla have been duly appointed by your Local Unit Officers to serve your local unit.

  • Sally Budack--Secretary
  • Melissa Garcia--Membership Coordinator
  • Melissa Balla--Grievance Officer


Please help us welcome them to their leadership roles!

In solidarity,

Dian Davis, Co-Chair
Sally Budack, Secretary
Janet Stewart, Treasurer and Grievance Officer
Linda Burbank, Grievance Officer
Rachael DeSouza, Membership Coordinator


Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander, hwelander@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

WSNA Contract Vote, June 13, 2019!

WSNA Contract Vote, June 13, 2019!

Come and vote on the new Tentative Agreement (TA). We worked hard on the issues that you presented to us in Local Unit Meetings.

We will have Negotiating Team Members and WSNA staff available to answer questions about the new language. Redline versions of the contract will also be available for review at the vote. The redline contract cannot be posted because it is not a final document. However, the summary will be posted prior to the vote.

Date: June 13, 2019

Location: Lagerquist C

Times: 6-9 a.m., 10 a.m -1 p.m., 2 - 5 p.m., 5:30-8:30 p.m.

In solidarity, Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Sally Budack, Linda Burbank, Francine Gumina, Tiffany Repar, Rachael DeSouza, Melissa Garcia, Melissa Balla, and Katie Miller

For questions, please contact WSNA Nurse Rep, Hanna Welander; email hwelander@wsna.org

or (206) 575-7979, ext. 3035.

Summary of changes to the 2019 Tentative Agreement

The energy from the membership helped fuel the bargaining team while pushing the employer to a settlement. After 14+ hours of negotiations, the parties reached an agreement with improvements on 4 issues:

  1. Staffing –Incentive Pay for seasonal volumes and vacation coverage
  2. Ratification Bonus – increased ratification bonus that narrows the gap to full retro pay
  3. Walters – protections for Walters OR nurses hired before 1/1/2015 against cross-training to Main OR
  4. Per Diems – Implement pay increases at the same time as implementation of new work requirements.

Wages

The bargaining team fought until the end of the night to make improvements in the negotiated pay increases of 3% upon ratification, 3.5% on 11/1/19 and 3% on 11/1/20. The employer would not move any further in this area. Obviously, we all would have liked to bring you bigger raises and we are disappointed. However, once implemented, your raises will put SJMC at or above the average for hospitals in the Seattle – Tacoma market.

Staffing

Nurses who pick up extra shifts will receive a $5/hour incentive when a department has above 3% overtime for all paid hours for 2 consecutive pay periods. Nurses with 0.6 FTE and above are eligible for this premium. The incentive periods are from January 1 – April 30 and July 1 – August 31 of each year.

The bargaining team believes that it is step in the right direction but won’t solve every staffing problem. Creating an incentive for picking up shifts during the worst months for staffing and during peak vacation months, is a good start.

Ratification Bonus

The bargaining team fought to the very end for full retro pay. When it became apparent that the employer would not move on retro pay, the team fought to close the gap between retro pay and the bonus, resulting in a 2-tiered bonus. This brings nurses at the high end of the wage scale closer to retro pay. The final agreement is:

Steps 1-15: $1,100

Steps 16-30: $1,300

Walters

Upon ratification of the contract, “The Medical Center will not require nurses hired into the Walters OR before January 1, 2015 to cross-train into the Main OR for procedures not regularly performed at the Walters OR.”

Your bargaining team strongly believes that this tentative agreement represents the best possible outcome from these negotiations. Therefore, this contract is recommended by your bargaining team: Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Rachael De Souza, Linda Burbank, Sally Budack, Tiffany Repar, Melissa Garcia, Katie Miller, Francine Gumina, Melissa Balla

The VOTE to ratify this contract will occur on June 13 from 6-9 a.m., 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., 2 – 5 p.m. and 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Lagerquist C.

You must be a WSNA Member in good standing to vote on the contract. YOU ARE WSNA!!

Hanna Welander, WSNA Nurse Representative, at 206-575-7979, ext. 3035 or hwelander@wsna.org.

Reminder about Local Unit Meetings: Mediation Updates on June 4, 2019

We had a huge turnout to the rally this morning. Thank you! Check out photos and videos on Nursing Strong SJMC!

Don’t Forget! On June 4, we will hold local unit meetings to give all of you an update on mediation proceedings.

Location: Lagerquist A
Times:
6-7 a.m.; 7:45-8:45 a.m.; 3:45-4:45 p.m.; 6-7 p.m.; 7:15-8:15 p.m.

Your negotiation team:
Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Linda Burbank, Tiffany Repar, Francine Gumina, Melissa Garcia, Rachael DeSouza, Katie Miller, Sally Budack, and Melissa Balla.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Local Unit Meetings: Mediation Updates on June 4, 2019

Don’t forget that following the rally on June 4, we will hold Local Unit Meetings to give all of you an update on mediation proceedings.

Location: Lagerquist B

Times:

6-7 a.m.; 7:45-8:45 a.m.; 3:45-4:45 p.m.; 6-7 p.m.; 7:15-8:15 p.m.

Your negotiation team:

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

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

What time is it? It's time to rally for a FAIR CONTRACT!

We unified our voices before. Now we must pump up the volume!

As we return to our negotiation session with a Federal Mediator, come and cheer on our team.

Show administration that the St. Joe's Nurses are united and we mean business!

Wear your WSNA T-shirts, bring your friends, family and pets.

Each of us is a ripple, but together we create the Blue Wave!

We all bring the power and energy of our presence! We’ll have coffee, donuts and team spirit to fuel our fire.

Let's show management what unity and Nursing Strong really looks like!

Where: Holiday Inn Express, 2102 S C St, Tacoma, WA 98402
When: Friday, May 31, 2019, arrival between 7 and 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. (Carpooling encouraged)

In solidarity!
Your negotiation team:
Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Linda Burbank, Tiffany Repar, Francine Gumina, Melissa Garcia, Rachael DeSouza, Katie Miller

Questions? Contact Hanna Welander at hwelendar@wsna.org.

Important update about next negotiation session with Federal Mediator!

The mediation date has been set for May 31, 2019 at the Holiday Inn Express located at 2102 South C Street.

An Important WSNA Blue Friday:

Come rally and cheer on your team on Friday, May 31! Wear your WSNA Blue T-shirts. Show Unity in Action! More details to follow.

T-shirts are still being distributed. Thanks to all of the Unit Reps and Activists for supplying information to our Membership Officers, Rachael DeSouza and Melissa Garcia! Everyone is enthusiastic and engaged. We feel your support!

Local Unit Meetings: Mediation Updates on June 4, 2019

We will hold Local Unit Meetings to give all of you an update on mediation proceedings.

Times:

6-7 AM; 7:45-8:45 AM; 3:45-4:45 PM; 6-7 PM; 7:15-8:15 PM

Location: To be determined.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.

Celebrating Nurses Week - Celebrating You!

Happy Nurses Week!

Look for a gift in your mailbox from us. We are celebrating you!

Your local unit officers:

Dian Davis, Sally Budack, Janet Stewart, Linda Burbank, Rachael DeSouza and Melissa Garcia

Questions? Contact WSNA Resource Nurse Specialist Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org.

Summary of nurse meetings - April 23 and April 25, 2019

Thank you all for taking time to come share your priorities and concerns with your Negotiating Team members and the WSNA Attorney during the seven meetings held last week.


What we heard:

Top 3 priorities in the survey (over 600 respondents) and echoed at the meetings:

  • Wages
  • Poor staffing and "Alternative Staffing"
  • Retroactive pay vs. ratification bonus

Additional issues brought forward at the meetings:

  • Walters Day Surgery and Main OR cross-training, protections for nurses with greater seniority.
  • Heart Cath/EP mandatory overtime due to unscheduled and non-emergent add-on cases after shift end.
  • Incentive pay for short-staffing.
  • Workplace Violence and the recent hospital violations and fines from DOSH (Division of Occupational Safety and Health).
  • Difficulty getting rest and lunch breaks due to break-relief nurses being pulled; charge nurses having to take assignments and inadequate support staff (mostly CNAs).
  • Floating to unfamiliar units where you have not received proper orientation and float premium.
  • More detailed communication prior to contract vote.
  • Have the Wage Comparable Charts at the contract vote.
  • Expanded time and days for contract vote.
  • Having to wait 60 days for pay increase during transition between supplemental part-time and per diem.

Information shared at meeting:

Wage/market info:

  • Wage and Premium pay comparable charts for SJMC and other competitors including Valley, St. Pete’s and Harborview. Wage Comparables and Premium Comparables are available on the wsna.org website. (Please note: The linked wage comps do not reflect the wage increases from the proposed contract. Under the proposed agreement, the St. Joe's wages would have increased by 3% upon ratification and another 3.5% on November 1.)
  • The February Consumer Price Index in Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue is 2.7.
  • The Rest Break Bill and it subsequently passing in legislature, is going to the Governor for signature.
  • WSNA Blue Fridays—wear your WSNA T-shirts and buttons. Show Unity! (Note: Don't risk your job. If a manager or supervisor tells you to remove a union button or t-shirt, you should comply with the directive and contact your WSNA representative promptly. So, keep an extra scrub top handy.)
  • Nurse Staffing Law, new regulations beginning January 1, 2019 (“Staffing Concerns” document).
  • Importance of having nurses on the Safety Committee.

The importance of Filing Staffing Complaint/ADO Forms:

  • You should try to file an ADO as soon as possible, but there is no time limit on when you can file it.
  • The hospital cannot retaliate against you for filing an ADO form.
  • If the hospital is not following the staffing plan that is filed with DOH, you can fill out an ADO.
  • If they are using “alternative staffing”, you can fill out an ADO.
  • Any nurse who is negatively impacted, whether because of faulty equipment, break-relief nurse or their charge nurse having to take assignments, and/or missing rest breaks should fill out ADOs.
  • If you are floated to units where you have not been oriented, fill out an ADO.
  • For more information about new provisions of the Nurse Staffing Law taking effect January 1, 2019 see the “Staffing Concerns” document.

Nurse Staffing Committee:

  • Once the ADO is filed electronically, copies get emailed to the Nurse Staffing Committee Co-Chairs, your Local Unit Chair, WSNA Nurse Rep, and to your nurse manager if you input their email address. (See algorithm on document “Staffing Concerns.”)
  • All Staffing Complaint/ADOs are reviewed by the Nurse Staffing Committee. HR or your manager cannot dismiss or deem a Staffing Complaint/ADO invalid.
  • The law says the hospital is supposed to staff according to the plan, and there may be shift-to-shift adjustments depending on need. If the hospital is not staffing according to plan or you disagree with shift-to-shift adjustment, you file an ADO. Those go to staffing committee, which must evaluate and respond to each complaint. If they can resolve it, they document as resolved. If it is not unresolved within a 60-day period, we will collect that aggregate data and file a complaint with DOH. Then DOH would investigate those complaints. We can’t promise that if we file complaint with DOH that they will fix the process, but if we don’t do anything, we can’t help solve the problem.
  • WSNA requested information on the hospital’s Alternative Staffing plan. We also sent a cease and desist letter. Surprisingly, their answer was, in essence, we don’t have a plan, we make it up as we go. See Blog on Alternative Staffing and "Staffing Concerns" document.
  • View staffing plans submitted to DOH by St. Joseph Medical Center.

Rest Break Settlement:

It is crucial that you document when you are missing breaks, both in Kronos and submitting a Staffing Complaint/ADO. Here is the latest update on the rest break settlement.

Engaging our Unit Reps and Activists:

  • Thank you to all those who expressed an interest in being a Unit Rep.
  • Activists can distribute buttons and T-shirts (in non-work areas during non-work times) as long as you have them to give out.
  • The most important factor is having face-to-face conversations with each other, talking about what is important in your workplace, what is important to you in negotiations, and making sure that everyone is strong—together.
  • When you do have a contract, enforcement of that contract continues. As Unit Reps or Activists, you are the eyes and ears of your Local Unit. Your elected Local Unit Officers need your help.
  • Please contact Tara Barnes, Nurse Organizer at tbarnes@wsna.org if you want to be a Unit Rep; we need one for every shift on every unit.

Protected Concerted Activity:

Saying to your boss "I’m just speaking for myself'" is not protected. If you tell the boss you are speaking for all the nurses, that is protected. Protection is key. Examples of concerted protected activities include:

  • Participating in information picket or other WSNA actions.
  • Attending local unit meetings.
  • Wearing a union button.
  • Wearing WSNA t-shirt on blue Fridays.
  • Note: Don't risk your job. If a manager or supervisor tells you to remove a union button or t-shirt, you should comply with the directive and contact your WSNA representative promptly. So, keep an extra scrub top handy.

Work Stoppages or Strikes:

Whether or not there is a strike or other work stoppage, that is a decision the nurses in your Local would vote on and one where we must have unity to support. If there is going to be a work stoppage, such as a strike, nurse unions are required to give at least 10 days’ notice to give the employer an opportunity to hire replacements, travelers. During a strike, you receive no pay and cannot access PTO unless it was requested and approved prior to the strike, you are not eligible for unemployment, and your health benefits may be impacted. For more information, see the Outline of the Law on Strikes and Lockouts.

If everyone is collectively wearing WSNA buttons or t-shirts, the hospital probably won't try to retaliate against you. Filing ADOs or using the grievance procedure is your right under the contract and if your manager threatens you or tries to intimidate you, that is an unfair labor practice. Contact your WSNA Nurse Rep right away (hwelander@wsna.org)

Your team knows that all of you are talking. Let’s keep up the momentum. When we get the next bargaining date, we will ask you for your help. Stay tuned for that!

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org.

Attention St. Joe's Nurses!

Join us and continue the conversation!

April 25, 2019, Lagerquist C conference room
6-7:15 a.m.
1:30-2:45 p.m.
5:30-6:45 p.m.


Many of your WSNA colleagues came on April 23 to the talk with the Negotiating Team and the WSNA Attorney who serves as your Team’s Chief Spokesperson at the bargaining table.

You shared priorities on wages, retroactive pay vs. ratification bonus, understaffing and alternative staffing and how these are hampering your ability to safely practice nursing.

We still want to hear from the rest of you. Please! Come to the next meetings and hear important information, ask your questions, and tell us your thoughts and opinions. We are listening!

  • We will talk about your priorities as we go back to the negotiation table.
  • We will offer information about how the Negotiating Team fought for you at the table.
  • We will answer your questions about strikes and other work stoppage actions.
  • We will discuss how to fight back on alternative staffing and the importance of submitting Staffing Concern Forms/ADOs


At the meeting, we will provide informational handouts. Also, come pick up WSNA T-shirts and buttons and show solidarity with your Team!

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at hwelander@wsna.org or (206) 575-7979, ext. 3035.

Location updates for local unit meetings

As we told you yesterday, we, your fellow nurses on the WSNA negotiating team, in conjunction with WSNA Attorney and Chief Spokesperson Lane Toensmeier, WSNA Resource Nurse Representative Hanna Welander, WSNA Chief General Counsel Timothy Sears and WSNA Director of Strategic Initiatives Anne Tan Piazza, will be holding sessions to provide information and work to answer the outstanding questions. We have now confirmed the rooms for both meeting sessions.

April 23, 2019, Lagerquist A conference room
8-9:15 a.m. / 4-5:15 p.m. / 5:30-6:45 p.m. / 8-9:15 p.m.

April 25, 2019, Lagerquist C conference room
6-7:15 a.m. / 1:30-2:45 p.m. / 5:30-6:45 p.m.

EVERY RN needs to come and continue the conversation. You must be part of the dialogue and solution. We need your help to move forward in the process of securing the best contract possible for everyone.

In solidarity,

Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Linda Burbank, Tiffany Repar, Francine Gumina, Melissa Garcia, Rachael DeSouza, Katie Miller

For questions or concerns, please contact Resource Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at 206-575-7979, ext. 3035 or hwelander@wsna.org.

Hear all about it – latest report on Rest Break Settlement implementation

As you are aware, WSNA reached a landmark Rest Break Settlement Agreement with SJMC in 2016. Since that time, WSNA and SJMC have been meeting quarterly, per the agreement, to discuss implementation of the agreement. This has been our ongoing opportunity to continue our involvement in and monitoring of our rest break relief systems and processes.

April 3, 2019 Rest Break Settlement Meeting Report
WSNA Local Unit Officer and Safe Staffing Committee Co-Chair Linda Burbank, WSNA Senior Director of Labor Christine Watts and Nurse Representative Pat McClure met with Jill Karon-Ross and Sharon Royne for our quarterly Rest Break Settlement meeting.

Distribution of unclaimed monies
Our first order of business was final payment distribution of the unclaimed monies of back pay owed to the nurses because of the Rest Break Settlement agreement. Per the settlement agreement, any unclaimed funds are split 50/50 between their choice of foundation for each CHI and WSNA. As a result, a disbursement of $87,000 was received by the Washington State Nurses Foundation towards nursing scholarships.

Rest Break Compliance reports
We reviewed the information request data submitted by WSNA at our previous meeting in January. These Rest Break Compliance reports included missed breaks quarterly data for 2018. Of those units we looked at:

  • 50% had seen a slight decrease in the number of missed rest breaks recorded, and 50% had a slight increase over last quarter.
  • Of significance, we noted that there has been an increase of 46% in number of missed breaks in Critical Care 6th floor since last quarter and a 91% increase in the number of missed breaks since first quarter of 2018.
  • On average, for the units we examined, there has been a 20% increase in the number of missed rest breaks recorded.

We all acknowledged that while looking at this data is helpful to some extent, more exploration is needed to eliminate the glaring mismatch between what the recording of missed breaks seems to indicate, versus what we are hearing loud and clear from the nurses. We are in a staffing crisis. Nurses are documenting their concerns for staffing on ADO’s/Staffing Concern forms in alarming numbers.

Rest Break Relief nurse positions
We examined the number of Rest Break Relief nurse positions the hospital has allocated to each specific unit covered by the Rest Break Settlement, which is currently 27.8 FTEs, comparing that number of FTE to currently open/unfilled FTEs. There were 6.55 open Rest Break Relief positions as of the date of this meeting. We discussed at length some of the challenges, as well as the successes, with the Rest Break Relief program. Our mutual concern does include difficulty in filling positions and maintaining an effective system.

The hospital does recognize the need to respond to our requests to shift some of the FTEs from areas that do not have need for FTE allocation, to other units. There is, for example, FTE allocated for the now closed rehab unit. Management has also suggested reallocating currently allocated FTE from night shift in ED. There is a need to increase the FTE allocations in units that are obviously suffering with the need for additional Break Relief nurses; namely, the med surg units. Reallocation and consideration to possibly add additional FTE is underway. The hospital is committed to filling all open Rest Break positions as quickly as possible and continuing to assess and evaluate the need to shift or possibly add additional resources. WSNA is continuing to monitor the progress of the Rest Break Relief staffing system. We have requested additional information to assist us with this, such as production of reports of occurrences when Rest Break Relief nurses are pulled to cover other staffing needs beyond break relief.

Importance of filling out Staffing Complaint/ADO form
We discussed the need for nurses to continue to document their missed breaks appropriately, without fear of retaliation, which is specifically prohibited in the settlement agreement. Staffing Complaint/ADO forms are being completed by numerous nurses. WSNA will continue to push for appropriate response from management by ensuring our Staffing Committee is fully functional and our concerns are being heard and acted upon.

You can do your part by completing an on-line Staffing Concern/ADO form for every shift you miss your break at https://www.wsna.org/ado

Questions? Contact your WSNA local unit officers, or WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at 206-575-7979, ext. 3035 or hwelander@wsna.org.

Meet with your WSNA negotiation team

You want transparency and we want to give you the facts. We, your fellow nurses on the WSNA negotiating team, will be holding sessions to provide information and work to answer the outstanding questions. Following the “NO” vote, we heard from RNs around the hospital. In response, this meeting is designed to hear and respond to your questions and concerns about the previously negotiated proposal and talk about next steps.

We are in the process of scheduling another bargaining session with the federal mediator.

EVERY RN needs to come and continue the conversation. You must be part of the dialogue and solution. We need your help to move forward in the process of securing the best contract possible for everyone.

April 23, 2019, Lagerquist Conference room
8-9:15 a.m. / 4-5:15 p.m. / 5:30-6:45 p.m. / 8-9:15 p.m.

April 25, 2019, location to be announced
6-7:15 a.m. / 1:30-2:45 p.m. / 5:30-6:45 p.m.

In attendance to work with us, will be members of our negotiation team, WSNA Attorney and Chief Spokesperson Lane Toensmeier, WSNA Resource Nurse Representative Hanna Welander, WSNA Chief General Counsel Timothy Sears and Director of Strategic Initiatives Anne Tan Piazza.

In solidarity,
Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Linda Burbank, Tiffany Repar, Francine Gumina, Melissa Garcia, Rachael DeSouza, Katie Miller

For questions or concerns, please contact Resource Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at 206-575-7979, ext. 3035 or hwelander@wsna.org.

State cites and fines St. Joseph Medical Center Tacoma for serious safety violations

Penaltywide

Five “serious” violations and $14,400 fine follows patient attacks on nurses

The state Department of Labor and Industries on April 11 cited and fined St. Joseph Medical Center Tacoma (St. Joe’s) for safety violations related to a series of attacks on nurses at the hospital. L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health launched an investigation at the request of WSNA after a patient in the psychiatric unit assaulted numerous nurses in October 2018. The patient threatened to kill, punched, kicked and scratched staff members, inflicting serious injuries.


These findings stem directly from a complaint filed by WSNA following a string of workplace violence incidents last fall. WSNA 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.

The Division of Safety and Health cited the hospital for failing to conduct an effective, inclusive incident investigation into the assaults. Additional violations addressed the safety committee, which DOSH found did not effectively address safety topics and did not include the required number of employee representatives. St. Joe’s has until April 29th to correct the violations.

Thank you to the brave nurses who came forward with their testimonials. This is a huge victory for the nurses and all the workers at St. Joe’s.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander

at hwelander@wsna.org or (206) 575-7979, ext. 3056.

The survey is online

Bargaining Unit Members,

Last week's results are in, and the overall majority voted NOT to ratify the proposed contract. Now we move forward. We need to know more about what we each value. Together we can pave a path to success. "Nurses United, We'll Never Be Divided."

We are listening. Please fill out this new survey in order for us to address your concerns both within and outside the negotiations table to improve the working conditions and patient safety at SJMC.

In Solidarity!

Your negotiation team: Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Linda Burbank, Rachael DeSouza, Melissa

Garcia, Katie Miller, Francine Gumina and Tiffany Repar

We heard you

As your negotiation team we worked hard on your behalf.

The negotiation team is committed to redouble efforts to achieve an agreement ALL nurses support.

Now we need to hear from you.

Give us your input, tell us your thoughts and concerns about the contract being rejected.

If you voted against it, we want to understand why

Watch for notice of a survey on Monday, April 15. Please complete it ASAP and tell your coworkers to do the same.

The survey is the first step to help us win a fair contract for St. Joe’s nurses:

We are strong, we are many, and we should not have to be fighting this hard for a fair contract. But we will!

In Solidarity!

Your negotiation team: Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Linda Burbank, Rachael DeSouza, Melissa Garcia, Katie Miller, Francine Gumina and Tiffany Repar

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Rep. Pat McClure at (360) 904-8004 or pmcclure@wsna.org.

The vote is in

WSNA members at St. Joe's - Tacoma have voted to reject the Tentative Agreement. The contract will not go into effect. Our negotiation team will meet soon to discuss next steps.

We will be in touch soon.

In solidarity!
Your negotiation team: Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Linda Burbank, Crystal Collins, Rachael DeSouza, Melissa Garcia, Katie Miller, Francine Gumina and Tiffany Repar

Questions? please contact WSNA Nurse Rep. Pat McClure at (360) 904-8004 or pmcclure@wsna.org.

Nurses Week celebration – a fun 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 Rachael DeSouza desouza.rachael@gmail.com to be added to the list.

Please RSVP with Rachael no later than Friday, May 3, 2019. You are welcome to bring a spouse, friend, etc., however, your guests must register and pay separately. For more information about the event, visit the Pierce County Nurses website.

Vote on our contract Thursday, April 11

Largest wage increases in recent history

  • Upon ratification – 3%
  • 11/1/19 – 3.5%
  • 11/1/20 – 3%

Ratification bonus

  • 0.9+ FTE will receive a ratification bonus of $700
  • Less than 0.9 FTE will receive a prorated portion of $700
  • Supplemental PT and Per Diem nurses - 0.2 FTE

You get a bigger voice in safe staffing

  • Mechanism to fight back against unsafe staffing practices such as “alternative staffing.”
  • Complaints can be filed in any format including the electronic Staffing Complaint/ADO forms (wsna.org/union/ado).

Hold the hospital accountable for workplace violence

  • Commitment from the Medical Center to address issues including proper signage and the assignment of security personnel.
  • WSNA will be able to appoint 5 RNs to the Safety Committee to oversee the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan.
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Come vote!

Largest wage increases in recent history

  • Upon ratification – 3%
  • 11/1/19 – 3.5%
  • 11/1/20 – 3%

Ratification bonus

  • 0.9+ FTE will receive a ratification bonus of $700
  • Less than 0.9 FTE will receive a prorated portion of $700
  • Supplemental PT and Per Diem nurses - 0.2 FTE

You get a bigger voice in safe staffing

  • Mechanism to fight back against unsafe staffing practices such as “alternative staffing.”
  • Complaints can be filed in any format including the electronic Staffing Complaint/ADO forms (wsna.org/union/ado).

Hold the hospital accountable for workplace violence

  • Commitment from the Medical Center to address issues including proper signage and the assignment of security personnel.
  • WSNA will be able to appoint 5 RNs to the Safety Committee to oversee the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan.
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We have a Tentative Agreement on a contract!

The support we received from members, including the successful picket, has paid off. We are happy to announce that we have reached a Tentative Agreement on a contract! Your bargaining team recommends this contract for ratification.

SUMMARY OF 2019 TENTATIVE AGREEMENT

Wage Increases – largest in recent history

Upon ratification – 3%
11/1/19 – 3.5%
11/1/20 – 3%

Ratification Bonus

All nurses with a 0.9 FTE and up will receive a ratification bonus of $700. Nurses below a 0.9 will receive a prorated portion of $700 (i.e. a 0.5 FTE will receive $350). Supplemental Part-Time and Per Diem nurses will be treated as 0.2 FTE ($140).

Protection for current Supplemental Part-Time Nurses

Your bargaining team successfully fought off the Medical Center’s attempt to reduce the premium paid to Supplemental Part-Time nurses from 15% to 10%. The Medical Center has informed us that they will exercise their right to stop hiring into this position. In the future, they will utilize the Per Diem position. However, nurses currently employed as Supplemental Part-Time Nurses will continue under the same terms and at 15%.

Per Diem Nurses

The new contract will require an increased work commitment from Per Diem Nurses. Per Diems will now have to make themselves available for 4 shifts per month which will include either one full weekend of 2 shifts or 3 weekend shifts. Per Diems will also need to make themselves available to work 2 holidays during the year. As compensation, Per Diems will now be placed on the wage scale plus an additional 10%. Depending on a nurse’s years of experience, this will result in substantially more money for some Per Diems.

Safe Staffing

Staffing was a top priority for the bargaining team. In addition to wage increases that should help the Medical Center recruit and retain quality nurses, the new contract establishes a clear method for nurses to both proactively provide feedback into staffing plans and file complaints regarding staffing practices with the Staffing Committee. Complaints can be filed in any format including the electronic ADO forms on the WSNA website (wsna.org/union/ado). Staffing complaints are a very important tool for stopping some of the unsafe staffing practices that are currently in place. Remember: Both our contract and state law prohibit the employer from retaliating against you for filing a complaint.

Workplace Violence

Work should not hurt! The new contract includes a commitment from the Medical Center to utilize the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan to address measures such as proper signage and the assignment of security personnel.
In addition, WSNA will be able to appoint 5 RNs to the Safety Committee to oversee the Plan. We need to keep working to make our workplace safe for our patients and for us.

Paycheck Concerns

The problem of inaccurate and indecipherable paychecks remains an ongoing concern. It is also a difficult problem to solve during union contract negotiations. The new contract does require the CHI Division Director of HR Operations to meet with 3 nurses appointed by WSNA during the next 12 months. The bargaining team is hopeful that raising the issue with somebody outside of St. Joes will shine a spotlight on this problem so that solutions can be implemented. In the meantime, nurses will now have 45 days to notify the employer of errors on paychecks.

Clinical Groupings

The Clinical Groupings in Article 7.6.1 has been updated. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in removing the Walters group from the Main OR/PACU. While the Medical Center committed to slowing down the integration of the groups, they refused to recognize the concerns of the nurses who are impacted by inadequate training and unfair scheduling.

Grievance Procedure

The grievance procedure will have a simplified timeline. In addition, WSNA will now be able to file “Association Grievances” in cases where more than one nurse has been affected.

Lactation Rooms

The Medical Center has committed to a policy of ensuring adequate designated space for lactating mothers. Pursuant to this policy, a new room will be made available in the near future.

Successorship

The new contract contains language to protect us if CHI sells the facility or merges with another entity during the term of the contract.

Vacation Scheduling and Usage

Please note the new calendar for requesting time off. Beginning in 2020, nurses need to submit their requests between January 1 and March 1 for the vacation year running from May 15 through May 14. Also, nurses will no longer have to utilize accrued PTO time if you have worked your FTE for the week. The bargaining team believes this will give nurses an incentive to pick up additional shifts when they are available to do so.

This contract is recommended by your bargaining team: Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Rachael De Souza, Linda Burbank, Crystal Collins, Tiffany Repar, Melissa Garcia, Katie Miller and Francine Gumina

The VOTE to ratify this contract will occur on April 11 from 6:15 – 9 a.m., 2:15 – 4:15 p.m. and 6:15 – 8:30 p.m. in the Dietary Conference Room.

You must be a WSNA Member in good standing to vote on the contract. YOU ARE WSNA!!
Pat McClure, WSNA Nurse Representative at 206-575-7979, ext. 3110 or pmcclure@wsna.org.

We did it!

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We have a tentative agreement to vote on April 11, in the Dietary Conference Room. The times are such that we believe it gives everyone a chance to come down to cast your vote. The TA comes with a recommendation for a “YES” vote.

The times are 6:15 – 9 a.m.; 2:15 – 4:15 p.m.; and 6:15 – 8:30 p.m.

Our Chief spokesperson will be present to answer any questions that you have regarding the contract.

We look forward to seeing you on April 11 in the Dietary Conference Room.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call WSNA Nurse Rep. Pat McClure at (360) 904-8004 or one of the negotiating team members; Dian Davis, Janet Stewart, Linda Burbank, Crystal Collins, Rachael DeSouza, Melissa Garcia, Katie Miller, Francine Gumina or Tiffany Repar.

We've reached a Tentative Agreement!

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After 13 negotiation days and more than six months, we have reached a tentative agreement with hospital management!

Look what our unity, solidarity and involvement have accomplished! We, your RN negotiation team, want to thank everyone who showed support during these contract negotiations.

Thursday, April 11 is the voting day! Location to be determined.

A negotiation summary will be coming soon, however, we want you to know that we recommend this contract.

Again, thank you! Your team could not have reached this tentative agreement without all of your support.

More details to come – stay tuned!

#NursingStrong

Your WSNA Negotiation Team

Our picket is THIS Thursday, March 21!

Let's get the administration to do the right thing. It's time to use our collective bargaining voice to fight for what we deserve.

Bring your friends and family to the informational picket

March 21, 2019
8-11 a.m.
S. J Street on the corner of S. J/ S. 19th near the ED

Gearing up for this week's informational picket

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Members Rachael De Souza, Tony McClusky and Sally Budack with their signs and banners from Friday, March 15!

We'd also like to give a huge shout out to our neighborhood supporter, Hilel, for the support banner outside of his house near SJMC.

It's time to picket!

After months of negotiations, we are again at a moment when our collective voice becomes even more important to encourage the administration to do the right thing.

Nurses showed up in big numbers to our unity dinner and now it's time to get ready for our picket.

Bring your friends and family to
our informational picket


March 21, 2019
8-11 a.m.
S. J Street on the corner of S. J/ S. 19th near the ED

Our team is standing strong on:

Safe staffing saves lives!
Safe staffing allows nurses to safely take care of patients. St. Joe’s administration needs to commit to ensuring safe staffing in every part of the hospital that allows nurses to take breaks and provide quality patient care.

Safe nurses = Safe patients
We should not have to risk their personal safety just to do our jobs of giving patients the very best care. Nurses at St. Joe’s need protections in our contract to keep ourselves and our patients safe.

You deserve the best nurses
To recruit and retain the best, St. Joe’s needs to offer competitive wages and benefits. They don’t.

Show up to show your support for our team and the issues that mean the most to nurses and patients at St. Joe's.

Follow us on Facebook and make sure you get your car sign to show your support every day!

Questions? Ask a negotiation team member or Nurse Organizer Tara Barnes at tbarnes@wsna.org / 206-713-2241.

Negotiation update: day 12

You have until the end of Feb. 28, 2019, to submit seniority-based vacation requests through May 14, 2020. This is a change from the current contract language.

We wrapped up our 12th negotiation session, the second with the federal mediator, and have yet to come to a mutual agreement about the contract.

The workplace violence proposal offered by management is inadequate to deal with the safety issues we nurses face on a daily basis. WSNA’s workplace violence proposal requires a plan of action be implemented and protection for staff when assaults occur. Management continues to reject this proposal which would implement real change and actually improve the safety in our units.

Management has stated the new Washington state staffing law covers any and all staffing issues, and that WSNA should not be able to file grievances based on staffing. WSNA strongly disagrees with this position. WSNA has proposed standards of staffing to ensure nurses get breaks, can use their PTO and for management to adhere to their own staffing plan.

WSNA strongly believes management is using KRONOS to underpay staff. We continue to ask to meet with those who can address the issues we have brought forth. They continue to insist we meet with management members who have proven to be inadequate in fixing the system over the last twelve years.

SJMC also continues to insist on a 5% pay cut for Supplemental Part Time staff. The employer states retroactive pay back to Nov. 1, 2018, is out of the question.

Your WSNA negotiation team has worked hard to improve contract language to make SJMC a safer place to work. Filling staffing vacancies and improving retention and recruitment is directly related to wages and premiums. Management’s wage package is not market competitive. WSNA continues to propose annual raises and a BSN/MSN premium pay that will make SJMC competitive with the market, while both retaining and attracting quality nurses.

Your bargaining team has spent hundreds of hours at the bargaining table. What are the next steps?

  • Show up at the Unity Dinner - March 11 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
    EQC Fife Ballroom/Conference Center (5700 Pacific HWY E)
  • Sign up for Informational Picketing
  • Show your support for our union

In Unity,

Your WSNA Negotiation Team

Questions? Contact a negotiation team member or WSNA Nurse Representative Pat McClure at pmcclure@wsna.org or at 360-904-8004.

You have until the end of Feb. 28, 2019, to submit seniority-based vacation requests through May 14, 2020. This is a change from the current contract language.

Join us March 11 for a Unity Dinner!

Join us March 11 at the Emerald Queen Casino.

WSNA grievance officer training

When: Friday, Feb. 22 from 9-11 a.m.
Where: Pierce County Nurses Assoc. office (223 Tacoma Ave S, 98402)

This event is for you if:

  1. You are a WSNA elected officer or grievance officer who has not yet had this training (officers learn how to attend investigatory meetings).
  2. You have already had grievance officer training and would like a refresher.
  3. You have lots of experience with the grievance process and are willing to share your knowledge and experience with those new to the role.
  4. You have an interest in advocating for your colleagues in investigations and would like to learn more.

Your colleagues need your advocacy and support!

RNs from various Tacoma-area facilities will be attending and space is limited. You must pre-register for this training.

Register today with WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James at SJames@wsna.org. Include your name, contact info and where you work.

Please be on time!

Negotiation update

We want to thank the Walters PACU nurses who took the time to come to negotiations to share their testimonials on how unsafe it is for them to be required to float to the Main OR, without adequate training or orientation.

We were hoping to see more movement from management toward getting an agreement. This did not happen.

Our next negotiation date on Feb. 1 will be with a mediator.

Your WSNA Negotiating Team

Questions? Contact a negotiation team member or WSNA Nurse Rep Pat McClure at pmcclure@wsna.org.

Negotiation update

We want to thank the SDS nurses for their very compelling testimony of what it is like to be required to float to the Main OR without the adequate amount of training or orientation. Also, thanks to the nurses who took the time to write their testimonies that were read by the Team.

Otherwise, it was a disappointing day. After WSNA made considerable movement during the last session, it was thought that management would respond in kind. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

We will meet on February 1 with a mediator and management. Stay tuned for the next steps. Be sure to wear your blue shirts and be ready for more action.

Questions? Contact Pat McClure - pmcclure@wsna.org or (206) 575-7979, ext. 3110.

The lack of nursing staff has become critical

Now is the time to let management know just how concerned you are for your patients and your nursing license.

The Safe Staffing Survey is open Jan. 14 - Feb. 15. This is your opportunity to let management know just how short the staffing actually is. When you start to dread going to work, you know things are bad. This shortage of nurses impacts the care you are able to give each of your patients. Short staffing increases the likelihood of making a mistake, impacting your nursing license.

Your WSNA officers and staffing committee are encouraging each and every one of you to take the time to share your honest, professional opinion of what is happening at the hospital. How it is impacting the care you are able to give each of your patients?

The nurses sitting on the staffing committee are committed to working with management to get a true picture of what is going on. In order to do that, we need you to take the time to let your opinion be known.

Please help us get the best results possible, fill out the survey and give us your honest opinion of how things are going with staffing.

In solidarity,

Your WSNA Officers

Questions? Contact any WSNA officer or WSNA Nurse Representative Pat McClure at pmcclure@wsna.org or at (360)263-4258.

Changes in ED Obs/MSOA, ACC, South Pavilion and 8B/C

I'm Rachael De Souza, our WSNA membership officer at SJMC. I work as a nurse on the 7th floor.

Many nurses are hearing about changes planned for the ED Obs/MSOA, ACC, South Pavilion and 8B/C, which could impact our work experiences.

We are holding meetings to hear your feedback and concerns:

Date: Jan. 3, 2019

Times: 7:30-9 a.m. and 6-9 p.m.

Location: Dietary Conference Room

Pat McClure, our WSNA nurse rep, will also be there.

If you can’t make it, please share your thoughts via personal e-mail. We want everyone to have a voice.

Please invite your coworkers. We'll send them an email and give them a call, but the best invitation is in person from someone they know (like you)! If you are not in one of these units, please pass on the information to folks you may know in those units.

Thank you for everything you do.

Rachael
(253) 906-9036
desouza.rachael@gmail.com

You are always welcome to call, text or email me.

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, we met for our ninth contract negotiation session

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A big thanks to the 7th floor for sponsoring food for us during our 10-hour session.

WSNA attempted to make significant movement towards an overall agreement but we were met with resistance from management, who did not reciprocate. We are disappointed with their response to our proposals and their lack of movement.

  • The employer gave us a new economic proposal with wage increases of 2.5%, 2.75% and 2.5%. We believe that this is far below what would adequately meet the recruitment and retention needs of the hospital.
  • They have withdrawn their proposal to decrease the 15 percent pay in lieu of benefits. But, in what feels like a slap in the face, they maintain their proposal to decrease pay for supplemental part-time nurses.
  • They have failed to make substantive proposals to address the critical issues of workplace violence language and nurse staffing.
  • They continue to reject our proposals on nursing degree premiums and float premiums, which we believe would also help with recruitment and retention.
  • They also continue to reject our proposal to separate Walters from the main OR in clinical groupings, despite a showing of overwhelming support from nurses of Walters.

Where we are now: Both parties have agreed to begin to use a federal mediator to help us reach an agreement.

The fight continues.

On Dec. 21, we are having a drop-in union social at the Red Elm Café from noon until 2 p.m.

The Red Elm Café is at 1114 M.L.K. Jr Way, Tacoma, WA 98405

This is a family friendly event and everyone is welcome. It’s an opportunity to look at the contract, talk about workplace issues and concerns, meet nurses outside of your work area, make new friends and more! We hope to see you there.

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In unity,

Your Negotiation Team:

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

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Pat McClure at pmcclure@wsna.org.

Your St. Joseph Medical Center Local Unit leaders are sponsoring 10 nurses to attend the Washington State Nurses Convention, May 1-3, 2019 at the Tulalip Resort Casino

Don’t miss amazing speakers, great professional development and a full year of CNEs!

We’ll cover your early bird registration fee of $400 so that you can attend this fun and educational event. Early bird registration ends Dec. 31, 2018 – if you’re interested in this great opportunity, reach out to us today.


The scholarship also includes reimbursement for a 2-night stay, mileage and a $50 meal stipend.

More information, including the full convention agenda, at rnconvention.org.

Please note:

  • First consideration will be given to those who did not attend the 2017 Convention.
  • The Thursday evening banquet is included in the registration fee.
  • The scholarship does not include the $150 optional Suicide Prevention training on Friday.
  • Coupon codes will still work after Dec. 31 but will not cover the additional $50 fee for regular (not early bird) registration.

Please contact WSNA Local Unit Treasurer Janet Stewart, RN atjstew4@msn.com or at 253-831-3923 to reserve your spot.

Also available: Mandatory Suicide Prevention Training Add-on
(Not included in Local Unit sponsored free registration.)

With the University of Washington School of Nursing, WSNA is offering the opportunity to fulfill your 6-hour mandatory suicide prevention training requirement for licensure as part of your trip to Convention. This training is approved by the Washington Department of Health and is on their model list. Separate registration required. Lunch provided. 6 CNEs.

Negotiation update: session #8

We spent a majority of time in negotiations on Dec. 14 talking about the indecipherable pay stubs that you receive. Management claims they have no control over how those stubs read. The payroll system is across the CHI facilities.

Supplemental Part-time and Per Diem requirements were discussed at length without reaching an agreement. We did a lot of talking about STAFFING and how to attract and retain nurses. Management’s point of view is that we now have a law that addresses staffing so we do not need language in the contract, but we need language in the contract that addresses staffing on all of the units.

Important dates:

  • Our next meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 18. Please wear your blue pins and buttons as a show of support for the negotiating team.
  • Dec. 21, we will be having an organizing meeting at the RED ELM from noon until 2 p.m. This is a family friendly event and everyone is welcome! We hope to see you there.

In unity,

Your Negotiating Team

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Pat McClure at pmcclure@wsna.org.

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

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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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!



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.