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
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.
Under the Supreme Court’s Weingarten decision, when an investigatory interview occurs, the following rules apply:
- 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.
- After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose among three options. The employer must either:
- Grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee; or
- Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
- Give the employee a choice of: 1) having the interview without representation, or 2) ending the interview.
- 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 email@example.com or 206-575-7979, ext. 3035.