Manage­ment continues to present proposals that benefit them and that are bad news for us.

Their latest unsavory proposal is called Reallo­ca­tion.” Under this proposal, manage­ment would have the ability to change nurses’ FTEs, shifts and hours without following the current layoff proce­dures which have been in the contract for years. Management’s dangerous proposal would dilute the power of our seniority and give us far fewer options than we currently have.

There are other proposals that they have made that are not good for nurses. 

Wages:

The wages for RNs at SRH have lagged behind those of nurses working at nearby WSNA hospi­tals for some time now. WSNA has been proposing that SRH increase wages since day one of bargaining to correct the compet­i­tive wage disad­van­tage that manage­ment has insisted upon in past negotiations. 

Meanwhile, manage­ment is proposing an uncom­pet­i­tive 1.25% across-the-board wage increase in each year of the contract, and condi­tions a further one-time .75% wage increase in 2019 upon whether the hospital meets quality metrics goals regarding nurse commu­ni­ca­tions. If the hospital doesn’t meet these goals, nurses will not get their full poten­tial wage increases. We can only assume that manage­ment believes that SRH nurses have all the tools and staffing support for the Hospital to meet these goals. Meanwhile, nurses tell us about staffing problems at SRH; and manage­ment refuses agree to substan­tive, meaningful approaches to staffing problems. Manage­ment fails to recog­nize that nurses are profes­sion­ally driven and, that given the proper tools and support, provide exemplary care. Area WSNA hospi­tals under­stand this and do not hold their nurses’ compen­sa­tion hostage as part of a misguided pay practice. They guarantee full wage increases for the life of their contracts, all the while facing similar Medicare and Medicaid reimburse­ment constraints as SRH. We fear that management’s dangerous new approach to compen­sa­tion will give SRH nurses yet another reason to look elsewhere for employ­ment where they can earn a better wage and count on guaran­teed wage increases that are higher than what manage­ment is proposing.

Decrease in health­care and retire­ment benefits:

Manage­ment is still proposing that they be permitted to try to reduce your health and retire­ment benefits during the life of the agree­ment, if it so desires. Manage­ment has rejected our proposal to improve health and to preserve retire­ment benefits.

Some of our other proposals:

Charge nurse premium: We proposed to increase this from $2 to $2.50.

OT on holidays: We proposed double time for OT on a holiday.

Educa­tion time: We proposed to increase this from 24 hours to 40 hours.

Staffing: We can only assume that, rather than meaning­fully engaging WSNA on substan­tive staffing and resource solutions, manage­ment believes that the solution to improving quality metric bench­marks is to have nurses work harder so that they can realize the full value of a poten­tial wage increase without a corre­sponding commit­ment by manage­ment to ensure that nurses have the proper staffing and resources to provide excel­lent care. We believe there is a better approach and have proposed staffing language so that the level of care can be improved. 


Here is WSNA’s latest proposal on staffing: 

Staffing. The Employer’s staffing plan and its imple­men­ta­tion shall in no event violate the following commit­ments. Each unit in the employer’s facil­i­ties shall maintain staffing levels that provide for safe patient care and for the health and safety of nurses. In order to provide safe patient care and for the health and safety of nurses, the employer shall:

Provide staffing levels that enable nurses to receive meals and rest breaks; 

Provide staffing levels that enable nurses to utilize their accrued paid time off;

Refrain from assigning nurses to provide care to more patients than antic­i­pated by the agreed staffing matrix;

Maintain staffing levels that enable nurses to meet their respon­si­bil­i­ties under the Nurse Practice Act.

Management’s response to this common-sense proposal is NO.”

How does manage­ment expect nurses to help them meet their goals when they refuse to agree to staff so that nurses provide safe patient care or so that they can receive meal and rest breaks? They won’t even agree to abide by the staffing matrix. The next time you are working short-staffed, ask yourself what manage­ment is doing for you to help them meet goals relating to nurses’ commu­ni­ca­tion with patients and their families. After all, under management’s proposal, your patient’s quality of care and your paycheck will depend on it. 

Make no mistake about it, manage­ment is proposing sweeping, funda­mental and disturbing changes to your contract that we believe will be bad for nursing and bad for patients. Now more than ever, it is impor­tant that all nurses be informed about these issues and to join us in our defense of nursing at SRH.

New WA State Staffing Law updates – free dinner and 2 CNEs for WSNA nurses #

August 15, 2018 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Best Western Skagit Valley Inn and Conven­tion Center
2300 Market St, Mount Vernon, 98273

Seating is limited. RSVP today! 

Call Sydne James at 206 – 575-7979, ext. 3004 or email sjames@wsna.org to RSVP.

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United we stand; divided we beg. 

Your WSNA nurse 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) 


If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to get more involved in helping our team get the best contract for all the Skagit RNs, contact any bargaining team member or your WSNA nurse repre­sen­ta­tive, Sue O’Don­nell (sodonnell@wsna.org).