We held our eleventh negotiation session on Wednesday, Nov. 14. We reached several tentative agreements in an attempt to move these negotiations forward, but management has not fundamentally changed their positions on issues Skagit nurses care about.
In our previous session, we talked about specific solutions to staffing issues related to Resource Nurses, ED Triage Nurses and IV Therapy.
During negotiations on Nov. 14, management replied by saying they do not find evidence that a need exists for our proposed solutions.
Instead, they proposed supplying WSNA with information, including information related to short staffing, missed breaks, overtime, etc. on a monthly basis for review in Nurse Conference Committee. The information they propose supplying is information WSNA is already entitled to receive. Management’s plan to review these issues in Conference Committee is NOT a substitute for bargaining real, substantive changes to the contract that will help improve safe patient care and alleviate staffing shortages – including the three items we proposed previously. Nurse Conference Committee is an advisory committee only, meaning WSNA is not able to bargain issues that are brought to the committee. And, Conference Committee has not met since early spring 2018. We want our very real safe staffing issues addressed at the table, NOW.
We had a lengthy discussion with management about their layoff and restructure proposals. Management continues insisting on reducing nurses’ options and protections in the event of a layoff. Under this proposal, management would have the ability to change nurses’ FTEs, shifts and hours with far fewer options than nurses have now.
Management brought a package proposal to the table that does not tie wages to quality metric scores and proposes that your wages would not be reduced if the contract is reopened. BUT – the package continues to contain contract reopeners to your healthcare and retirement benefits. Management isn’t willing to guarantee that those benefits will not be reduced if the contract were to be reopened. Even if your wages are maintained, you would still be making less money if you are paying more for healthcare and having less money going toward your retirement.
Next steps #
Thank you to everyone who sent messages to Skagit’s negotiating team by signing “Signs of Solidarity.” We displayed your messages/posters on the walls of the room where we held negotiations. It was a boost for us seeing your messages of support and it was good for management to be reminded that the negotiating team represents all of you — the bargaining unit!
STAY TUNED for more information on how you can make your voice heard on our important issues in negotiations!
Your WSNA Negotiation Team: Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Management), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)
Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O’Donnell at email@example.com for any questions.