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 — bfriesen​wsna​.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/​u​n​i​o​n​/​s​t​-​j​o​s​e​p​h​-​m​e​d​i​cal-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 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 —
ED — Larissa Ferber —
5th Floor — Sarah Guillen —
8th Floor — Sara Mendoza —
FBC — Karissa Melkersson —

OR — Vacant
ED — Matt McGuire —
5th Floor — Oakley Myers —
8th Floor — Corinne Reynolds —
FBC — Cherie Suski —

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/​R​C​W​/​d​e​f​a​u​l​t​.​a​s​p​x​?​c​i​t​e​=70.41.410 and https://​app​.leg​.wa​.gov/​R​C​W​/​d​e​f​a​u​l​t​.​a​s​p​x​?​c​i​t​e​=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: #

How the Deficiency Will Be CorrectedRespon­sible lndividual(s)Estimated Date of CorrectionMonitoring proce­dure; Target for Compliance
Process for reviewing and deter­mining resolu­tion or no resolu­tion-Process is now in place that meets the require­ment to examine and respond to staffing complaints (assign­ment despite objec­tion). ADO Committee reviews the ADO’s and deter­mines the both the status and which committee should follow up on the complaint. These two commit­tees are the Staffing Committee and the Confer­ence Committee. Staffing Committee &Co-ChairsJanuary 2020Review of minutes of both the Staffing Committee and ADO Review
Missing manage­ment response to 2019 complaint forms will be waived with the under­standing that the data gathered will be used to Identify on-going trends of unresolved concerns.
(See minutes from 12/14/20- attached) 
Staffing CommitteeDecember14,2020Review of minutes from 12/14/20 Staffing
SJMC manage­ment and HR will maintain a database of all responses and will track ADO’s by the ADO number as tracked in Staffing Committee database. This database will be reviewed at all ADO Committee meetings to ensure that all ADO’s are responded toRuth Flint and Human ResourcesDecember 10,2020January 30, 2021
Complaint data from January 2019 and forward will be trended based on category, unit and date. Source of the trending will be the Staffing Committee database. Data will be presented at the sched­uled Staffing Committee meetings with discus­sion of data. (See minutes from 12/14/20-attached)Staffing CommitteeDecember 14,2020Discus­sion and outcomes will be reflected in the minutes and reviewed by the CNO
ADO Committee will begin meeting monthly in January 2021 to review and discuss the outcome of the resolu­tion as deter­mined by the manager and as commu­ni­cated to the employee in the response letterADO Subcom­mitteeJanuary
Minutes from ADO

Unresolved staffing complaints will be reviewed by the Staffing Committee. If Staffing Committee requests the response go to Confer­ence Committee that minutes will reflect that. Discus­sion will occur between staff and manage­ment regarding steps toward resolu­tion. The minutes of either committee will reflect the outcome of unresolved complaint discussion.Staffing Committee and Confer­ence CommitteeFebruary
Review of minutes of both the Staffing Committee and ADO Review Committee
by CNO

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 206 – 575-7979 ext. 3056