Bankruptcy Court Notices
You have likely received a notice from Astria related to bankruptcy proceedings. Astria is required to provide this notice to all parties with potential claims before the Bankruptcy Court. The notice informs you of a July 22 deadline to file any claims for debts accrued after the May 6, 2019 petition for bankruptcy (post-petition). Such claims include PTO or vacation accrued post-petition. Please know that WSNA has already filed claims on behalf of all represented nurses for all PTO or vacation hours accrued. We are not aware of any additional claims and we do not believe any further action is required. If you believe that you have an additional claim against Astria, you or your attorney should file a claim pursuant to the notice provided by Astria.
Status of PTO/Vacation/Holiday banks
ARMC nurses who separated from Astria at the time of the closure of ARMC have already been paid for PTO accrued post- petition and during the 180 days prior to the filing of the petition. Nurses who have separated from other facilities, or nurses who separated from ARMC during the period between the filing of the petition and the closure of ARMC, will receive payment on PTO or vacation hours accrued post-petition and during the 180 days prior to the filing of the petition at the time of the final bankruptcy plan (hopefully in August). All nurses who have separated from Astria will receive payment for PTO accrued prior to November of 2018 in accordance with the final bankruptcy plan approved by the Bankruptcy Court. These debts are called “generally unsecured debts.” As part of the final bankruptcy plan, those who are owed generally unsecured debts will receive a portion of the remaining funds after all other debts are satisfied. Unfortunately, WSNA has no way to impact this process.
The plan confirmation is more likely to happen in August. The deadline to file a plan is now July 7, and there’s a 30 day window for objections, etc.
Those nurses still employed by Astria, including those nurses who were rehired at Sunnyside or Toppenish following the closure of ARMC, still have your PTO or vacation hours in your banks. Those hours are available for use in accordance with the provisions of our collective bargaining agreements.
401K Grievance update
Astria has currently postponed their matching 401K funds. We have filed a grievance and were in the process of scheduling the step 1 meeting with HR. We have been told that Eric Davis is no longer with Astria. We are in the process of scheduling the meeting with the newly appointed HR director.
Step Down Unit
A cease and desist letter was sent to Mr. Gibbons and John Gallagher. With that said, they have continued the practice of adding the Step Down Unit without responding to us and the high volume of ADO (Assignment Despite Objection) forms. Please continue to fill out the forms whenever you are floated to the SDU. Your documentation is vital. Each day they add the additional unit without having hired staff, they are violating the Safe Staffing Law. There is no staffing guideline, this was never brought to the staffing committee for approval. We will be following up with a grievance.