WhidbeyHealth Medical Center


The vote is in!

Our new WSNA contract was voted on and approved by an overwhelming majority of registered nurses who were able to attend yesterday, Feb. 4. We had a great turn out throughout the day and into the evening.

Our WSNA team of registered nurse colleagues donated hundreds of hours of their own time towards this unified effort to fight off take-aways and improve some benefits and working conditions.

The complete, revised contract, will be available in the Contracts & Documents section of this site in the following weeks.

If you see one of your bargaining team members, be sure to tell them “Thank You!” for their time and dedication. If you haven’t had the chance to donate PTO time to your colleagues, click below to print out the Donation Form.

In Solidarity!

Gwen Parrick, Local Unit Chair, Quality; Jeremy Aaron, Local Unit Grievance Officer, Home Hospice; Ann Bell, Primary Care Cabot Dr.; Jessica Shaffer, LU Secretary, ED; Mary Meek, Home Health; Luka MacKay, Home Hospice; Lucylyn Sinette, ED; Sarah-Lyn Clark, Surgery; Michael Aube, OR

It is time to vote!

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RATIFICATION VOTE

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 4

6-9 a.m., noon-5 p.m., 6-9 p.m.

WHERE: Boardroom (across from HR offices)

Must be a member in good standing to vote

YOUR NEGOTIATING TEAM RECOMMENDS A YES VOTE

More on Tentative Agreement and Vote!

WD message from Jessi Shaffer

Implementation of the contract by March 31, 2020 ensures our ability to fully represent the nurses and enforce the contract. Some nurses have asked why we should enter into an agreement as opposed to simply letting the current contract lapse. At the expiration of the “Evergreen year” on March 31, 2020, certain protections will no longer be in effect. Most importantly, we will not have access to the grievance-arbitration system. This means that there will be no way to police violations of the contract or to grieve unjust discipline. In this tumultuous period, it is more important than ever to be able to enforce our contractual rights.

The Ratification Vote will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Where: Boardroom (across from HR offices)

Times: 6 - 9 a.m.; noon - 5 p.m.; and 6 - 9 p.m.

(Note: You must be a member in good standing to vote.)

In Solidarity!

Gwen Parrick, Local Unit Chair, Quality; Jeremy Aaron, Local Unit Grievance Officer, Home Hospice; Ann Bell, Primary Care Cabot Dr., Bonita Garcia, PACU; Dori Painter, ED; Jessica Shaffer LU Secretary, ED; Mary Meek, Home Health; Luka MacKay, Home Hospice; Lucylyn Sinette, ED; Sarah-Lyn Clark, Surgery; Michael Aube, OR

More on Tentative Agreement, Information Sessions and Vote!

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The deal we negotiated contains significant improvements in key provisions of the contract on staffing, workplace safety, and working conditions. During negotiations, we worked tirelessly for almost a year to fight off several management takeaways, and made many improvements in the contract, each of which was hard fought. Those gains include:

Protection of your personal information - Orientation and PRA Requests: The right for WSNA to conduct new employee orientation and receive notification before the release of employees’ personal information in response to a Public Records Act request. WSNA works hard to protect nurses from potential harm these public disclosures may cause, such as for victims of domestic abuse or workplace violence.

More layoff notice: Nurses are now guaranteed 21 days, rather than 14, before being laid off.

Open Shifts: New language requires the Hospital to offer open shifts to regular full-time and part-time nurses before offering them to per diem nurses after the first two shifts per schedule.

Low Census: New language ensures that when a nurse requests to be paid PTO for low census, those hours will still count toward the 48 hour cap on low census, and when nurses are given the option of floating to another unit, they will not be expected to take a full assignment.

Preceptor: Nurses will receive preceptor pay for supervising students who do not have a supervisor “immediately available” (not just somewhere “on-site”), and new language limits the Employer’s ability to claim that nurses are merely “orienting,” not “precepting.”

Notice of future sale - Successorship: The Hospital will provide WSNA with 180 days’ notice of an impending sale (or at least 90 if the contemplated closing date is sooner) as well as the identity of the purchaser and anticipated closing date, and also to notify the purchaser of the existence of the CBA.

Education Time: Allotted education time will = not include time spent on education required for unit, and the $200 per year for can now be used for the costs of certifications.

Committment to maintain staffing according to staffing plan, enable breaks, and use of PTO: The Hospital has agreed to the same language adopted at other leading hospitals throughout the state, requiring the Hospital to strive to maintain staffing that enables nurses to receive all their breaks, to use accrued PTO, and to care for no more patients than anticipated by staffing and safety guidelines. It is important to note, that by adding this language to our contract, we have another mechanism that we can use to ensure safe staffing; we can use the grievance procedure.

Improved workplace safety - Safety & Health: WSNA can appoint up to three RNs to the Hospital’s Safety Committee, which will receive copies of Safety Intelligence Network and Violent Act reports.

Enhanced language on Nurse Staffing Committee: The Hospital agreed to language allowing WSNA to appoint nurses and alternates to the Staffing Committee and to develop the agendas and obligating the CEO to attend staffing committee meetings semiannually.


Information sessions are scheduled to give you the chance to ask questions.

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 29 and Thursday, Jan. 30

WHERE: Boardroom (across from HR offices)

TIMES: 6 - 9 a.m.; noon - 5 p.m.; and 6 - 9 p.m.

The Ratification Vote will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

WHERE: Boardroom (across from HR offices)

TIMES: 6 - 9 a.m.; 2 - 5 p.m.; and 6 - 9 p.m.

(Note: You must be a member in good standing to vote.)


In Solidarity!
Gwen Parrick, Local Unit Chair, Quality; Jeremy Aaron, Local Unit Grievance Officer, Home Hospice; Ann Bell, Primary Care Cabot Dr., Bonita Garcia, PACU; Dori Painter, ED; Jessica Shaffer LU Secretary, ED; Mary Meek, Home Health; Luka MacKay, Home Hopsice; Lucylyn Sinette, ED; Sarah-Lyn Clark, Surgery; Michael Aube, OR

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams at twilliams@wsna.org.

It's time to vote

Before we vote, we want to have time to answer any questions you may have about the Tentative Agreement and ratification.

Information sessions are scheduled to give you the chance to ask questions.

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 29 and Thursday, Jan. 30

WHERE: Boardroom (across from HR offices)

TIMES: 6 - 9 a.m.; noon - 5 p.m.; and 6 - 9 p.m.

The Ratification Vote will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

WHERE: Boardroom (across from HR offices)

TIMES: 6 - 9 a.m.; 2 - 5 p.m.; and 6 - 9 p.m.

(Note: You must be a member in good standing to vote.)

Your negotiating team fought hard to achieve the very best deal we possibly could. We all know that one-time cash bonuses are not what Whidbey’s nurses deserve. The nurses did not get Whidbey into its financial predicament. We are the backbone and the heart of the Hospital, and the Hospital will need us on board to make a financial turnaround. A two year contract (expiring June 31, 2021) will allow us to return to the table after the Hospital has hopefully had enough time to improve its financial situation. In the meantime, your negotiation team bargained hard for a ratification bonus of $1,500, prorated per FTE (e.g. 1.0 FTE = $1500) and a retention bonus of 2% in year two based on actual hours worked. The Hospital wanted some of this bonus money to go to newly recruited nurses, but your team insisted that it be used to incentivize Whidbey’s existing nurses to remain on board during this difficult financial situation.

See Highlights of the Tentative Agreement by clicking the button below.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams at twilliams@wsna.org.

We have a Tentative Agreement (TA)

After almost one year, we have reached a TA. It has been a long, hard fought process. We are proud of the contract that we have reached and believe it is something you can accept.

Thanks to all of the RNs who represented the Bargaining Unit nurses during this time. We closed with a two-year contract in hopes that the Hospital will be doing better financially by that time.

Please thank all of the Bargaining Team members for their super hard work at the table. Also, remember to complete a PTO Donation form as they met thirteen shifts without pay.

More details will follow, plus we are planning question and answer times sometime next week. Stay tuned!

In Solidarity!

Gwen Parrick, Jessi Shaffer, Jeremy Aaron, Ann Bell, Mary Meeks, Michael Aube, Luka McKay, Laura Black, Sarah Clark, Lucylynn Sienette.


Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams, MS, RN; twilliams@wsna.org.

Negotiation Team back to the table

We have a date set to meet again with Management! We are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23 starting at 8:30 a.m. We have listed below most of the items we have a Tentative Agreement on over the course of our negotiations. Stay tuned for an update after our meeting on the 23rd.

In Solidarity!

Gwen Parrick; Jeremy Aaron; Laura Black; Ann Bell; Bonita Garcia; Dori Painter; Jessica Shaffer; Mary Meek; Luka MacKay; Lucylyn Sinette; Sarah-Lyn Clark; Michael Aube and Terri Williams, WSNA Nurse Rep


Summary of Significant Gains Made So Far
TAs


2.1 Membership: The Employer will not advise employees regarding union membership and will refer any questions in this regard to the union. The Employer may inform employees of their rights regarding whether or not to pay dues or fees to the union, but will remain neutral.


4.3.1 Orientation: New language guarantees WSNA the right to orientation, to take place at the start of the Hospital’s clinical orientation, and obligates the employer to provide WSNA with contact information for newly hired nurses prior to this orientation.


4.8 Public Information Requests: The Hospital promises to notify WSNA if any Public Records Act requests are ever made for nurses’ contact information.


6.2 Notice of Termination: Nurses are now guaranteed 21 days, rather than 14, before being laid off.


7.16 Open Shifts: New language requires the Hospital to offer open shifts to regular full-time and part-time nurses before offering them to per diem nurses, except that the Employer may schedule per diem nurses for up to two shifts per schedule.


8.8 Preceptor: Nurses will receive preceptor pay for supervising students who do not have a supervisor “immediately available” (not just somewhere “on-site”). New language also clarifies the difference between mere “orientation” and “precepting.” Orientation will now typically be limited to: “a summary of documentation and charting expectations, layout of the unit, location of resources, summary of shift responsibilities, location of equipment, an explanation of the nurse-patient call system”


11.2 Low Census: New language ensures that when a nurse requests to be paid PTO for low census, those hours will still count toward the 48 hour cap on low census. New language also clarifies that when nurses are given the option of floating to another unit in lieu of being low censused, they will not be expected to take a full assignment. The contract provisions regarding low census have also been reorganized and consolidated so they are easier for nurses to find and understand.


Open Items Where Gains Have Been Made


12.6 Education Time: The Hospital has agreed that the 24 hours of allowed education time will not include time spent on education required for a nurse to work on his/her unit, and also that the $200 allowed per year for educational expenses can be used for the costs of certifications. The parties still disagree on whether access to the $200 should be contingent on whether the Employer thinks it will “jeopardize budgetary constraints.”


13.11 Safety & Health: The parties are close to reaching agreement on new safety and health language, including commitments to allowing WSNA to appoint up to three RNs to the Hospital’s Safety Committee, and providing the Committee with summaries of Safety Intelligence Network and Violent Act reports, as well as instituting a violence prevention plan and posting signs in prominent locations. WSNA is also asking that the Hospital also agree that the Safety Committee can provide nurses unable to work because of an incident of workplace violence with paid time off separate from accrued PTO.


19.1.1 Staffing: The Hospital has agreed to the same language adopted at St. Joes, requiring the Hospital to strive to maintain staffing that enables nurses to receive all their breaks, to use accrued PTO, and to care for no more patients than anticipated by staffing and safety guidelines.


19.1.2 Nurse Staffing Committee: The Hospital agreed to language allowing WSNA to appoint nurses to the Nurse Staffing Committee and to designate up to three alternates, and also that the WSNA Local Unit Chair will develop meeting agendas. However, the Hospital has refused to language that would obligate the CEO to attend at least one staffing committee per year.


20.4 Successorship: The Hospital has agreed to provide WSNA with 180 days’ notice of an impending sale (or at least 90 if the contemplated closing date is sooner) as well as the identity of the purchaser and anticipated closing date, and also to notify the purchaser of the existence of the CBA.

Staffing committee nominations - round two

Whidbey nurses were mailed Staffing Committee Nomination forms on October 1, 2019. You also received a “reminder” to nominate someone from your unit to represent. The Committee meets the 4thWednesday of every month. This Committee is very important for the nurses and the patients, to ensure quality care and safety for all. Additionally, this Committee is designed to give the nurses a voice with regards to safe staffing.

Any staffing issues that are brought forward by Staffing Complaint Forms (ADOs) or emails, phone calls, etc. will be discussed in those monthly meetings, as well as any other concerns that may be brought forward to your Local Unit Officers, or WSNA Nurse Rep. We expect to have more concise language in the new contract, in line with the law. This will allow nurses at the table representing you, and chosen by you the Association members, in keeping with the language of the 2017 Nurse Staffing Law (Patient Safety Act, HB 1714).

We’re offering you another opportunity to nominate yourself or someone else to represent your unit. We have NO nominations from the following units: Home Health, Home Hospice, ICU, MAC, Family Birthplace, Utilization Review or the Clinics. Plus, we are still accepting nominations from all units!

Rather than mailing the forms, you can click HERE to submit the fill out the form online and submit by email. Please get them out to us TODAY!

In Solidarity!

Your Local Unit Officers:

Gwen Parrick, Local Unit Chair

Jessica Shaffer, Local Unit Secretary

Kathy Cox, Local Unit Treasurer

Jeremy Aaron, Local Unit Grievance Officer

Laura Black, Local Unit Grievance Officer

Questions? Contact any of the officers listed above, or WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams, MS, RN; twilliams@wsna.org.

Staffing Committee nominations

You were mailed Staffing Committee Nomination forms on October 1, 2019. This Committee is very important for the nurses and the patients, to ensure quality care and safety for patients and nurses. Additionally, this Committee is designed to give the nurses a voice with regards to safe staffing. We expect to have more concise language in the new contract, in line with the law, to have nurses at the table who are chosen by the Association - not by management.

Per the nomination form we sent to you, these need to be postmarked by Friday, October 18! We have not received nominations for all units/Clinics. Please get them out to us TODAY!

In Solidarity!

Your Local Unit Officers:
Gwen Parrick, Local Unit Chair
Jessica Shaffer, Local Unit Secretary
Kathy Cox, Local Unit Treasurer
Jeremy Aaron, Local Unit Grievance Officer
Laura Black, Local Unit Grievance Officer

Questions? Contact any of the officers listed above, or WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams, MS, RN; twilliams@wsna.org.

Bargaining unit update

The latest bargaining update:

Thank you to all nurses who attended the Unity Dinner/Informational Meeting on Wednesday evening. We appreciated all the great questions and comments made during and after the presentation regarding the team’s plans with regard to wage increases. Your input helped with our presentation to the employer the next day!

When our officers, WSNA, bargaining team members and attorney met with the employer on Thursday, Oct. 3, this was our 11th Session. This process has taken a long time – too long. But our priority is a fair contract for our nurses at Whidbey. As you are aware, management has consistently refused to provide a wage increase and has instead been suggesting a one-year contract.

Moreover, through much of these negotiations, management has taken very hard lines on many issues that are of importance to the bargaining unit. We were able make progress on numerous items and have a few Tentative Agreements (TA) from yesterday’s session, including Nurse Staffing Committee language.

After much research and obtaining our own independent expert advice, we do have reason to believe the Hospital is in financial trouble. But, we also have reason to believe they could turn this around if they run the Hospital properly. We have also reminded them that they cannot run the Hospital without nurses, knowing some of our nurses are going off island to work in other hospitals.

In light of the Hospital’s precarious financial situation, our team presented the Hospital with a unique proposal that would at least offer the bargaining unit nurses the possibility of wage increases, if the Hospital’s financial situation increased and reached a certain “trigger.” We were very optimistic that the Employer would appreciate and agree with our proposal, which would delay any wage increase until the Hospital could afford to provide it. Although the Hospital did agree our proposal was an “aggressive and creative offer” and followed up with “It would be great to resolve this today,” they came back with “This is not something we can do.” The Hospital responded with a counter which set the trigger at such a high level, we could not reasonably expect the trigger to be met, or wage increases to be implemented, during the term of the contract. That is not acceptable.

In the end, our team made one more slight modification but maintained our “trigger” proposal. We let the Employer know that the nurses would not ratify a contract that included NO chance of a wage increase and the deal we were offering was more than fair.

WSNA is also holding management accountable for unlawful actions it has taken during these negotiations, including refusing to provide information that WSNA needs for bargaining and mischaracterizing WSNA’s positions to the bargaining unit. Just today, WSNA has filed another unfair labor practice over management making statements to nurses intended to discourage them from bringing issues to their union’s attention.

To show the employer that we are in solidarity and want a fair contract, remember to wear blue on Fridays, wear your WSNA badge pulls and WSNA buttons. Continue to talk to each other about the importance of being strong and supportive to the cause. Watch for another Unity meeting or some other type of activity to bring us all together.

Reminder: PTO Donations! The team is counting on your help since every negotiation session we attend is unpaid. Our only options are to use our PTO or take No Pay to attend negotiations. Please support us and donate some PTO. Any amount helps. Per the agreement, one hour is the minimum you can donate. Thanks to those who have already made donations! The unit that raises the most PTO hours will get a prize based on donations by unit/number of nurses, so smaller units have a just as good a shot at winning!

Donation forms are being collected by Gwen Parrick, Local Unit Chair. She can be reached at rsgsparr@whidbey.com.

In Solidarity!

Our Bargaining Team:

Gwen Parrick rsgsparr@whidbey.com; Jeremy Aaron jaaron575@gmail.com; Laura Black tomnlaura@hotmail.com; Ann Bell anniebell66@gmail.com; Bonita Garcia bonniegarcia@hotmail.com; Dori Painter doripainter@gmail.com; Jessica Shaffer jessibaby1979@hotmail.com; Mary Meek mickeymousefan1308@att.net; Luka MacKay lukamackay@gmail.com; Lucylyn Sinette lucylyn.goense@gmail.com; Sarah-Lyn Clark sclark5186@yahoo.com; Michael Aube mmaubevt@yahoo.com

Questions? Contact any of the nurses and/or officers listed above, or WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams, MS, RN; twilliams@wsna.org.

Calling all Whidbey RNs

You will want to attend this meeting!

Wednesday, October 2
6 - 8:30 p.m.
Coupeville Recreation Hall
(901 NW Alexander St)

We have been working to get a fair contract since February of 2019, but negotiations have been impacted by WhidbeyHealth's current financial difficulties. As a result, we requested that an expert from AFT analyze WhidbeyHealth's finances. We have pertinent details to share from his assessment to aid in your informed decision making.

Our next negotiation session is Oct. 3. In order for us to be fully prepared, we want to share with you possible next steps in bargaining. We need to know where Whidbey RNs stand!

Join us for a local unit meeting and dinner. We will be hearing from our WSNA team - Chief Negotiator Danielle Franco-Malone, WSNA Special Counsel David Campbell, WSNA Senior Director of Labor Christine Watts, WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams and your negotiating team. All will be available to answer your questions.

Please RSVP for the dinner meeting by phone at (206) 575-7979 Ext. 0 or email at wsna@wsna.org.

Your negotiation team:
Gwen Parrick rsgsparr@whidbey.com; Jeremy Aaron jaaron575@gmail.com; Laura Black tomnlaura@hotmail.com; Ann Bell anniebell66@gmail.com; Bonita Garcia bonniegarcia@hotmail.com; Dori Painter doripainter@gmail.com; Jessica Shaffer jessibaby1979@hotmail.com; Mary Meek mickeymousefan1308@att.net; Luka MacKay lukamackay@gmail.com; Lucylyn Sinette lucylyn.goense@gmail.com; Sarah-Lyn Clark sclark5186@yahoo.com; Michael Aube mmaubevt@yahoo.com

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams at twilliams@wsna.org.

The bargaining team needs you

Now is the time to collectively raise your voices in solidarity for a fair contract!

The nurses at WhidbeyHealth deserve a fair contract and respect.

To that end, the bargaining team needs your participation now:

  1. Speak to a member of the bargaining team listed below and ask to sign your comment card.
  2. Include a personal statement.
  3. Hand the card back to the bargaining team member as soon as you’re done (< 2 minutes of your time)
  4. Wear blue and join together to present the cards to the Board of Commissioners on Aug. 12 at 8 a.m. in rooms A/B in the lower level of the new wing of the hospital.

Contact the following team members to sign a card and learn more:
Gwen Parrick – Quality and Transformation, Day
Ann Bell – Primary Care Cabot, Variable shift
Bonnie Garcia – PACU, Variable shift
Dori Painter – ED, Variable shift
Jeremy Aaron – Hospice Care, Nights
Jessica Shaffer – ED, Variable shift
:aura Black – Inpatient Care Medical Surgical, Day
Lucy Sinette – ED, Nights
Luka Cobb – Hospice, Variable shift
May Meek – Home Health, Day
Michael Aube - Surgical Service, Variable shift
Sarah-Lyn Clark - Surgical Service

Reach out to WSNA Representative Terri Williams with any questions – twilliams@wsna.org , 206-516-9418.

Negotiations session nine update

Whidbey

Our negotiations session yesterday was not as positive as we had hoped. The Employer continues to only offer our nurses 0% wage increase and a one-year contract. Our last proposal to the Employer was a three-year contract with increases as follows:

2% 1/1/2020
3% 4/1/2021
4% 4/1/2022

CEO Ron Telles came to the Negotiations session from 1-2 p.m. and listened to about 20 nurses who expressed their frustration and feelings of being disrespected. Several comments included:

  • No wage increase is seen by nurses as disrespectful and unfair;
  • Nurses have tempered their expectations but 0% increase is unacceptable;
  • Nurses are the backbone of the hospital and treating them this way will not help with the Hospital’s much-needed turnaround;
  • Nurses at Whidbey Health make less than comparable hospitals in the area;
  • Nurse retention is very important, nurses are leaving the hospital to work places where they will feel more respected and be better paid;
  • There are limited numbers of people on the island, many nurses have left to work off island, with better wages and still live here;
  • Nurses are the best asset, retention needs to be encouraged, we need the resources to provide good patient care;
  • It feels like administration wants to fix the financial concerns on the back of the workers, which makes nurses feel unvalued.
  • We want a place to go to when we are sick, when our families are sick; we want this hospital to be successful;
  • The hospital is always working in the short term – they bring in travelers who have no commitment to or ownership in the hospital, and who end up making more money than us.


Ron’s message after the nurses spoke was not substantial. He stated he came to the session as CEO, to “Listen to Learn.” He also mentioned that 76% of the employees are not engaged and the reputation of the hospital needs to change. He ended with “I have listened. I have to respect the process.”

An hour later, management returned to the table and stated they were standing on their existing proposal of 0% wage increase and a one-year contract.

We agreed to a Tentative Agreement (TA) on a few small language items. We were given a proposal on Staffing and Staffing Committee language.

We are going to need all of our co-workers to work together in solidarity in the coming weeks, to wear blue on Fridays, wear your WSNA badge pulls and WSNA buttons. Car signs are being circulated by the Negotiation Team members – put one in your car, give one to a neighbor, ask merchants to display them at their businesses. Talk to each other about the importance of being strong and supportive to the cause. Watch for possible Unity meetings or some other type of activity. We will let you know the date of the next negotiation session.

PTO donations reminder: We are counting on your help since every negotiation session we attend is unpaid. Our only options are to use our PTO or take No Pay to attend negotiations. Please support your team and donate some PTO. Any amount helps. Per the agreement, one hour is the minimum you can donate. Thanks to those who have already made donations! And, the unit that raises the most PTO hours will get a prize based on donations by unit/number of nurses, so smaller units have a just as good a shot at winning!

Donation forms are being collected by Gwen Parrick, Local Unit Chair. She can be reached at rsgsparr@whidbey.com.

In Solidarity!

Gwen Parrick rsgsparr@whidbey.com; Jeremy Aaron jaaron575@gmail.com; Laura Black tomnlaura@hotmail.com; Ann Bell anniebell66@gmail.com; Bonita Garcia bonniegarcia@hotmail.com; Dori Painter doripainter@gmail.com; Jessica Shaffer jessibaby1979@hotmail.com; Mary Meek mickeymousefan1308@att.net; Luka MacKay lukamackay@gmail.com; Lucylyn Sinette lucylyn.goense@gmail.com; Sarah-Lyn Clark sclark5186@yahoo.com; Michael Aube mmaubevt@yahoo.com


Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Terri Williams, MS, RN at twilliams@wsna.org.

We have a date!

Your Negotiations Team will be going back to the table with management on July 17. As you are aware, we are continuing to hold the Employer accountable for showing respect for the nurses and creating an environment for quality care. We are asking all nurses to wear blue on our negotiation date. CEO Ron Telles has agreed to be available for this session to speak with your team!

Stay tuned for updates after July 17.

PTO donations reminder: We are counting on your help since every negotiation session we attend is unpaid. Our only options are to use our PTO or take No Pay to attend negotiations. Please support your team and donate. Per the agreement, one hour is the minimum you can donate. Contact Gwen Parrick at gwensparrick@hotmail.com if you have any questions about the donations.

Thanks to those who have already made donations! The unit that raises the most PTO hours will get a prize (based on donations by unit/number of nurses, so smaller units have a just as good a shot at winning)!

In solidarity!
Gwen Parrick rsgsparr@whidbey.com; Jeremy Aaron jaaron575@gmail.com; Laura Black tomnlaura@hotmail.com; Ann Bell anniebell66@gmail.com; Bonita Garcia bonniegarcia@hotmail.com; Dori Painter doripainter@gmail.com; Jessica Shaffer jessibaby1979@hotmail.com; Mary Meek mickeymousefan1308@att.net; Luka MacKay lukamackay@gmail.com; Lucylyn Sinette lucylyn.goense@gmail.com; Sarah-Lyn Clark sclark5186@yahoo.com; Michael Aube mmaubevt@yahoo.com

Terri Williams, MS, RN, WSNA Nurse Rep (twilliams@wsna.org)/ Danielle Franco-Malone, Legal Counsel for WSNA

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams at twilliams@wsna.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3058.

WSNA grievance officer training (Free lunch event)

When: Friday, July 19 from noon-2:30 p.m.
Where: Bellevue Brewing Company, 1820 130th Ave N.E., Bellevue, 98005

This event is for you if:

  1. You are a WSNA elected officer or grievance officer who has not yet had this training (officers will learn how to attend investigatory meetings).
  2. You have already had grievance officer training and would like a refresher.
  3. You have lots of experience with the grievance process and are willing to share your knowledge and experience with those new to the role.
  4. You have an interest in advocating for your colleagues in investigations and would like to learn more.

Your colleagues need your advocacy and support!

RNs from multiple facilities will be attending and space is limited. You must preregister for this training.

Register today with WSNA Nurse Rep Terri Williams at twilliams@wsna.org. Include your name, contact info and where you work.

Please be on time as we have a lot to cover!

Questions? Contact Terri Williams at 206-575-7979, ext. 3058 or twilliams@wsna.org.

Negotiation session eight update

Your team met with management on Thursday, May 23. We continued to discuss many items including economics, successorship and the Staffing Committee.

The Employer continues their original offer of a zero percent wage increase with no other economic concessions and a one-year contract. They continue to state they are in a financial situation that is not improving. Per Lisa Sanford, on May 23, the hospital had twelve (12) days operating money.

We are committed to achieving the very best economic package we can that fairly compensates the Hospital’s nurses. We are exploring the possibility of a two-year contract with a wage “reopener” after the first year, that would allow the Union to reopen the Contract at the second year to bargain for another wage increase.

Regarding successorship, we again proposed language that would help protect nurses in the event that another entity buys WhidbeyHealth.

We reached only one tentative agreement (TA) during this session, regarding Article 2.1, which prohibits the hospital from advising employees on whether to join the Union.

Our next session, which was previously scheduled for May 29, has been postponed due to scheduling conflicts. Please watch for our notice of the next date.

In the meantime, your team will be back in touch with you regarding actions we are planning for the coming weeks. For instance, we will be asking all nurses to wear blue on our negotiation date. We are also ordering car signs and yard signs which will be shared with all that are interested in displaying them in the community. The WSNA Organizer, along with the Negotiation Team members will be reaching out to nurses regarding a few other ideas we have discussed to get the word out to the community in support of nurses, patient care and safety!

Most of this information will be sent to the nurses by email and possibly postcards. If we don’t have your current correct email, please let Nurse Rep Terri Williams know. We may also send text messages, therefore, be sure we have your correct cell number.

PTO donations reminder: We are counting on your help since every negotiation session we attend is unpaid. Our only options are to use our PTO or take No Pay to attend negotiations. Please support your team and donate some PTO. Any amount helps. Per the agreement, one hour is the minimum you can donate. Thanks to those who have already made donations! And, the unit that raises the most PTO hours will get a prize based on donations by unit/number of nurses, so smaller units have a just as good a shot at winning!

Will you be a PTO donation ambassador? If you are interested, contact Gwen Parrick, Local Unit Chair at gwensparrick@hotmail.com.

In Solidarity!

Gwen Parrick rsgsparr@whidbey.com; Jeremy Aaron jaaron575@gmail.com; Laura Black tomnlaura@hotmail.com; Ann Bell anniebell66@gmail.com; Bonita Garcia bonniegarcia@hotmail.com; Dori Painter doripainter@gmail.com; Jessica Shaffer jessibaby1979@hotmail.com; Mary Meek mickeymousefan1308@att.net; Luka MacKay lukamackay@gmail.com; Lucylyn Sinette lucylyn.goense@gmail.com; Sarah-Lyn Clark sclark5186@yahoo.com; Michael Aube mmaubevt@yahoo.com


Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Terri Williams, MS, RN at twilliams@wsna.org.

Negotiation update seven

Thank you to all of the nurses who were able to attend the Unity Meeting on Monday, May 6! It was great to see you all.

With short notice, the Employer has cancelled our next (eighth) negotiations session, which was to take place on Tuesday, May 14. Our next scheduled session is Thursday, May 23.

The information below was shared with all who were able to drop by last week . If you have any questions, please contact one of your Negotiation Team members or Terri Williams, MS, RN; WSNA Nurse Rep.

Contract negotiations update

Economics:

  • Whidbey Health is offering a ZERO PERCENT wage increase with no other economic concessions, and a one-year contract.
  • The Hospital is in a dire financial situation. It is hemorrhaging money and something has to change if the Hospital is going to stay open.
  • We understand that the nurses did not get them into this mess – they did that all on their own. Nonetheless, it’s simply not going to be realistic to achieve an economic package on par with what we’ve won in past years.
  • While we recognize that the Hospital is in a bad financial situation, we also know that the nurses are the backbone of this Hospital and that if there’s going to be a turnaround, the nurses need to be on board.
  • We are committed to achieving the very best economic package we can that fairly compensates the Hospital’s nurses.


Successorship:

  • A key issue we are trying to achieve is language that protects Whidbey’s nurses if the Hospital is ever sold or acquired by another entity.
  • We have proposed language that would ensure the terms of your contract would not change if that were to occur.
  • The Hospital insists it has no plans to sell, but has refused to agree to this proposal.


We have made some modest improvements to other language items, including language that would:

  • Improve low census by providing that hours taken as paid PTO will count toward the 48-hour cap, as well as simplifying the low census language to make it easier to understand
  • Require the Hospital to offer open shifts to FTE nurses before per diems
  • Differentiate mere orientation from precepting duties that must be paid, and expand the entitlement to preceptor pay for precepting students
  • Ensure WSNA is able to meet with new nurses in orientation


We have several other language proposals that the Hospital has not agreed to, including language that would:

  • Strengthen the commitments around breaks and staffing
  • Ensure that Whidbey’s nurses have a stronger voice on the staffing committee
  • Protect the privacy of nurses’ information if it is subject to a Public Records Act request
  • Prohibit the Hospital from advising employees on whether to join the Union
  • Expand the circumstances when education time can be used


In Solidarity!

Gwen Parrick rsgsparr@whidbey.com; Jeremy Aaron jaaron575@gmail.com; Laura Black tomnlaura@hotmail.com; Ann Bell anniebell66@gmail.com; Bonita Garcia bonniegarcia@hotmail.com; Dori Painter doripainter@gmail.com; Jessica Shaffer jessibaby1979@hotmail.com; Mary Meek mickeymousefan1308@att.net; Luka MacKay lukamackay@gmail.com; Lucylyn Sinette lucylyn.goense@gmail.com; Sarah-Lyn Clark sclark5186@yahoo.com; Michael Aube mmaubevt@yahoo.com


Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Terri Williams, MS, RN at twilliams@wsna.org.

Celebrate Nurses Week by joining us at the WSNA Unity Drop-In Meeting

May 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Education Room A
May 6 from 3 to 8 p.m. in the Education 1 Room

  • Negotiations are contentious and progressing slowly with no acceptable economic proposals presented:
    • Stagnate 0% wage
    • 1-year contract with no successorship
    • CEO received generous salary and bonuses
  • This is your chance to have your voices heard regarding issues that will affect your wages, safety, benefits and workplace conditions for years.
  • Meet your negotiating team, WSNA attorney and WSNA representatives and express any concerns.
  • Join us in unity to help make decisions regarding ongoing contract negotiations and help plan for future actions.


In solidarity,

Gwen Parrick, RN, Quality, Local Unit Chair/ Jeremy Aaron, RN, Home Hospice, Local Unit Grievance Officer/ Laura Black, RN, Med Surg, Local Unit Grievance Officer/ Doreen Painter; RN, ED/ Jessica Shaffer, RN, ED/ Lucylyn Sinette, RN, Med Surg/ Michael Aube, RN, OR/ Sarah Clark, RN, OR/ Mary Meek, RN, Home Health/ Luka Cobb, RN, Home Hospice/ Bonnie Garcia, RN, PACU/ Ann Bell, RN, PACU/ Terri Williams, MS, RN, WSNA Nurse Rep (twilliams@wsna.org)/ Danielle Franco-Malone, Legal Counsel for WSNA,
Will Nesper, RN, WSNA Nurse Organizer


Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams at
twilliams@wsna.org or (206) 575-7979, ext. 3058

Our negotiation team met with WhidbeyHealth hospital management for our sixth session on April 12

The Employer again came to the table with no further movement regarding their financial package, which remains a 0% wage increase and a one-year contract – even though we are aware the outgoing CEO will be receiving tens of thousands of dollars as an exit package.

We did reach tentative agreements on:

  • Low Census language – to simplify and improve language around how nurses can be low censused.
  • Preceptor language - to clarify what constitutes orientation v. what constitutes precepting (requiring payment of premium)

We are continuing to push on the following important issues:

  • Successorship language in case WhidbeyHealth is ever sold. Would ensure any new owners would be bound by the CBA and that all your contractual rights continued to be honored.
  • Staffing language to insure patient safety and breaks with regard to fatigue
  • Workplace Violence language to ensure the Hospital takes adequate steps to prevent and respond to violence against nurses

Stay tuned for information regarding a local unit meeting in the next few weeks.

PTO donations reminder: We are counting on your help since every negotiation session we attend is unpaid. Our only options are to use our PTO or take No Pay to attend negotiations. Please support your team and donate. Per the agreement, one hour is the minimum you can donate. Thanks to those who have already made donations!

Will you be a PTO donation ambassador? Local Unit Chair Gwen Parrick reports that she hasn't heard from anyone regarding acting as an ambassador. If you are interested, contact her at gwensparrick@hotmail.com.

Also, the unit that raises the most PTO hours will get a prize (based on donations by unit/number of nurses, so smaller units have a just as good a shot at winning)!

Session #7 will take place Thursday, April 18. We have tentative future dates on May 14 and May 26. Stay tuned!

In solidarity!

Gwen Parrick, RN, Quality, Local Unit Chair/ Jeremy Aaron, RN, Home Hospice, Local Unit Grievance Officer/ Laura Black, RN, Med Surg, Local Unit Grievance Officer/ Doreen Painter; RN, ED/ Jessica Shaffer, RN, ED/ Lucylyn Sinette, RN, Med Surg/ Michael Aube, RN, OR/ Sarah Clark, RN, OR/ Mary Meek, RN, Home Health/ Luka Cobb, RN, Home Hospice/ Bonnie Garcia, RN, PACU/ Ann Bell, RN, PACU/ Terri Williams, MS, RN, WSNA Nurse Rep (twilliams@wsna.org)/ Danielle Franco-Malone, Legal Counsel for WSNA

Our negotiation team met with hospital management for our fifth session on March 27

Our team had scheduled their day as any other, meeting at 8 a.m. and expecting to meet with management around 9:30. We were notified by the employer, at the last minute the evening before, that they would not be ready to meet until 1:30 p.m. They gave no further movement regarding their financial package, which remains a 0% wage increase and a one-year contract.

The contract expired yesterday, March 31. Since WhidbeyHealth is a public entity, we are covered by an "Evergreen year" concept. This means the contract automatically renews (rolls over) for one year. Therefore, all your rights and benefits remain intact.

We have pushed hard at each negotiation session to get language in the contract for successorship. Our proposal would offer protection for the bargaining unit if the hospital were ever purchased by another entity. That purchaser would be required to work with the union and keep the collective bargaining agreement. We continue to press on this important issue.

PTO donations reminder: We are counting on your help since every negotiation session we attend is unpaid. Our only options are to use our PTO or take No Pay to attend negotiations. Please support your team and donate. Per the agreement, one hour is the minimum you can donate. Thanks to those who have already made donations!

Will you be a PTO donation ambassador? Local Unit Chair Gwen Parrick reports that she hasn't heard from anyone regarding acting as an ambassador. If you are interested, contact her at gwensparrick@hotmail.com.

Also, the unit that raises the most PTO hours will get a prize (based on donations by unit/number of nurses, so smaller units have a just as good a shot at winning)!

Join your negotiation team members and co-workers at the Town Hall Meeting tonight, April 1:

Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Educ Conf Rooms A-B

In solidarity!

Gwen Parrick, RN, Quality, Local Unit Chair/ Jeremy Aaron, RN, Home Hospice, Local Unit Grievance Officer/ Laura Black, RN, Med Surg, Local Unit Grievance Officer/ Doreen Painter; RN, ED/ Jessica Shaffer, RN, ED/ Lucylyn Sinette, RN, Med Surg/ Michael Aube, RN, OR/ Sarah Clark, RN, OR/ Mary Meek, RN, Home Health/ Luka Cobb, RN, Home Hospice/ Bonnie Garcia, RN, PACU/ Ann Bell, RN, PACU/ Terri Williams, MS, RN, WSNA Nurse Rep (twilliams@wsna.org)/ Danielle Franco-Malone, Legal Counsel for WSNA

Whidbey negotiation update: session four

Our WSNA Negotiating Team of RNs from WhidbeyHealth met with hospital management on March 20, 2019, for our fourth session.

After waiting all this time, management came back with a proposal for 0% wage increases and a 1-year contract, plus no consideration for our other premiums. This is extremely disappointing and we expressed our shock and outrage to Management.

Management also repeated that there is not a staffing problem at this Hospital, despite the staffing concerns we have repeatedly raised.

We have reached agreement on some articles but still have a long way to go. When pressed, management was forced to acknowledge that overtime continues to be a problem in the MAC and have backed off their proposal to remove the overtime premium.

PTO DONATIONS: We need your help! We nurses on the WSNA Bargaining Team are using our own PTO or taking No Pay to attend negotiations. Please donate as much PTO as you can, but 1 hour is the minimum you can donate.

Will you be a PTO Donation Ambassador? We are asking for nurses to be their unit’s PTO Donation Ambassador, to go out and help secure PTO donations to help our negotiating team members get some compensation for missed hours. Contact Local Unit Chair Gwen Parrick if you are interested at: gwensparrick@hotmail.com.

Also, the unit that raises the most PTO hours will get a prize! (based on donations by unit/number of nurses, so smaller units have just as good a shot at winning!)

In solidarity:

Gwen Parrick, RN, Quality, Local Unit Chair

Jeremy Aaron, RN, Home Hospice, Local Unit Grievance Officer

Laura Black, RN, Med Surg, Local Unit Grievance Officer

Doreen Painter; RN, ED

Jessica Shaffer, RN, ED

Lucylyn Sinette, RN, Med Surg

Michael Aube, RN, OR

Sarah Clark, RN, OR

Mary Meeks, RN, Home Health

Luka Cobb, RN, Home Hospice

Bonnie Garcia, RN, PACU

Ann Bell, RN, PACU

Terri Williams, MS, RN, WSNA Nurse Rep (twilliams@wsna.org)

Danielle Franco-Malone, Legal Counsel for WSNA

Negotiations update: session three

Our team of WSNA registered nurses from WhidbeyHealth met with the management team for our third session on Wednesday, March 13.

We were able to get a TA (Tentative Agreement) on a few articles, including new language that would give FTE nurses first opportunities for open shifts in all units. Per Diem nurses would have the opportunity after FTEs (management could schedule Per Diems for up to two shifts per schedule without first offering the shifts to FTEs).

Management continues to fall short of the mark in other areas that are of great importance to our bargaining team, such as safe staffing, workplace violence and successorship to protect nurses' working conditions in the event the hospital changes ownership. We are holding firm on all of these areas since they are very important to patient safety and nurse safety.

Management also made a proposal to take away the Memo of Understanding that offers a premium to MAC nurses who work at least (30) minutes beyond their shift. We are waiting to hear from MAC nurses as to their thoughts on this proposal.

Management still has not made any economic proposals.

We again discussed precepting and orienting. Thank you to those of you who shared your understanding of the difference in these two concepts. We would like to hear from more of you, though. Please contact one of the negotiation team members or the WSNA nurse rep.

Our next bargaining session with the employer will take place on Wednesday, March 20.

We encourage all Whidbey RNs to stay involved and let us know if you have ongoing questions or concerns. Your priorities are the driving force behind our negotiations, and we are striving to persist until we reach an agreement that is fair and deserving.

In solidarity:

Gwen Parrick, RN, Quality, Local Unit Chair
Jeremy Aaron, RN, Home Hospice, Local Unit Grievance Officer
Laura Black, RN, Med Surg, Local Unit Grievance Officer
Doreen Painter; RN, ED
Jessica Shaffer, RN, ED
Lucylyn Sinette, RN, Med Surg
Michael Aube, RN, OR
Sarah Clark, RN, OR
Mary Meeks, RN, Home Health
Luka Cobb, RN, Home Hospice
Bonnie Garcia, RN, PACU
Ann Bell, RN, PACU
Terri Williams, MS, RN, WSNA Nurse Rep (twilliams@wsna.org)
Danielle Franco-Malone, Legal Counsel for WSNA

Negotiations update: session two

Our team of WSNA registered nurses from WhidbeyHealth met with the management team for our second session on Friday, March 1.

We have now presented our full proposals – including economics (wage increases, premiums, differentials, etc.). After two sessions, management has presented us with one partial proposal which included only particular wording changes, which spoke towards:

  • Limiting WSNA bulletin boards
  • Limiting WSNA representatives' ability to visit the premises
  • Limiting WSNA's ability to use meeting rooms

In response to our proposals, among other items, management has said NO to:

  • Workplace violence language that would help reduce the risk of workplace violence and ensure that any incidents are handled appropriately
  • New language related to the Nurse Staffing Committee to ensure nurses have a strong voice when it comes to staffing
  • Successorship language that would protect nurses if the hospital were ever sold
  • Making low census rotation and floating more equitable
  • Ensuring PTO is afforded all the protections now required by state law
  • Protecting nurses' private information from Public Records Act disclosure
  • Language to strengthen and expand precepting

We spent time attempting to discuss the difference between Precepting and Orienting. If any nurses would like to share their understanding regarding the meanings of “precepting” and “orientation,” please fee feel to share with one of the team members listed below.

Our next bargaining session with the employer will take place on Wednesday, March 13.

We appreciate the support from all of the registered nurses that have reached out and demanded a fair contract and safe working conditions. These principles will continue to be the driver behind our priorities as a team.

In solidarity,

Gwen Parrick, RN, Quality, Local Unit Chair
Jeremy Aaron, RN, Home Hospice, Local Unit Grievance Officer
Laura Black, RN, Med Surg, Local Unit Grievance Officer
Doreen Painter; RN, ED
Jessica Shaffer, RN, ED
Lucylyn Sinette, RN, Med Surg
Michael Aube, RN, OR
Sarah Clark, RN, OR
Mary Meeks, RN, Home Health
Luka Cobb, RN, Home Hospice
Bonnie Garcia, RN, PACU
Ann Bell, RN, PACU
Terri Williams, MS, RN, WSNA Nurse Rep (twilliams@wsna.org)
Danielle Franco-Malone, Legal Counsel for WSNA

Negotiations update – session one

Our team met with the Employer on Wednesday, Feb. 20 for our first session and presented our opening proposal. The Employer didn’t respond to our proposal or make any proposals of their own.

The team highlighted and discussed our opening offer and spent time explaining and discussing why we see a need for certain changes to ensure fair treatment of nurses. We’ve proposed some cleaning up of old, ambiguous language as well.

A few highlights of our proposal include:

  • Ensuring that we have a voice on the Nurse Staffing Committee. Educate yourself on the new, updated staffing law;
  • Language expanding protections and ability to use PTO, to reflect changes in WA’s paid sick leave law;
  • Workplace violence language to address this statewide/nationwide issue affecting our nurses.

We are currently drafting our economic proposal and plan to present it to the Employer at our next session.

Stay tuned for further updates. Our next session is scheduled for Friday, March 1.

In Solidarity!

Gwen Parrick, RN, Quality, Local Unit Chair
Jeremy Aaron, RN, Home Hospice, Local Unit Grievance Officer
Laura Black, RN, Med Surg, Local Unit Grievance Officer
Doreen Painter; RN, ED
Jessica Shaffer, RN, ED
Lucylyn Sinette, RN, Med Surg
Michael Aube, RN, OR
Sarah Clark, RN, OR
Mary Meeks, RN, Home Health
Luka Cobb, RN, Home Hospice
Bonnie Garcia, RN, PACU
Ann Bell, RN, PACU
Terri Williams, MS, RN, WSNA Nurse Rep (twilliams@wsna.org)
Danielle Franco-Malone, Legal Counsel for WSNA

It’s that time again! Are you ready?

Our negotiation team is in place and ready to meet with the employer to make sure we continue to have a strong contract with all of the rights and benefits we deserve. The team has taken part in our first prep session and scheduled for our second prep which will be with the WSNA attorney, Danielle Franco-Malone.

Our priorities have been set by your responses to the negotiations survey and ongoing feedback from RNs regarding issues and concerns about our current contract. We will continue to work for a safe working environment and conditions that allow RNs to deliver the safest and most effective patient care.

Our first session at the table is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. Stay tuned for updates as each session continues.

In Solidarity!

Gwen Parrick, RN, LU Chair; Quality
Laura Black, RN, LU Grievance Officer
Jeremy Aaron, RN, LU Grievance Officer
Dori Painter, RN and Jessica Shaffer, RN; ED
Michael Aube, RN and Sarah Clark, RN; OR
Ann Bell, RN and Bonnie Garcia, RN; PACU
Luka MacKay, RN; Hospice Care
Mary Meek, RN; Home Health
Lucylyn Sinnette, RN; Med Surg

And Terri Williams, MS, RN; WSNA Nurse Rep, twilliams@wsna.org / 206-575-7979, ext. 3058.

Preparations for WSNA contract negotiations are underway!

The WSNA local unit officers and leadership team are preparing for contract negotiations. Your input and participation are vital in getting the best possible contract for WhidbeyHealth RNs. Here’s how you can be involved.

The survey will be available until Dec. 3.

  • Consider becoming a member of the negotiating team – we need nurses at the table to voice the interests for everyone!
  • Continue to watch the WhidbeyHealth homepage and your email for updates and information.
  • Update your contact information with the WSNA Membership Department at membership@wsna.org or by phone at 206-575-7979.

Questions? Contact one of our Local Unit Officers or WSNA Nurse Representative Terri Williams, MS, RN at 206-575-7979, ext. 3058.

WSNA's Position Statement on influenza vaccinations

Our stance is that RNs can make the decision as to whether or not they want to receive the flu vaccine. If the nurse refuses immunization, we agree with the CDC recommendation of wearing a mask in patient care (6 ft from patients) areas only. Breakrooms, hallways, parking lots, cafeteria, etc. are not considered patient care areas.

WSNA's position on mandatory influenza vaccinations and strategies to address influenza

WSNA is committed to advocating for the health of nurses, patients and the communities they serve. Because of this commitment, WSNA strongly recommends that all nurses and other health care providers be vaccinated against all influenza viruses. WSNA strongly supports and urges voluntary efforts that aim for 100 percent vaccination rates, including annual education and implementation of comprehensive influenza vaccination programs for all health care providers.

WSNA supports enforcement of existing federal and state regulations to ensure that all employers meet the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) andOccupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requirements for influenza prevention.

WSNA believes a hospital-by-hospital approach to mandatory vaccinations is poor public policy. It lacks consistency and adequate protection for patients and health care workers. WSNA believes that any vaccination policy is only one component of a comprehensive influenza prevention policy and should only be enacted as a result of federal or public health regulation. WSNA believes that any such regulation must include the following core components:

  • The policy must cover all health care settings and health care workers. This includes all settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, adult boarding homes, outpatient clinics, etc. Health care workers must include those licensed and unlicensed who work in close proximity to patients, (e.g. nurses, emergency responders, physicians, housekeeping personnel, health care secretarial staff, etc).
  • Employers must ensure that appropriate protection and safety measures are in place to provide a safe workplace environment for nurses and health care workers.
  • Employers must ensure that influenza vaccines are available and offered to every health care worker annually at convenient times and locations. The employer must not discriminate against or discipline nurses for the appropriate use of sick time.
  • If a declination form is required for vaccination, the nurse must be able to sign the form confidentially; that is, the nurse must not be required to divulge personal health information or declare the reason(s) for refusal of a vaccine. The employer must not discriminate against or discipline a nurse for opting out.
  • The employer must comply with CDC and OSHA Guidelines must be used for prevention, protection, and safety of nurses and patients.

In solidarity!

Gwen S. Parrick, BSN, RN; Chair
gwensparrick@hotmail.com

Kathy Cox, RN; Secretary/Treasurer
cxgeokat@yahoo.com

Laura A. Black, RN; Grievance Officer
tomnlaura@hotmail.com

Jeremy Aaron, BSN RN; Grievance Officer
jaaron575@gmail.com

Terri Williams, MS, RN; WSNA Nurse Rep
twilliams@wsna.org

Update - staffing issues at WhidbeyHealth

Nursing care requires continuous patient assessment, critical thinking, expert nursing judgment, advocating on behalf of our patients and educating patients and their families. These activities are the essence of nursing care and are critical factors in avoiding preventable complications, injuries and avoidable deaths.

When staffing levels are too low, RNs are frequently forced to compromise the care they give to their patients. Unsafe nurse staffing is a dangerous practice that leads to medical errors, poorer patient outcomes and nursing injuries as well as burnout. Ensuring safe nurse staffing must continues to be a top priority for all nurses.

In 2017, the Washington state legislature passed the Patient Safety Act, addressing this top issue of safe staffing. The bill creates greater transparency and accountability for nurse staffing plans and the work of nurse staffing committees in hospitals. The new bill holds hospitals more accountable for staffing in order for YOU to deliver safe, high quality care to their patients.

Among other amendments and additions to the law, the following three require the RNs to take part in this accountability. The law now requires the Employer to:

  • Allow a nurse to report to, and file a complaint with, the staffing committee any time the nurse personnel assignment is not in accordance with the adopted staffing plan;
  • Allow nurses who may disagree with the shift-to-shift adjustments in staffing levels to submit a complaint to the staffing committee;
  • Require staffing committees to develop a process to examine and respond to submitted complaints, and to determine if a complaint is resolved or dismissed based on unsubstantiated data.

The “process” mentioned above is the Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) form. We strongly suggest that you complete an (ADO) form regarding any staffing concerns and issues. These are utilized for real-time tracking efforts, in addition to discussing them with management at both the monthly Staffing Committee and Conference Committee.

To read more regarding other aspects of the new Staffing Law that affect you, click here.

There is also language in the Bargaining Agreement (Contract) that supports this:

19.1 Staffing. The parties agree to cooperate in an effort to insure an appropriate relationship between patient care needs and staffing levels. These shall be appropriate subjects for WGHWSNA Conference Committee consideration. A nurse questioning the level of staffing on her/his unit shall communicate this concern to her/his immediate supervisor who will utilize available management resources to attempt to resolve the situation. When appropriate, the nurse should use appropriate forms to document the situation, a copy to be given to the supervisor, and the nurse to receive a written response. Standards established by the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid and Washington State Department of Health (“DOH”) shall be considered relevant criteria for determining appropriate staffing levels.

If you have any questions, please contact one of your Local Unit Officers or your WSNA Nurse Rep.


In Solidarity!

Gwen S. Parrick, BSN, RN; Chair; gwensparrick@hotmail.com 360-239-3786

Kathy Cox, RN; Secretary/Treasurer; cxgeokat@yahoo.com 360-632-3718

Laura A. Black, RN; Grievance Officer; tomnlaura@hotmail.com 360-672-9305

Jeremy Aaron, BSN RN; Grievance Officer; jaaron575@gmail.com 502-525-0860

Terri Williams, MS, RN; WSNA Nurse Rep; twilliams@wsna.org 206-575-7979 x3058 (Fax 206-575-1908)