In the past few weeks we have been working around the clock to address your concerns about staffing and patient safety. We are working closely with the Department of Health and the National Labor Relations Board to encourage management to make changes that will benefit nurses.
Department of Health
The Department of Health launched their investigation into patient safety last week. They are looking into reports of risks to patients which may include an inability to complete timely care or unsafe practices that put patients at risk. We have not been provided with a time line but we will provide you with updates as we receive them.
You play a very important role in this investigation! Your reports and ADO’s demonstrate your concerns in real time and provide a window into what is really happening on the floor. We want to hear from you about what you are experiencing.
Investigation into TG management regarding unfair labor practices continues this week. We currently have 4 scheduled affidavit interviews scheduled to discuss concerns about how management is cooperating with Union participation. We will provide updates for this as well.
Involvement with your Union is protected activity and you should not be coerced, intimidated, or face retaliation for your participation. If you feel that you are receiving negative consequences for your involvement, please contact your nurse rep to discuss these concerns at Bbalogh@wsna.org.
Outbreak at TG
Tacoma General had a recent COVID-19 exposure related to three patients that were not tested in a timely manner. Although Multicare has not provided us with official numbers for the outbreak, the number of nurses who have been infected is suspected to be over 23.
We are also aware that there may be a second outbreak in a second unit with as many as 16 infected staff. Tacoma General has stated that they have not completed their investigation and cannot determine if this an outbreak yet.
WSNA contacted the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, who had been notified of the first outbreak. An investigation was launched 1/5/2021 into TG’s response to this crisis and whether their actions were appropriate for the level of risk this posed to staff, patients, and the community.
You are our top priority and we need to hear from you about the concerns in your facility. Please take the short survey below about working conditions at TG so we can hear from you directly. The survey is anonymous, but if you would like to discuss anything from the survey in greater detail, you are welcome to reach out to Brenda Balogh, your WSNA Nurse Rep. firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you find yourself in a situation that you believe creates unsafe conditions for patients or for you, you should complete a Staffing Complaint / ADO Form as soon as possible.
By completing the form, you will help make the problem known to management, creating an opportunity for the problem to be addressed. Additionally, you will be documenting the facts, which may be helpful to you later if there is a negative outcome.
WSNA also uses your ADO forms to track the problems occurring in your facility. When you and your coworkers take the important step of filling out an ADO form, you are helping to identify whether there is a pattern of unsafe conditions for you or your patients at your facilities. This information is used by your conference committee, staffing committee, and WSNA labor staff to improve your working conditions.
If called into a meeting with management, read the following to management when the meeting begins:
If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, I respectfully request that my union representative be present at this meeting. Without representation present, I choose not to participate in this discussion.