We met with manage­ment on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, to discuss the upcoming rebid for Med-Surg units — 2‑South, 4‑South, 7th Floor and 9th Floor. The goal was to seek clari­fi­ca­tion and get answers to many of the questions you have sent to us.

Manage­ment was unwilling to grand­fa­ther out the 8 hour shifts through attri­tion; they said it was not feasible with this size of an organi­za­tion. There are several 8‑hour break relief positions avail­able, but the number was unclear at that time. One is posted. The 7th floor position is going through FTE committee. There may be 8‑hour shifts other than the break relief positions through other depart­ments. Manage­ment wants to be creative to resolve any issues for nurses being forced into 12-hour shifts. Reten­tion is the key.

We expressed that these changes should first have gone through the Safe Staffing Committee. They disagreed, saying the RN/​Patient staffing ratios did not change. We are contin­uing to work on this.

We described the following scenarios that you have brought forward that make it impos­sible or extremely diffi­cult to work 12-hour shifts: 

  • Personal and family obligations
  • Residency repay­ment obligations
  • Tuition reimburse­ment repay­ment obligations
  • Cuts in FTE and loss of evening shift differential
  • Health issues

Impor­tant infor­ma­tion came to light including:

For Residents, if you are adversely impacted going from 8‑hour shifts to 12-hour shifts, please contact WSNA Nurse Rep, Hanna Welander. The employer will look at residency contracts on a case-by-case basis to deter­mine if nurses can be let out of their contrac­tual oblig­a­tion. Hanna will help you facil­i­tate that with the Human Resources Director.

If you received tuition reimburse­ment and if you cannot work 12-hour shifts, you will not be required to pay back the tuition.

Because manage­ment was unwilling to grand­fa­ther the 8‑hour shifts through attri­tion, the employer is holding the 8‑hour break relief positions to attempt to accom­mo­date any nurse who cannot work 12-hour shifts.

If you have medical reasons why you cannot work 12-hour shifts, please get in touch with Janet Sanders in Human Resources who is your Human Resources disability specialist.

Vacations: If you have vacation already pre-sched­uled, talk with your manager to ensure that you don’t have to modify your vacation requests.

Outside nurse recruits: We learned of nurses who were hired from out of state. When these nurses arrive, they will become members of our union and will be slotted into avail­able positions. No current nurses will be displaced. They are being assigned to all CHI hospi­tals. Since they signed on, some have declined their offers. At this time, we do not know exactly how many will be coming to St. Joe’s.

Manage­ment felt that if your FTE was cut, you have the option to pick up extra shifts. We do not think this is a good solution. However, if you are sched­uled at 0.6 FTE or above, you receive the same benefits as full-time FTEs do.

Manda­tory Cuts: We are asking for clarity and trans­parency on the process of Manda­tory Cuts, and ask that they follow our contract language. If you feel you are cut out of turn, they ask that you go to your manager to inves­ti­gate. If you don’t feel you get a satis­fac­tory response from your manager, notify WSNA for the option to file a griev­ance.

Regarding calling Staffing Office for Sick Calls, Cut List, Avail­ability List: Do NOT leave a message on the former staffing office phone number of 253 – 426-6751 as it has changed. Please use 253 – 573-6243. The central­ized staffing office is now located at Mission Control.

Floating to Other Units: We are hearing about issues and concerns about proper orien­ta­tion for floating to other units. We will ask manage­ment for clari­fi­ca­tion at the Confer­ence Committee meeting this week.

We continue to monitor and inves­ti­gate these issues. Please feel free to contact us.

Dian Davis, RN, Local Unit Co-Chair

Allie Jones, RN, Local Unit Co-Chair

Sally Budack, RN-BC, Local Unit Secretary

Janet Stewart, RN, Local Unit Treasurer and Griev­ance Officer

Linda Burbank, RN, Local Unit Griev­ance Officer

Matthew McGuire, RN, Local Unit Griev­ance Officer

Melissa Garcia, RN, Local Unit Member­ship Officer

Rachael DeSouza, MSN, RN, Local Unit Member­ship Officer

Hanna Welander, WSNA Nurse Rep, hwelander@wsna.org or 206 — 575‑7979, Ext. 3035.