Edna Cortez, your local unit chair, and our WSNA nurse rep have been meeting with CNO Bonnie F and HR twice a week to discuss issues related to COVID-19 and other issues as they arise. Some of the usual agenda items are issues related PPE such as quantity on hand, issues with defective or broken-down equipment, cleaning of equipment, etc. We are also aware that some are experiencing allergic type responses to some masks. If you experience such a reaction, please fill out an eFeedback form as well as an ADO.
The Dept. of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) is continuing its investigation into issues with PPE. We hope to have a report of their findings soon.
We understand that a number of you are experiencing a significant amount of low census. WSNA has been actively engaged in negotiations with the hospital on an MOU since the outbreak of the COVID crisis. To date, the hospital has not agreed to our reasonable proposals. The hospital has said “NO” to any kind of administrative pay during this difficult time. WSNA’s latest MOU proposal contains some options to ensure that nurses working reduced hours will have easier access to unemployment benefits including the enhanced benefits under the federal CARES Act. While negotiating programs such as standby unemployment is far from ideal, your team believes that allowing nurses to supplement our reduced incomes, while protecting our insurance benefits, is a better alternative than the hospital’s current policy of allowing people to languish on low census. Today, the Hospital indicated they hope to have a response to us by mid-week. We also are aware that some Baylor nurses are experiencing a more significant pay cut due to the way they are scheduled and paid. We are working on a solution that provides for an equitable rotation of low census.
As many of you know, we have filed several grievances related to COVID issues. The first is related to pay for nurses who were required to stay home related to an exposure to a communicable disease. WSNA believes those nurses should be paid administrative leave under 13.16 of our contract. The second grievance asserts the hospital violated our contract by denying work to nurses who had traveled. Finally, WSNA believes that any time spent in line to be screened for COVID symptoms is time worked and you must be paid. We have had the initial grievance meeting and are awaiting the hospital’s response on all three grievances. Your Local Unit Officers are committed to enforcing our contract with SCH.
In the meantime, it is recommended that nurses who are having their hours cut apply for unemployment benefits. Please see the section under “benefits/low census” for links to resources — https://www.wsna.org/nursing-practice/covid-19/frequently-asked-questions#what-will-happen-now-that-my-hospital-is-closing-units-and-stopping-elective-surgeries-can-i-get-unemployment
If you are experiencing issues with PPE or other COVID related issues, please reach out to one of your officers or nurse rep. You can find our contact information at: https://www.wsna.org/union/seattle-childrens-hospital.
Your local unit officers: Edna Cortez, Lindsey Kirsch, Diane Gates, Samantha Forte, Maria Sixto, Doris Taylor and Kara Yates. Nurse rep Sara Frey email@example.com 206.575.7979 ext 3039