In these scary times, we are so grateful to you, our members, and all of the work that you are doing on the “front lines.” We have heard from several of you about serious concerns at SJMC and St. Clare, including:
Lack of access to PPE
Low census as units shut down or reduce hours
Redeployment or floating of nurses into areas focused on treating COVID-19 patients
Access to paid leave if a nurse is unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19
WSNA has been working hard to address these concerns. We have been working at facilities across the state to ensure as many protections for nurses are in place as possible. Specifically, WSNA has been focusing on negotiating agreements to ensure that nurses have access to paid leave (separate from existing accrued leave) when their hours are reduced and hazard pay. Another area of focus has been negotiating over when and under what circumstances nurses can float out of their home unit/clinical grouping in response to hospitals’ shifting operations and staffing needs.
WSNA has negotiated two agreements with CHI and is in the process of trying to negotiate a third. The first agreement addresses when nurses are entitled to paid leave related to COVID-19 exposure and nurses that are part of the part of the CDC’s at-risk group. The second agreement addresses voluntary floating from one CHI facility to another. The third, which we are currently negotiating, includes provisions and protections for nurses regarding the additional concerns noted above.
Please continue to share your concerns with WSNA. If you haven’t already please take a moment to fill out the COVID-19 Healthy Workplace Survey, and sign our petition and encourage everyone you know to sign it too. The more people that sign the petition the more pressure it puts on employers to do the right thing for the dedicated nurses they employ.