University of Washington Medical Center

Integration update

Your UWMC and NW Hospital team of WSNA registered nurses last met with UW administration in early November. We have since met as a team to discuss ongoing changes and potential strategies to accomplish this with the least impact on all RNs at UWMC and NW Hospital.

Our discussions have been aimed at resolving NW Hospital transition to public employee status. Issues include retirement benefits and Per Diem changes. We are also contemplating how to maintain separate CBAs (contracts) so as to protect each group’s working conditions in light of the possibility of UW seeking to join the units in 2020.

Our preliminary challenge is a pre-emptive transition agreement that was proposed by the employer to allow them to get a jump on state-mandated changes. Unfortunately, that proposal included other concessions that your WSNA team is not in favor of.

We are working on meeting for three dates in January with UW administration to determine if we can hammer out an agreement prior to opening both contracts but we have agreed as a team, that opening both contracts in the spring may be the best way to maintain current benefits.

Stay tuned for updates here, on our local unit webpage.

In Unity,

Your WSNA Negotiation Team:

Anita Stull, RN - UWMC, Tiffany Guyette, RN - NW Hospital, Harry James, RN - UWMC, John Brown, RN - NW Hospital, Teresa Wren, RN - UWMC, Darlene Von Lehman, RN - NW Hospital and Tom Booze, RN - NW Hospital

Questions? Contact one of us, WSNA Nurse Representative Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org or WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams at twilliams@wsna.org.

Negotiation update

We met for the ninth session with UWMC administration on Wednesday, Nov. 21

This was the first session that included a PERC mediator in an effort to work through some differences that we have run into along the way. We, your WSNA team, are working on making sure all Per Diems are caught up to the proper wage step.

We are also committed to fighting for Just Cause for eligible Per Diem RNs. As “At Will” employees, Per Diem RNs can be let go at any time. We are working to ensure that you can have your side of the story heard and have union representation along the way.

Your priorities continue to lead our way in the fight to get Per Diem RNs the benefits they deserve.

In unity,

Your WSNA Negotiation Team:

Anita Stull, RN - 7N, Teresa Wren, RN - MIC, Miko Robertson, RN - Translational Research Unit, Trish Nilsen, RN - MIC, Harry James, RN - OR, Ed Zercher, RN - WSNA Nurse Representative and David Campbell, WSNA Attorney

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3022.

UWMC/Northwest Hospital integration negotiation update

Our UWMC and Northwest Hospital team of WSNA registered nurses met for the third time with UWMC Administration and Labor Relations to bargain over the Integration proposed to take place Jan. 1, 2020.

Both sides engaged in discussions around this integration and the potential impacts it may have on registered nurses working at both facilities.

Our team is committed to ensuring an open line of communication during this process and will be working closely with the WSNA nurse representatives and attorney to manage the outcomes of this merger. UWMC administration continues to take the position that they do not want any RNs harmed as a result of this integration.

Our discussions are preliminary. Additionally, we are still waiting for a large amount of information from the employer regarding proposed changes. Any items that could create changes in wages, hours and working conditions will need to be bargained with WSNA.

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA Negotiation Team:

Anita Stull, RN - UWMC, Tiffany Guyette, RN - NW Hosp, Harry James, RN - UWMC, John Brown, RN - NW Hosp, Teresa Wren, RN - UWMC, Darlene Von Lehman, RN - NW Hosp and Tom Booze, RN - NW Hosp

For any questions, contact a member of the negotiation team or WSNA Nurse Representative Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3022.

Fall 2018 newsletter

Has short staffing become the latest trend at UWMC?

Short staffing problems should never be left to the RNs at the bedside to figure out. Lately, we have been receiving reports of RNs having to figure out how to work short, how to take more patients then they feel safe caring for and how to divvy up overtime to help fix long known staffing shortages.

Short staffing should be remedied weeks in advance of any scheduled shift. That is, unless there is an unanticipated sick call or unanticipated last-minute influx of patients, the unit should be staffed at safe daily core levels for each and every shift. No excuses!

Be on the lookout for our latest Staffing Survey

Your colleagues are relying on your input to help make positive change.

I know it gets old filling out surveys, but this is different. It may use the words “Trigger Staffing,” but it applies to all units whether you use this model or not. Don’t miss a chance to have a voice in how your unit is staffed. Take a few minutes to fill out this survey today. WSNA is using this information to determine compliance by the employer with the laws surrounding staffing in Washington state.

There have been 5 separate units expressing concerns about unsafe staffing practices. RNs are telling stories of being short of nurses and then being told to “just make do” or “you will be fine.”

WSNA believes that you and your patients deserve better. Take 5 minutes and fill out this survey. WSNA and your local unit team of RNs will be using this data to determine next steps in changing the practice of short staffing.

What is an ADO?

An ADO, or Assignment Despite Objection, is the form that documents a good faith effort on the part of a nurse to call attention to problems that affect patient care, safety or satisfaction. The goal is to fix these problems and ensure they don’t reoccur.

Find the form at wsna.to/ADOForm

ADOs are your friend

Fill them out every time – protect your colleagues, your patients and your license.

Your WSNA RN leadership team and nurse representative met with management and administration for our Conference Committee on Oct. 3 – let’s keep this campaign rolling!

What is the purpose of filling out an ADO?

As a magnet hospital, UWMC requires your input and considers it critical for decision making. The submitted ADO allows local unit officers to present the issues to the Conference Committee with specific details, rather than with anecdotal examples, and request verifiable outcomes.

ADOs provide documented evidence that a problem on a unit exists and initiates improvements. Once management has been presented with an issue, it is incumbent upon them to address the situation. Additionally, you are documenting the facts, which may be helpful to you if there is a negative outcome. The ADO is a concerted effort and protects nurses from retaliation. Once the ADO has been submitted management can’t deny knowing your concern.

Find the form at wsna.to/ADOForm

Steps to be taken before filling out an ADO

  • Clarify what is being asked of yourself regarding your assignment
  • Assess your capabilities, obstacles, acuity of patients and availability of ancillary staff
  • Identify all possible options for meeting patients’ needs
  • Make a decision, communicate the decision to your immediate supervisor and document the decision-making process

When to fill out an ADO

When you find yourself in a situation creates unsafe conditions for patients, or for you, complete the form as soon as possible. More than one nurse may sign the form.

Think of it as an S.O.S. – Short on Safety, Short on Supplies, Short on Staff

Find the form at wsna.to/ADOForm

Examples of when you should submit an ADO form

  • When a charge nurse is unable to perform charge nurse duties, secondary to increased patient care assignment
  • Inadequate nurse to patient ratios for patient acuity based on your clinical judgment; insufficient support staff
  • You are not trained or experienced in the area assigned, or have not been oriented to this unit/case load
  • Necessary equipment is not available (e.g.: supplies, IVs, medication availability), or you are not trained or experienced to use equipment in assigned area
  • An assignment poses a serious threat to the health and safety of a patient under your direct care
  • Coerced/mandatory overtime, or missed breaks
  • Additional examples are at wsna.org/union/ado

How to submit an ADO

Fill out with as much detail as possible, have the immediate supervisor sign it, make two copies, leave a copy with the supervisor, keep the original and fax a copy to 206-575-1908.

You can also take a photos/scan and send via email to ado@wsna.org.

Find the form at wsna.to/ADOForm

Staffing Committee

We need two new WSNA members! Want to be part of creating change at UWMC? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org.

Don’t be fooled by the “Freedom Foundation”

Their efforts are to take away your contractual rights! We know that big money and corporate CEOs are attacking workers’ rights given the recent Janus decision by the US Supreme Court. Here in our state, the so-called Freedom Foundation is leading the fight against our interests and our freedom.

Many of you may have received a postcard mailing from the Freedom Foundation. Don’t be fooled.

The so-called Freedom Foundation does not care about working people, fair wages or safe working conditions. They oppose funding for public employee contracts, and lobbies against paid sick leave.

Our union: Patients before ProfitsFreedom Foundation: Profits before People
Fights for fair wages to keep up with the cost of living and enhances recruitment and retentionFights against funding public employee contracts
Defends our employment rightsOpposes collective bargaining
Supports strong families and healthy communitiesOpposes paid sick leave
Is transparent and member-runHides funding by wealthy special interests
Advocates for worker powerOpposes union rights
Represents more than 18,000 nurses around the stateRepresents extremists political groups and corporate CEOs

Together we can better advocate for the health of our communities.

If you have any questions about the impact of the Janus decision or your membership rights, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org / (206) 575-7979, ext. 3022 or WSNA Director of Organizing Tara Goode at tgoode@wsna.org / (206) 575-7979, ext. 3038.

Per Diem bargaining continues

Due to a significant stall in the process, WSNA and UWMC have agreed to bring in a PERC mediator to assist with the process. We have narrowed down the mediator selection and are working with PERC to set dates, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, remember that your Per Diem colleagues are not covered by Just Cause and could be disciplined or fired for speaking up for patient safety. This poses a significant patient safety risk and WSNA believes that it is the safe and right thing to do in granting the right to Just Cause to the Per Diem RNs.

Let’s stand united in this effort to ensure all RNs can speak up with confidence and consistency in the name of patient safety!

Be sure you received your wage increases

You recently started receiving a wage increase of 2% as of July 1, 2018. Another raise is coming Jan. 1, 2019. This was not by accident or the generosity of the employer. It is, rather, due to the hard work of your WSNA bargaining team of registered nurses. Check your pay stubs and ensure you are receiving what you deserve!

Personal day – use it or lose it

RNs at UWMC have the benefit of a personal day per your contract. This is a day that you can schedule how you wish but unlike vacation, if you don’t use your personal day, you lose it! This is a benefit you deserve – don’t forfeit it.

UWMC and Northwest Hospital integration update

As many of you now know, UWMC has joined with Northwest Hospital Medical Center and it is estimated that as of Jan. 1, 2020, NW Hospital will become UWMC North Campus.

This has a lot of considerations for the RNs working at both facilities.

Your UWMC and Northwest WSNA local unit leadership teams met with UW administration and labor relations on Friday, Sept. 28 to begin discussions on how this would impact RNs at both facilities.

We discussed some mandated changes that will go along with Northwest Hospital becoming part of a state facility as of Jan. 2020. We also discussed some other changes that the employer would like to make – which must be bargained.

Your WSNA team of registered nurses has set forth the goal of ensuring that no RN is harmed through the course of this integration. As part of that, we are exploring all options to make sure that you get the best deal possible.

We are scheduled to meet again with UW administration and labor relations on Oct. 8. We are committed to keep you informed all along the way.

If you are a WSNA member at Northwest Hospital and want to be part of this team moving forward, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org. Your colleagues need you to represent their needs!

In Unity,

Your WSNA Transition Negotiation Team:

Tiffany Guyette RN-NW Hospital, John Brown RN-NW Hospital, Anita Stull RN-UWMC, Harry James RN-UWMC, Teresa Wren RN-UWMC, David Campbell - Attorney and Ed Zercher - WSNA Nurse Representative

Staffing survey

Please complete this important survey to allow WSNA to have insight into your unit-specific staffing levels and concerns.

WSNA is conducting this survey as part of a larger plan, in addition to a current assignment despite objection (ADO) campaign, in order to identify units most critically impacted by short staffing throughout UWMC.

Please take 5 minutes to fill out this survey and encourage every one of your RN colleagues to fill it out as well. Your name will be kept anonymous. We value your opinion and do not want anyone to feel as if they are putting themselves in harm’s way by participating. Your identifying information, however, is critical to our data collection.

Facts to know:

WSNA is starting an ADO campaign and is encouraging all RNs at UWMC to fill out an ADO (found online at wsna.org here) every time that staffing is not what it is supposed to be or presents a safety issue.

Submitting an ADO has gotten easier, you can also simply take a photo/scan the form and email it to ado@wsna.org.

The data you provide in this survey will be used in the campaign to correct the staffing issues at UWMC. Your name will be held in confidence for WSNA use. Only aggregate or anonymous survey data will be used in discussions with UWMC administration unless otherwise authorized by the individual nurse.

If you have any questions, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org.

Northwest Hospital and University of Washington Medical Center Integration Update

As most of you know, the University of Washington has announced a plan to integrate the UWMC and NWH campuses effective Jan. 1, 2020. The big news is that the University has now told us that its intention is that all NWH nurses will become state employees. WSNA is assembling a team of officers and representatives from both facilities to meet with the UW management as soon as possible. We need to find out details so we can inform all members and prepare to negotiate on the myriad of issues that may be presented. The NWH/UWMC Team will keep you informed, involved and most importantly, hear the voices of WSNA members about this significant transition.

For questions or concerns about how you might be impacted, contact your WSNA nurse representative, Ed Zercher, at 206-575-7979, ext. 3022 or ezercher@wsna.org.

    Stay tuned for updates on this integration!

    Per diem negotiations have a few tentative agreements

    Your team of dedicated WSNA registered nurses met with UWMC management and administration for our 5th and 6th all-day bargaining sessions on May 30 and 31.

    We were able to reach some tentative agreements, but a number of issues remain unresolved. One of which is equitable hourly wages along with predictable step increases.

    WSNA bargaining team members will be meeting with the director of payroll in the upcoming days to sort out some ongoing payroll discrepancies for per diem RNs.

    Your team of WSNA registered nurses is spending countless hours working on behalf of all per diem RNs working at UWMC.

    WSNA has pressed for quick bargaining dates in order to conclude this process and start having per diem RNs engaged in ongoing issues and discussions.

    Your voice matters!

    Our next bargaining session is set for June 12 and 14.

    UWMC registered nurses are WSNA strong. United we bargain, divided we beg!

    In Solidarity, Your WSNA Bargaining Team:

    Teresa Wren, RN - MIC
    Miko Robertson, RN - Per Diem, Translational Research
    Anita Stull, RN - 7N Inpatient Psych
    Harry James, RN - OR
    Trish Nilsen, RN - Per Diem, MIC

    For questions, contact your bargaining team members or WSNA Nurse Representative Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org or (206) 575-7979, ext. 3022.

    Your April 2018 newsletter

    Phone Receiver

    Thursday, April 19 - First ever tele-town hall, an exclusive for UWMC RNs

    On April 19 at 6 p.m., the WSNA officers at UWMC will host a tele-town hall. A tele-town hall is a town-hall style meeting over the phone rather than in person. WSNA Chair Harry James wants to update us on what’s happening with our union and at our workplace. There are lots of rumors floating around and the future of certain units is uncertain. Don’t spread rumors – get the facts! It’s also our chance to speak to the officers about issues that we care about and to ask questions. It’s easy to participate, but you must register ahead of time to get a PIN. Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Organizer Sydne James at 206-575-7979 x3004.

    Register online now to get your PIN at bit.ly/2H1fEss.

    Recommitment cards

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    Have you seen this? This is our WSNA recommitment card. Within a few months, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide on a case called Janus v. ASFCME. It could have a devastating effect on our union power as public-sector nurses. All public-sector union employees will be impacted nationwide. The case is designed to do one thing: silence our voice. At UWMC, union nurses are fighting back. We have an all-time high membership here and we mean to use the power that comes with it to shut down those who mean to harm us. Our membership is our power. Anyone who tells you otherwise has an ulterior motive and should be ignored.

    We, the officers at UWMC, along with our elected leaders and staff at the local, state and national level, believe that by signing a recommitment card today you will be taking the first step to ensuring we maintain and even increase the power we have to continue advocating for our patients and our profession.

    If you are not yet a member of WSNA, we urge you to join today. There is no time to waste. Join nurses from around UWMC to stand up for the issues that matter to us all, like staffing, rest breaks and safe patient care. The recommitment card is equivalent to a membership application.

    Find the recommitment at: wsna.to/recommit. Print it, complete it, then return it by:

    1. Fax to: 206-575-1908
    2. Give to Harry, Charles or Teresa. (Our contact info is found on your unit WSNA bulletin board or at wsna.org/union, under UWMC).
    3. Mail to: WSNA, 575 Andover Park West, Suite 101, Tukwila WA 98188

    WSNA celebrates Nurses Week May 6 - 12

    As your WSNA elected officers, we again want say how proud we are to celebrate and support the WSNA members at UWMC. As such we have a gift for all members and we plan to distribute these during Nurses Week. Look in your mail box on your unit for yours.

    Passing these gifts out is a tall order as there are hundreds of members. We are looking for a volunteer from every unit or work area to help pass out these gifts to the WSNA members. Will you help us? Contact Harry, Charles or Teresa to volunteer. (Our contact info is found on your unit WSNA bulletin board or at wsna.org/union, under UWMC).

    In addition to this gift, stay tuned for something special happening for RNs at the various UWMC locations during Nurses Week. These events will be announced ahead of time via email and on the Facebook page:www.facebook.com/UWMCnurses.

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    Charles James, RN, ICU Resource


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    Teresa Wren, RN, MIC


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    Harry James, RN, Main OR


    Per Diem negotiation update

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    I have worked at UWMC for 30 years and have been a per diem since 2001, primarily for Maternity Infant Center. It is hard to believe we per diems have never had the benefit of WSNA representation or a contract and I am pleased to be part of this historic event. I have seen some concerning and confusing practices be mandated as a per diem in recent history and it has not felt secure to be a per diem now, as it once was. This makes the need for contract protection ever more urgent. The negotiations team is very skilled in advocating for professional nursing rights. Ironically, I was a staff RN rep to this same team as a nearly-new grad back in the 1980’s and I also have experience on the administrative side in my other role as a manager on Whidbey, so I think I bring some good skills to the table on your behalf.

    As many of you know, we have our third negotiations team meeting with UWMC administration on April 18. Our goals include protecting our valuable per diems from unfair scheduling, wages and work practices, especially in comparison to other hospitals whose per diems are represented by a good contract. It is also important that we work for consistency among the UWMC per diems, so that unit-based practices don’t put some per diems at a disadvantage and there is a feeling of cohesiveness and unity between the per diems and the staff RNs who are all represented now by WSNA. Please feel free to reach out to me if I can answer any questions you have about this monumental undertaking. Please sign up to join WSNA so your voice is heard loud and clear in support of our efforts! Membership applications are online at: https://www.wsna.org/membership/introduction.

    Trish L. Nilsen, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM. 206-818-6536, nilsens@whidbey.com

    Tele-Town Hall

    UWMC Nurses,

    You're invited to our first WSNA union Tele-Town Hall!

    Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 6 p.m.

    Please join us via telephone for a town hall meeting with our WSNA elected nurses to hear important updates on critical issues in our workplace.

    We will be discussing:

    • Bargaining updates for Per Diem Nurses
    • How the Janus Supreme Court decision will affect us and our power as a union
    • The closure of the Psych Unit
    • How to take action and get more involved

    We also want to hear your ideas, issues and concerns.

    Registration is required to participate in the Tele-Town Hall. Use this link to register: https://bit.ly/2H1fEss

    Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Organizer Sydne James at 206-575-7979 ext 3004 or SJames@wsna.org.

    Workers' rights are worth fighting for!

    Workers from across UW took a stand against the powerful corporations who are trying to use the Supreme Court and Janus v AFSCME case to divide us from our co-workers and limit the power in numbers we have together in our union this past Monday, Feb. 26.

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    UWMC integration with Northwest Hospital update

    The University of Washington Board of Regents is scheduled to meet Feb. 7 and 8 this week. It is expected the Board will be addressing, and possibly approving the proposed merger between UWMC and Northwest Hospital.

    Over the past weeks nurses from both facilities have asked WSNA questions about how the merger will affect them. These questions include:

    • Will UWMC and NWH RNs be covered under one contract or separate contracts?
    • Will nurses’ seniority or STEP change?
    • How will benefits be determined?
    • Will departments be consolidated or eliminated?

    WSNA has requested information from both UWMC and Northwest Hospital that is essential in answering these, and other important questions. We are also demanding that both Employers bargain with us regarding the effects of a merger.

    In the meantime, your local unit officers and WSNA staff are working together as we plan our next steps. We will continue to work closely together as we navigate a path forward.

    We will update you as we learn more and encourage your questions and input. Please contact your WSNA nurse representative and/or local unit officers with your questions or concerns.

    Ed Zercher, BSN, RN
    WSNA Nurse Representative