Hello! WSNA has received a number of inquiries about the recently signed MOU. We have added some more FAQs to try to assist you with under­standing Standby Unemploy­ment and the Shared Work program.

Standby unemploy­ment – Does this mean I’m on standby for shifts each week? No, you are not working at all during this time until that period runs out or until Children’s calls you to return to your regular status. The hospital can cancel the standby unemploy­ment at any time and require you to return to work.

What happens if I elect to take Standby unemploy­ment, but I want to return earlier than planned? There is no guarantee that Children’s will allow you to come back to work early so you should carefully consider the maximum amount of time you would be willing to be without work. You could always ask to extend for another period of time.

If the $600 CARES payment goes away, can I go back? Again, Children’s has no oblig­a­tion to allow you to return early. The $600 weekly CARES payment is slated to end on July 25 and at this time, we do not know if it will be extended.

I am being placed on low census for a lot of shifts. Should I apply for the Shared Work program? Yes, we recom­mend that anyone who experi­encing low census apply for this program. There is no harm in enrolling in the program. You can apply for unemploy­ment benefits in any week where your hours have been reduced.

If I partic­i­pate in the Shared Work program, will I be made whole in terms of my salary? The state unemploy­ment benefit does not reimburse at 100%. Shared­Work will provide you with a prorated share of benefits based on the portion of your hours that you do not work in a given week. There is also the $600 weekly CARES Act benefit. The Washington Employ­ment Security Depart­ment (ESD) can provide more infor­ma­tion related to actual benefits.

Does it matter if I have volun­tary versus manda­tory low census hours? Deter­mi­na­tions of eligi­bility for benefits is made by the ESD. Neither WSNA nor SCH can guarantee that you will be eligible. At this time, WSNA is not aware that the State is differ­en­ti­ating between volun­tary and manda­tory low census. When volumes are down, someone is going home on low census and some individ­uals are simply choosing to raise their hand to volun­teer to go first. Either way, it is low census and there is no work for you.

I was already denied unemploy­ment because I didn’t qualify. What should I do?
You may be eligible under the CARES Act. Here is a link showing who quali­fies for unemploy­ment under the federal CARES Act (as well as the bulleted list of who quali­fies):


  • Part-time workers and others who have lost work due to COVID-19
  • Workers with less than 680 hours in their base year
  • Parents who have lost child­care due to COVID-19
  • People at high risk of contracting COVID-19
  • People sick or caring for someone with COVID-19
  • People who are unemployed due to COVID-19 and have run out of regular unemploy­ment benefits
  • People who are unemployed due to COVID-19 and are not eligible for regular unemploy­ment benefits

Questions? Contact one of your local unit officers or WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive Sara Frey at sfrey@wsna.org.