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.