WSNA and Saint Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute entered into a Memorandum of Understanding memorializing agreed-upon measures addressing some of the challenges nurses face in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. WSNA will continue to address issues related to the COVID-19 with Providence as the situation evolves.
Below are the key provisions of the COVID-19 MOU:
- If a part-time or full-time nurse works in a department which has been shut down, or the nurse is placed on low-census due to COVID, and that nurse cannot do their job from home, or be reassigned within their facility, SLRI will pay paid administrative leave until April 30, 2020, provided that the nurse remains available to work for SLRI during the shutdown or low census period. If there is not a reassignment opportunity available within the facility for the nurse, SLRI may offer to the nurse the opportunity to work at SHMC or PHFH provided that the nurse has, or can be provided, the appropriate training and orientation for the assignment. If the nurse refuses such opportunity, the nurse will not receive paid administrative leave for that period of low census.
- A nurse who SLRI does not permit to work due to probable exposure to COVID-19 while at work will be placed in paid administrative leave status during any quarantine period required by the Hospital.
- A nurse who self-quarantines based on concern of social/community exposure to COVID-19 shall have immediate access (e.g. no waiting period) to EIT or other paid time off accruals if the nurse has available paid time off benefits.
- SLRI will create an 80-hour Paid Emergency Time Off bank for benefits-eligible nurses that will remain in place for use by or before May 31, 2020;
- Benefits-eligible nurses who have either already utilized all of their PTO/EIT, or have not been employed long enough to have accrued enough PTO to cover a long-term illness, may use, through May 31, 2020, up to 80 hours of Paid Emergency Time Off to be utilized to cover additional time off necessary for recovery from the illness or injury;
- Benefits-eligible nurses who have either already utilized all of their PTO/EIT, or have not been employed long enough to have accrued enough PTO to cover their own COVID-19 illness, may use, through May 31, 2020, up to 80 hours of Paid Emergency Time Off to be utilized for their own COVID-19 related illness and recovery. After all paid time is exhausted for these nurses, if there is a need for continuing leave and the nurse does not have access to Providence-provided short-term disability benefits, SLRI will provide nurses with income replacement in an amount equal to 65% of pay until they can return to work;
- Benefits-eligible nurse who are not ill, but cannot work for a variety of other reasons related to the COVID outbreak, for example, daycare or eldercare needs, may use PTO and EIT without any waiting period, should the nurse have this time in his or her bank. The nurse may also use their Paid Emergency Time Off to supplement this time through May 31, 2020.
- For a nurse working extra shifts (part time nurses) and overtime (full time nurses), the SLRI will consider additional incentive and/or extra shift pay, as necessary, beyond incentive pay or extra shift bonuses already provided for in the collective bargaining agreement. WSNA will receive notice of any additional incentive, and, on request, SLRI will bargain with WSNA over the additional incentive.
We will continue to address COVID-19 issues as they evolve.