January 2020 Newsletter

Congratulations to us and thanks to the 2019 WSNA contract bargaining team

Votecapture tcgen

Since the contract was ratified on Dec. 16, many of you had questions about the changes to the contract. We wanted to share those Q&As with you.

When will the new CBA (collective bargaining agreement) be in effect?

The contract was ratified after the votes were counted on Dec. 16 and the CBA became effective immediately.

When will the new contract be online for us to read?

We anticipate this will be available by Feb. 1 and will notify you immediately when it is available.

Who qualifies for the night shift longevity bonus; is it pro-rated for FTE; when will it start?

All RNs with a minimum of four years of experience qualify, provided that you are regularly assigned to work four or more hours on the third shift as of Dec. 31 in each year of the contract. The $1,500 bonus is pro-rated for FTE and will be paid on or after the second full pay period following Dec. 31 each year, beginning in Jan. 2020.

If I have both a BSN and a MSN do I get $1/hr for both and also $1/hr for my certification?

Nurses may receive $1/hr for either a BSN, or MN, or MSN, or PhD in nursing as well as $1/hr for certification. Advanced degrees may not be stacked for additional premiums. This may seem unfair, but TG is the only hospital that we know of in Pierce Co. paying a BSN premium. This was a big priority for nurses and is a big win for us. This is effective the first full pay period on or after Feb. 1, following receipt of proof of degree completion in HR.

Why did we agree to the change to 0.75 FTE full-time eligible for new hires and also to share the costs of healthcare premium increases?

The decision to agree to MultiCare’s proposal in changes to our healthcare costs and eligibility requirements was not easy. We knew going into these negotiations that it was a huge priority for the majority of the nurses to keep the benefits as is. This proposal was pushed hard by MultiCare. This was their most important issue. In agreeing to this proposal, we were able to get many other gains for us, including increased wages that will more than offset the costs of premium increases. We crunched the numbers and discussed the issues at length. Ultimately, as your contract bargaining team, we decided that the tentative agreement was a very good one for the nurses, and for TG. We brought it to a vote and the members agreed.

What is happening with the new WA Paid Family and Medical Leave Act?

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, TG FTE RNs will begin seeing two deductions from pay: One for paid family leave insurance and one for paid medical leave insurance. RNs also became eligible for these benefits, just like all other WA employees, on Jan. 1, 2020. There are other criteria to be eligible for this benefit. Find out more at: https://paidleave.wa.gov/workers

WSNA officer nominations!

It is time to elect new WSNA officers to represent the RNs at TG. The elected positions are chairperson, co-chairperson, secretary, treasurer, grievance officers (multiple) and membership (appointed position).

If you would like to nominate a peer or yourself for any of these positions, please notify WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James at sjames@wsna.org. Please include the name of the RN and the position(s) for which they are being nominated. Self-nominations are encouraged! All those nominated who are interested in running are required to complete a “consent to serve” form in order to be listed on the voting ballots. If you have questions about any of these positions, please feel free to reach out to the nurse rep or any current officer. Nominations will close January 24, 2020.

PTO approval process and awarding extra shifts – Is your unit in compliance?

We have learned that some units may not be granting PTO requests according to the language in the CBA. Per article 11.9.1, “PTO requests will be granted by date of submission for PTO up to six (6) months (or up to twelve [12] months where the unit agrees), from the date of the request. If conflicting requests are received on the same day, seniority shall control…”

Example: On Feb. 1 at 0745, nurse A, who has two years of seniority, requests off July 5-11. On that same day, at 2350, nurse B, who has five years of seniority, requests off July 5-11. Nurse A and nurse B both work an 8-hour evening shift and this is a small unit in which only one RN may be off for the same shift on the same day. Who gets their PTO approved? Nurse B should be granted the PTO request ahead of nurse A because of seniority.

We have learned that some units are not awarding extra shifts properly. Per article 8.9.1, “Shifts will be awarded by seniority unless the senior nurse would be eligible for an overtime (1.5X) or double time (2.0X) condition (includes rest between shifts, consecutive weekend, incentive, scheduled day off). In such cases, the shift(s) may be awarded to the next most senior nurse not in an overtime. … If both nurses will be in an overtime or double time condition, extra shifts will be awarded on a rotating basis by seniority (equitable rotation). ...”

Per Diem RNs do not have seniority per the CBA. This means that per diem RNs may not be offered extra shifts before FTE RNs. If you were not awarded an extra shift properly, contact the WSNA Nurse Rep as soon as you learn this information. There is a two week timeline to file a grievance to remedy this.

WSNA Lobby Day in Olympia – Earn 2.75 CNEs while advocating for your profession and your patients.

Nurses are the most trusted profession and make outstanding advocates. You showed that loud and clear last session – let’s build on that momentum at WSNA’s 2020 Lobby Day! Here’s how Lobby Day works:

The morning session will be held at The Heritage Room – just down the street from the Capitol. You’ll hear the latest from WSNA staff and legislators on the 2020 session and WSNA’s priorities. You’ll receive talking points and training on meeting with legislators, and you will have time to practice what you will say when you meet with your representatives in their offices that afternoon. After the morning session ends you will join other nurses on the hill to meet with your legislators.

Once you register, WSNA will make legislative appointments for you. You just need to show up! For more information or to register, visit https://www.wsna.org/calendar/lobby-day-2020/.

Who do I contact?

contract question

unit rep or WSNA officer first, then WSNA Nurse Rep

manager not following the contract

Show relevant article to your manager. Ask a unit rep to join you in the meeting for support. If the manager disagrees or you are uncomfortable speaking to your manger about this, contact any WSNA officer.

issues on my unit

Contact a WSNA officer to determine if this is an appropriate topic for our monthly nurse conference committee meeting.

hospital policy

unit rep or any WSNA officer

manager wants a meeting

Contact a grievance officer, WSNA officer or the WSNA nurse rep for representation. It is the employee’s responsibility to ask for representation. Ask your manager if this meeting could lead to discipline or discharge or changes to your wages, hours or working conditions. If the manager says anything except, “No” (or refuses to put this in writing), you should tell the manager you want union representation for the meeting. (Do not contact your unit rep for representation at a meeting with your unit manager.)

something doesn’t seem right

Maybe you are in what feels like a casual conversation with your manager and the tone changes and it feels more serious than you thought. See “manager wants a meeting” above.

Maybe you think you are not being paid appropriately, or low census isn’t in the proper order, or you are not getting PTO approved, or you are told not to indicate missed breaks … Contact a WSNA officer or the WSNA nurse rep.

getting involved in WSNA

Contact a WSNA officer if you want to get involved at Tacoma General, or the WSNA nurse rep if you want to get involved with WSNA on another level.

timeline question

Nurses have 15 days to file a grievance for any contract violation. It is your responsibility to speak up in a timely manner. Contact the WSNA nurse rep for more information.

discipline or discharge

If you are going to an investigatory meeting in which you know you will receive a discipline or possibly a discharge, contact the WSNA nurse representative.

rights and benefits question

any WSNA officer or WSNA nurse representative

Who are the officers and unit reps?

You can find a current listing of officers and unit reps, as well as the WNSA nurse rep contact info, on the WSNA bulletin board on each unit.

Free CE event for members – We Won! Now What?

Feb. 22, 10-noon, C.I. Shenanigans in Tacoma.

Learn about new legislative provisions and implementation strategies for meal/rest breaks, overtime protections and workplace violence prevention. Brunch is included. For more info or to register: https://www.wsna.org/calendar/we-won-tacoma

Benefit for WSNA member leaders

WSNA has announced the dates for the Union Leadership Conference in Chelan, WA. March 29-31, 2020

Join nurses from around the state as we convene to get an update on the national and state labor scenes, to learn how to be more effective leaders in our own workplaces, to celebrate our successes, and to strategize for what’s coming next.

Registration is free to WSNA members and includes meals. In addition, Tacoma WSNA officers are releasing local unit funds to reimburse unit reps for lodging and mileage. (Lodging is for March 29 and 30 and paid at 50%; nurses sharing a room with another WSNA member shall be reimbursed at 100%). For more information or to claim the unit rep sponsorship, contact WSNA nurse rep Sydne James, sjames@wsna.org.

Discounts and Benefits for union members

WSNA members know that their union membership provides free CEs, leadership and training opportunities, and membership in the American Nurses Association. But did you know that you have access to hundreds of savings offers because of your union membership?

Read about benefits offered directly through your WSNA membership at https://www.wsna.org/membership/benefits

Find discounts on movie tickets, cell phone plans, rental cars, insurance, education and more at unionplus.org. Just create an account selecting AFT (your national union) as your union. You will find other benefits offered, such as credit counseling and legal help.

What’s the best way for me to stay informed about WSNA at TG?

WSNA updates specific for Tacoma General RNs are always found on this webpage.

However, email is the best way to get prompt, up-to-date information on the latest news and information that affects you at work. Ensure that WSNA has your correct personal email address. If you are not sure, or if you may have opted out of WSNA emails, contact the WSNA membership department to be sure: membership@wsna.org

Online Staffing Complaint form – Use it!

This online staffing complaint/ADO form was developed by a collation that included WSNA, SEIU, UFCW and WSHA representatives. Completing the form serves many purposes, including data tracking, bring issues to light, supportive documentation, and discussion tool to make things better. It is not punitive.

This form is to be completed for issues including but not limited to:

  • The unit is not staffed according to its staffing plan or if mid-shift staffing adjustments are inadequate. (In order to know if your unit is not staffed according to its staffing plan, you must first know what is the staffing plan for you unit. Staffing plans, including nursing and unlicensed staff, are required to be posted on every unit.)
  • Missed breaks or earned time denied
  • In the event of equipment issues or system failure

If you have reason to complete this form, you first should speak with your manager or charge nurse for that shift in order to try to resolve the concern as quickly as possible. When you complete the online form, you are encouraged to include your manager’s name and email.

After you complete the form a copy of the submitted form immediately goes to you, the WSNA chair and co-chair, WSNA Rep, staffing committee co-chairs, and your manager, provided you have entered his or her email. The Nurse Staffing Committee will review the complaint at their next meeting if it is a staffing concern. The Nurse Conference Committee will review the complaint at their next meeting if it is of other concern.

Find the staffing complaint form at wsna.org/ado.

Do you have ideas for the WSNA Tacoma General newsletter? Contact your WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James.