WSNA at SJMC Local unit officers #
Co-Chair: Dian Davis
Secretary: Sally Budack
Treasurer: Mathew McGuire
Grievance Officer: Linda Burbank
Grievance Officer: Shelly Pollock
Grievance Officer: Mathew McGuire
WSNA Nurse Rep:
Barbara Friesen — bfriesenwsna.org 206 – 575-7979 ext. 3056
Did you know? #
We have our own Local Unit WSNA page! If you need to see past communications or get in touch with a rep check out our page at https://www.wsna.org/union/st-joseph-medical-center.
Do you have Facebook!? Join SJMC RN Coworkers! #
We have a PRIVATE Facebook page; it will most likely receive new information and updates first. If you are part of this group, you will be first to hear of anything happening! If you have questions on how to get invited to be in it please contact one of our Unit Reps. If you are on the page, please invite your co-workers! There ARE 3 entry questions just to make sure we don’t have any outsiders ;)
We need more input: This survey is CRITICAL to show we are united and see where the priorities are for negotiation! #
Please take the time to fill out the Contract Negotiation survey, every opinion matters.
Together we are united.
Unit Rep: #
WSNA is looking for more unit reps; our goal is a 1:10 ratio (1 rep for every 10 nurses on their unit). Unit reps are basically just the first to get the communications about what is happening and spread it out to their peers. The commitment is VERY minimal. We would LOVE to have you join! Please email Barb at email@example.com if you would like more information.
If you want to know who your unit rep is it is posted on our local unit WSNA website!
Tired of getting calls from staffing… Did you know? #
Nurses brought forward (Aug 2016) the issue of central staffing calling nurses around the clock to fill staffing needs. This practice, among other things, was disruptive to sleep and oftentimes occurred during rest between shifts. Nurses expressed the need to leave their phones on for family emergencies, etc. but did not want the frequent calls from staffing.
A grievance was filed to address this matter and WSNA’s remedy was that nurses have the right to opt-out of phone calls/texts on their time off if they choose to do so. Management has agreed to allow nurses to opt-out. If you would like to opt-out of phone calls for staffing needs, you must submit a request in writing to your manager who will in turn sign it and forward it to central staffing to have you placed on the do-not-call list. For Everbridge, please be aware that you can select an email option within the program instead of receiving calls/texts. Please contact one of your officers or WSNA if you have any continuing issues with unwanted calls/texts.
Our Committees: #
Conference Committee #
Conference committee is the place guaranteed by our contract to facilitate communication between management and nursing staff and discuss matters that affect nurses’ working conditions. Our WSNA Local Unit Officer meet with management every other month on the third Wednesday of the month. Staffing and ADOs are a standing agenda items at every meeting. Other agenda items may include an issue we are trying to resolve collaboratively without filing a grievance or may be something there is no specific contract language about but still needs to be addressed. Minutes are taken at every meeting and posted on our WSNA bulletin boards. If you have ideas, thoughts, or concerns, please make sure you contact one of our Local Unit Reps or Local Unit Officers so the matter can be addressed.
Employee Safety Committee #
The purpose of the Employee Safety Committee is to investigate safety and health issues and to advise the employer of education and preventative health measures for the workplace and its employees, including issues of workplace violence prevention and response. This committee meets monthly on the second Wednesday of the month. If you have questions, concerns, a safety issue you would like to share please contact one of the following WSNA Nurse ESC members:
Unit — Primary
OR — Dian Davis — firstname.lastname@example.org
ED — Larissa Ferber — email@example.com
5th Floor — Sarah Guillen — firstname.lastname@example.org
8th Floor — Sara Mendoza — email@example.com
FBC — Karissa Melkersson — firstname.lastname@example.org
OR — Vacant
ED — Matt McGuire — email@example.com
5th Floor — Oakley Myers — firstname.lastname@example.org
8th Floor — Corinne Reynolds — email@example.com
FBC — Cherie Suski — firstname.lastname@example.org
Rest Breaks Committee
The Rest Breaks Committee was created as part of a settlement agreement for a 2015 law suit WSNA filed against SJMC regarding nurses’ missed breaks. The members of the committee are SJMC leadership and WSNA Local Unit Officers. The meetings are held quarterly. Meeting topics include the number of missed breaks that are occurring on each unit. The agreement specifies breaks will be provided on all units and departments at least 80% of the time. This is why it is so important all missed breaks get documented. ADOs with detailed information about why breaks are missed is very helpful too, especially when the break nurse is pulled and missed breaks are a result of that.
Communication Committee #
The Communication Committee is a new sub-committee of the WSNA Unit Rep team. The goal of this committee is to keep all of the nurses at St Joe’s informed and in the know. So much goes on at St Joe’s and with WSNA that is kept quiet. We want to change that! We envision good, timely, transparent communication becoming the norm. Our current Communication Committee members are:
• Brandon Hardaway — 6th Floor
• Katy Heffernan — Cath Lab
• Chelsey Roos — Walters SADU
• Jennifer Campbell — FBC
Nurse Staffing Committee #
Nurse Staffing Committee is mandated by Washington State law and by our contract. The purpose of this committee is to develop, oversee and evaluate an annual staffing plan covering each shift and patient care unit per the provision of RCW 70.41.410 – 420 The staffing plans are reviewed semi-annually or anytime there is a change made to a plan. If you have not looked at the RCW it would be a good thing to do so you can understand what should be included https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=70.41.410 and https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=70.41.420. Factors to be considered include: census, level of intensity of patients, skill mix, equipment, architecture and geography, national nursing professional association guidelines, ancillary staff, and strategies to enable nurses to take meal and rest breaks. These staffing plans and the daily nurse staffing are supposed to be posted in a publicly visible place for every unit and every shift.
The law supports nurses reporting concerns to the staffing committee regarding any variations where the nurse assignment in a patient care unit that is not in accordance with the adopted staffing plan or the plan itself is not appropriate. That can be done by filing an Assignment Despite Objection (ADO). The law also prohibits retaliation by management for filing ADOs.
When an ADO is electronically submitted it automatically goes to both Co-chairs of the NSC, WSNA and the manager of the unit where the complaint occurred, provided the managers correct email is accurately entered on the ADO. The NSC is required by the law to develop a process to examine and respond to the data submitted and to determine if a specific complaint is resolved, unresolved or should be dismissed due to a complaint based on unsubstantiated data.
The Department of Health (DOH) is obligated to investigate a complaint when there is evidence of failure to resolve violations of the staffing law. That evidence must include aggregate data that indicate a continuing pattern of unresolved violations that were submitted to the NSC for a minimum of 60-days leading up to the time a complaint is filed.
Department of Health Complaint Filed Against SJMC #
October 8, 2019 WSNA filed a complaint with the Department of Health:
COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO RCW 70.41.420 (ESHB 1714) NURSE STAFFING This complaint is pursuant to RCW 70.41.420 as set forth in ESHB 1714 (2017) pertaining to Nurse Staffing Committees. We request 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
The situation at St. Joseph Medical Center:
At St. Joseph Medical Center, 497 complaints have been filed with the Nurse Staffing Committee since March 10, 2019. Registered nurses have filed these complaints as objections to shift-to-shift adjustments in staffing. To date, 64 of the nearly 500 complaints have been resolved. This complaint and request for DOH investigation relates to the 32 complaints that the Nurse Staffing Committee has reviewed and marked as “unresolved” and to the failure for the hospital to follow the nursing personnel assignments in a patient care unit in violation of RCW 70.41.420(7)(a) or shift-to-shift adjustments in staffing levels in violation of RCW 70.41.420(7)(b
Department of Health findings:
Document review of the 2019 Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) database submitted by the hospital reveals most staffing complaints were not resolved by the Nurse Staffing Committee or the ADO subcommittee. Thus, the hospital failed to develop a consistent process to examine, respond and determine if a specific nurse staffing complaint was resolved as required In RCW70.41.420
Department of Health ordered:
1. A written PLAN OF CORRECTION is required for each deficiency listed on the Statement of Deficiencies.
2. Each plan of correction statement must Include the following:
- The regulation number and/or the tag number;
- How the deficiency will be corrected;
- Who is responsible for making the correction;
- What will be done to prevent reoccurrence and how you will monitor for continued compliance;
- When the correction will be completed.
3. Your PLAN OF CORRECTION must be returned within 45 calendar days from the date you receive the Statement of Deficiencies. The Plan of Correction is due on 01/01/2021.
4. Sign and return the Statement of Deficiencies via email as directed in the cover letter.
SJMC Plan of Correction: #
The ADO Subcommittee did not meet the timeline of reviewing unresolved staffing complaints by February 2021
The staffing law states: In the event that a hospital fails to submit or submits but fails to follow such a corrective plan of action in response to a violation or violations found by the department based on a complaint filed pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the department may impose, for all violations asserted against a hospital at any time, a civil penalty of one hundred dollars per day until the hospital submits or begins to follow a corrective plan of action or takes other action agreed to by the department.
What happens next is up to the Department of Health.
ADOs have and are still going to the NSC without being reviewed and/or resolved. For that reason, WSNA is preparing to file another complaint with the Department of Health.
Would you like to get more involved? #
We have positions open on the Employee Safety Committee, Communication Committee, as well as Unit Rep, and Local Unit Officer positions. If you are interested in any of these positions, please contact any of our Local Unit Officers, Unit Reps, or Nurse Rep Barbara Friesen email@example.com 206 – 575-7979 ext. 3056