WSNA continues to advocate for your safety, as we know how hard that you are working during this diffi­cult time. Please know that your health and safety are our greatest concern.

Contract Update:

WSNA is making sure we don’t just settle” for a contract. We want it to be fair and work for us. We know that we are in uncer­tain times and are proposing a one-year interim contract through 11/6/2020, with a raise of 3.5% effec­tive 11/6/2019. This interim contract will provide us with stability and protec­tion through this challenging time and allow us to resume negoti­a­tions and continue focusing on key issues once the pandemic is over.

COVID-19 Memorandum of Under­standing:

We are also focusing on the COVID MOU language. We’re advocating for compen­sa­tion and benefits to address low census, furloughs, and paid admin­is­tra­tive leave if you are exposed and more. We have already shared info on state benefits avail­able to you and will continue to update you with additional resources and informa­tion as we move through this crisis.

We are focusing on these two key pieces of work because we want you to be able to focus on the impor­tant things at hand. We have shared our idea for an interim contract with Virginia Mason and now are awaiting their response.


Change in your Local Officers

Congrat­u­la­tions to Suzanna Avery on your new exciting career, becoming a DNP midwife :) We thank you and grateful for your leader­ship as the WSNA chair and all that you have done for your local union. We wish you the best. With this change Natasza Marchak your co- chair will move into the Chair position. The execu­tive committee has per your by-laws has appointed Janelle Coy from the OIC as your interim co-chair.


Nurses’ concerns

Your WSNA officers and Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive continue to be inundated with your questions and concerns. We hear you that you are not getting answers from the command center or employee health, that you are getting mixed messages, and that you are receiving misin­for­ma­tion. When that occurs, contact any WSNA officer first. If they cannot answer your question, they will direct you to Nurse Rep Michelle Moore.

If you have a staffing or safety concern, please file a  Staffing Complaint form/​ADO form..These ADOs help the union be informed of your concerns and could protect you in a court of law, if needed. The hospital also requires you to file a PSA (just copy and paste the concern from your ADO) so they can help address the issue; remember, PSAs are not discov­er­able and there­fore will not protect you in a court of law. Discus­sion of the Staffing Complaint Forms/​ADOs are part of the monthly Staffing Committee agenda.

The petition for hazard pay, how would that work?
Your bargaining team has presented a hazard pay proposal to Virginia Mason as part of our negoti­a­tions around COVID-19 related issues. In addition, WSNA devel­oped a petition as part of a union coali­tion that includes SEIU 1199NW and UFCW 21. This is a statewide petition to garner support from the public, asking for employers and public officials to offer more protec­tions for all hospital staff, as well as hazard pay.

I’m in peri-opera­tive services or proce­dure area and am concerned about floating and low census.

During this state of emergency and constantly changing condi­tions, our collec­tive bargaining remains in effect. Refer to articles 6.2(low census) and 5.6 (floating) in our CBA . We have been told by Virginia Mason Bargaining unit nurses have access to their entire sick leave accruals for low census, child­care due to the execu­tive order to close school and all the other usual condi­tion for which they previ­ously had access.” Reach out to your officers or WSNA rep if you have questions regarding this. 

Can I be required to work overtime?

During this declared state of emergency, the employer is not required to exhaust all methods to fill staffing short­ages prior to mandating overtime, as normally required by law. (RCW 49.28.130).

How can I get a workplace accommodation?

Virginia Mason has instructed nurses to fill out the ADA form and return to Ann Marrs who is sending it to LOA repre­sen­ta­tive. Applying our ADA Accom­mo­da­tions process to COVID-19 related concerns, including those who are concerned due to age, pregnancy, or secondary health issues (but not ill) based on public health officials’ recom­men­da­tions. They are looking at reason­able accom­mo­da­tions within the current position (such as assigned to zones, floors or patients who are not rule out or positive COVID-19 patients). Alter­na­tively, provide time off. Checking in either weekly or bi-weekly regarding accom­mo­da­tion plan(s).

I am being told to float to a unit and care for patients I am not trained to care for, with only minimum training and orientation. 

I’m scared on so many levels.

Per our CBA, Article 5.7 Floating. The Hospital retains the right to change the nurse’s daily work assign­ment on a shift by shift basis to meet patient care needs. Nurses will be expected to perform all basic nursing functions but will not be required to perform tasks or proce­dures specif­i­cally applic­able to the nursing unit for which they are not quali­fied or trained to perform. Nurses required to float within the hospital will receive orien­ta­tion appro­priate to the assign­ment. Orien­ta­tion will be depen­dent upon the nurse’s previous experi­ence and famil­iarity with the nursing unit to which such nurse is assigned. Nurses required to float will be assigned a resource nurse for the desig­nated shift. The Hospital will make a good faith effort not to assign float nurses as charge. Traveling nurses will be the first to float if they are quali­fied. Each unit will have orien­ta­tion materials for famil­iar­izing floats to the unit. Newly hired nurses may not be required to float for a period of six (6) months after they are hired. No nurse will be required to float more than once per shift.”

Floating/​Unsafe assignment

You may have to make a decision about accepting an assign­ment involving abnor­mally dangerous condi­tions that pose an imminent risk to your safety and health and could poten­tially cause serious injury or death. If you have already accepted the assign­ment your profes­sional license may be at risk if you fail to continue that assign­ment, unless you have handed off the assign­ment and been relieved of respon­si­bility for the patient. If you decide to refuse the assign­ment, you should remain at the workplace and offer to perform other work that does not pose an imminent risk to your safety and health (e.g., an assign­ment for which you are provided proper safety equip­ment and training). A decision to refuse an assign­ment could result in disci­pli­nary action taken against you by the employer. Under the collec­tive bargaining agree­ment between the employer and WSNA, there must be​“just cause” for any disci­pline. WSNA would defend you if you are subjected to unjust disci­pline, but resolu­tion of any such disci­pline would likely be delayed and the outcome may be uncer­tain as a result of the current national and state emergency declarations.

I was told to clean my N95 to save for reuse. Is that safe?
The CDC and NIOSH do not recom­mend cleaning dispos­able N‑95 respi­ra­tors. These respi­ra­tors are made from a variety of materials and not all respi­ra­tors have the same construc­tion. Self-cleaning a respi­rator may result in degrading the quality of the respi­rator, rendering it less effec­tive or poten­tially ineffec­tive. Taking a used N‑95 respi­rator home to attempt cleaning using microwave or oven heat is not recom­mended. Autoclaving and the use of disin­fec­tant wipes are not recom­mended as they may alter perfor­mance of the filtering facepiece respi­rator (FFR).

Per the CDC guide­lines, FFR (e.g., N‑95) decon­t­a­m­i­na­tion and reuse may be consid­ered in a crisis to support continued avail­ability. Based on limited research, ultra­vi­olet germi­cidal irradi­a­tion, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and moist heat are poten­tial methods of decontamination.

On March 28, 2020, the FDA issued emergency autho­riza­tion for use of the Battelle decon­t­a­m­i­na­tion system to decon­t­a­m­i­nate compat­ible N‑95 respi­ra­tors. Of note, only respi­rator manufac­turers can reliably provide guidance on how to decon­t­a­m­i­nate specific modes of FFRs. The CDC guide­lines include a table of decon­t­a­m­i­na­tion methods that have been evalu­ated for N‑95 masks. (Reviewed April 2,2020)

Can PAPRs be cleaned without eventu­ally destroying their integrity?
PAPRs must be worn and cleaned according to manufacturer’s recom­men­da­tions. The respi­rator is no longer effec­tive if the seal around the face becomes loose or is no longer intact.


SAVE THE DATE!
Virginia Mason Local Unit Call

We, your officers, will be having another local unit call! Please save Monday, April 28, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.

If you have questions that you would like us to discuss on this call, please send to your nurse rep at mmoore@wsna.org with
subject as local unit call.


WHAT NOW?

WSNA is working with manage­ment right now to finalize a proposal that will provide extra protec­tion and benefits around the nursing staff. We recog­nize that all health­care staff on the front lines are equally Impor­tant and indis­pens­able at this time. Your officers and WSNA are working hard to secure benefits for the nurses. There will be more coming on that. But know that you are all valued, and we are seeking to have that acknowl­edge­ment from your leader­ship in the form of an agreement.


Wellness Infor­ma­tion

Through your ANA member­ship you can sign up for a year subscrip­tion for the Headspace app.


PHOTO OP

In the meantime, we would like to see each of you as you are front­line through this disaster. Please take a quick selfie or snapshot (NO HOSPITAL IDENTI­FYERS IN THE PHOTO PLEASE!) and email them to one of your officers and/​or selfie@wsna.org. Use the hashtags #stayathome or #silencekills. You are all amazing! Lets celebrate all of us in action!


Digital Commu­ni­ca­tion Team

Are you a pro at Facebook? Do you love posting selfies on Insta­gram? Here is your chance to shine! Volun­teer for the new VM Digital Commu­ni­ca­tions Committee by texting or emailing your WSNA Organizer Crystal Doll at 206.334.8388 or Cdoll@wsna.org.


INFOR­MA­TION

There are so many changes going on right now it’s hard to keep up! Fortu­nately, we have the BEST team at WSNA on top of all things and they have a web page full of resources and infor­ma­tion on  www​.wsna​.org . This will include infor­ma­tion and resources for families as well as nurses and has some very valuable resources for finan­cial assis­tance during this time.

As always, reach out to one of your officers or directly to your nurse rep. we are here for you! And together we are stronger!

In Solidarity,
Your local unit officers/​negoti­a­tion team Suzanna Avery, Natasza Marchak, Susan Dunn, Sam Asencio, Suzanne Baek, Kari Benning, Jane Hill Little-John and Janelle Coy

Michelle Moore BSN RN – 206.575.7979 ext. 3019