UPDATE from your WSNA Nurse Staffing Committee Members

As the year comes to close, we wanted to send the nurses of St. Luke’s an important update around the Nurse Staffing Committee.  This time of year, each and every year, St. Luke’s is required to submit the staffing plan to the Department of Health. Management has been asking us for our input into what the staffing plan should look like, and one of our members, Jeff Dubrawski WSNA Chair has been working hard to put together a staffing matrix which the nurses of the committee could get behind and support.

On Oct 31 a Staffing Committee meeting was held to discuss the matrix Jeff created and provide management with additional feedback.  Items in addition to the matrix which were brought forward by the nurses of the committee which included issues with charge RNs being assigned as house supervisor, and charge nurses taking an assignment only in the event of an unforeseen emergency. Management told us they would take our feedback into consideration and follow up during the next Nurse Staffing Committee meeting with an updated matrix for review.

On Nov 14 the Nurse Staffing Committee met with management again, and the newly developed matrix by management was proposed.  We found the updated matrix to be concerning because it didn’t afford as much support staff as previous years, it didn’t take into account charge nurses taking a full house assignment, and it still had RNs and LPNs combined in the same column, which was problematic.  Before being able to communicate concerns from the nurses on the committee, management forced the committee to put their version of the newly proposed matrix to a vote.

Our WSNA Nurse Rep rejected openly the idea of voting the matrix, indicating a vote was too soon, and the nurses needed time to look the changes over.  Despite our efforts, management pressed forward with a forced vote immediately and the nurses of the Nurse Staffing Committee unanimously voted the newly proposed matrix for 2024 down.   Because management had voted to implement the new matrix, a tie occurred among the full committee and Nancy Webster CNO broke the tie with a management yes vote.  While the tie breaker process is in St. Luke’s charter, it is not consistent with the new staffing law (RCW 70.41.420).

What this means for our nurses is, management was not willing to adjust the matrix after Jeff’s hard work in forming a proposing, and hearing our concerns on staffing or improvements that should be made to continue the quality of care we provide every day.  Nurses are working long, stringent hours for St. Luke’s and deserve the same respect in return.

Our ASK of you is to fill out WSNA ADO (Assignment Despite Objections) forms each and EVERY time you feel you are put in an unsafe situation.  Whether it be for the nurses, or the patients.  Remember, a form must be filled out every time, even if a pattern exists.  Below is a QR code to help you begin.

Please share this code broadly, encourage others to fill it out as well, and let’s send a message to management our nurses voices matter.  Remember if it’s not documented, it didn’t happen.


In solidarity,
Your WSNA Nurse Staffing Committee Members
Nick McMicheal SCI RN
Anne Shepard SCI RN
Jeff Dubrawski SCI CRRN RN