Jennifer Carney from South 3 is joining the Local Unit Officer lineup as our new Secretary. Please be sure to welcome her aboard.
Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James at email@example.com.
Jennifer Carney from South 3 is joining the Local Unit Officer lineup as our new Secretary. Please be sure to welcome her aboard.
We have extended the negotiation survey deadline. It will now close on Sunday, Oct. 13!
This survey is a vital step in preparation for contract negotiations. Your input is critical in determing the nurses' priorities as we head to the bargaining table. Don't rely on others to know what's important to you. Speak up by taking the survey which is open to both WSNA members and non-members in the Overlake bargaining unit.
The survey will close at midnight on Oct. 13. Nice job to everyone who has responded! If you have not already done so, please complete the survey and encourage your colleagues to do so as well.
Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-575-7979, ext. 3004.
Contract negotiation survey available now until Oct. 9!
The current contract between WSNA and Overlake expires April 30, 2020. This survey is a vital step in our preparation for contract negotiations. Your input is critical in determining the nurses’ priorities as we head to the bargaining table. We cannot consider your issues and concerns unless we hear from you. The survey is open to both WSNA members and non-members in the Overlake bargaining unit.
Your responses are confidential. WSNA and your contract bargaining team do not share this information with anyone. We ask for your current contact information so that we may contact you if we have questions about your responses and so that we may share important information with you. If you indicate on the survey that you want to help us get the best contract, expect our WSNA nurse representative to be in touch in October.
The survey will close at midnight on Oct. 9. Please complete the survey and encourage your colleagues to do so as well.
August 16, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. - noon
PACCAR, Inspiration Room
WSNA officers will announce plans for the upcoming contract negotiations, hear from nurses about issues on their units, and vote on a change to local union rules at Overlake.
The changes to the rules to be voted on are:
- Add Membership Officer to the officer slate.
- Filling mid-term vacancies – officers would be allowed to appoint (if only one person has expressed interest in the position) rather than via mailed ballot.
- Allow write-ins to ballots elections.
You must be a member in good standing to vote on the rules changes.
Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James at email@example.com.
Find WSNA officers and staff handing out treats and WSNA swag in the cafeteria:
- Tuesday, May 7 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- Friday, May 10 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
WNSA staff will also be rounding the night shift with treats.
In case you have not had a chance to read your Overlake-WSNA newsletter that went out earlier today, please note that all members will be automatically entered to win a $150 Amazon gift card, as well as a WSNA Glassybaby votive candle holder!
There is a second $150 Amazon gift card drawing for all new members! If you have become a new member of WSNA since January 1, 2019, or if you join by Sunday, May 12, on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, you will be entered to win!
If you are not currently a member, now is a great time to join. To learn more about WSNA or to join, contact any WSNA officer. You will find their contact information and other WSNA news on your break room’s bulletin board!
Drawing winners will be selected next week!
Contact WSNA Nurse Organizer Ione Fullerton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet your WSNA membership officer
Hello! I’m so excited to introduce myself. My name is Andrew Meeks and I am the new membership officer for WSNA at Overlake. I’ve been a nurse since 2014 and I’ve worked here on South-4 since 2016. When I’m not at work, I enjoy gardening, taking my dog to the park, and exploring new parts of Seattle. I support our union because I believe that we, the people who deliver care, should have a hand in shaping the organization we serve.
Nurses Week, May 6-12
WSNA is celebrating Overlake members during Nurses Week. Find WSNA officers and staff handing out treats and WSNA swag in the cafeteria (dates and times to be announced) and rounding the units during night shift.
All members will be automatically entered to win a $150 gift card.
There is a second $150 gift card drawing for all new members! If you have become a new member of WSNA in 2019 or if you join now, you will be entered to win.
If you are not currently a member, now is a great time to join. To learn more about WSNA or to join, contact any WSNA officer. Visit www.wsna.org for more information about WSNA and for an application. Applications will also be available onsite during Nurses Week.
Contract Spotlight – Unpaid Personal Leave Time
Have you ever wanted to go on vacation but do not have sufficient PTO to cover all of your days off? If that happens to you, do not despair.
The CBA (Contract Bargaining Agreement) for Overlake nurses includes a provision that allow for up to three days of unpaid leave. To understand this provision, you need to read Articles 13.3 and 16.8.
Article 13.3 states, in part, that scheduled time off will not be granted if the employee does not have sufficient time to cover the entire absence with accrued PTO; however, up to three unpaid days may be used under Section 16.8 to cover the scheduled absence.
Article 16.8 states that all full-time and part-time nurses shall be granted a minimum of three days of personal leave per year without pay upon request; provided in the opinion of the Hospital such leave does not jeopardize service at the Hospital.
Find this provision and a lot more by reading your contract. You can find it on the WSNA Overlake web page, at wsna.org/union. Select Overlake from the list of facilities, then click “Contracts and Documents.
WSNA Spotlight Member Activist
My name is Ingrid Anderson and I have worked at Overlake hospital for nearly 12 years. I worked in the Emergency Department for 11 years and now primarily work in Behavioral Health. I occasionally work in the ED, but when I do it is primarily to do a sexual assault exam, as I am on the SANE team. I have recently become a WSNA unit representative for BHU. However, if anyone in the hospital ever needs help, you are more than welcome to reach out to me.
I am currently working on becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner through a distance program with Gonzaga. In addition, I serve on the WSNA PAC Board of Trustees as the Vice Chair. We on the PAC Board are all volunteer nurses who work at advancing legislation that impacts patient care and nursing. All of this is done from voluntary PAC donations and is not from your union dues.
I have had the privilege to give testimony the last two years in a row in Olympia to advocate for the rest break bill that has just passed. I have traveled to Olympia to speak to Senators and other legislative representatives many times over the last several years to educate them on the importance of this legislation. I was lucky enough to be in Olympia in the Senate gallery when this bill finally passed! In addition to this I love the PNW, hiking, reading, exploring nature with my family and camping! I also do a lot of community outreach and volunteer work. If you ever see me in the hall don’t hesitate to stop and say hello or ask a question!
If you are curious about nurse advocacy, I encourage you to check out #BeyondTheCards (Wa Nurse Power) on FB through WSNA or check out the WSNA page for information about education, CEs, and legislative goals. WSNA is your union and your professional organization.
Nurses United, Will Never Be Divided!
WSNA conference committee. What is it and what is on the agenda?
Nurses often feel isolated to their own units and have no idea what is going on in other units. Article 17.1 of the CBA relates to conference committee. This article reads, in part:
The Committee will function as a vehicle for the Hospital and nursing staff working in a collaborative and advisory capacity, to identify and/or react to contract related problems and to promote positive change in an expeditious manner by both intervention in selected issues and through recommendations made to Nursing Administration.
You will also find conference committee referenced at many other places in your contract. Pull up the contract, search the word “conference” to learn more.
What is discussed at conference committee? For several months now, Labor & Delivery has been on the agenda due to ongoing issues there. For one, this unit is chronically short-staffed. Nurses have been experiencing mandatory overtime, working short-staffed, missed breaks, and mandatory call shifts (referred to as mandatory standby in this unit).
Wait. Isn’t mandatory OT illegal? It depends. WSNA has asked for records kept in regards to these instances of mandatory overtime but Overlake did not produce accurate data. Nurses were not ok with this and exercised their right to file complaints with Labor & Industries. L & I has since opened an investigation into reported instances of mandatory OT for these nurses.
As for the mandatory call/standby, this was a huge dissatisfier, as one can imagine. This is not in the job description and nurses report they were not informed of this requirement when accepting the position at Overlake. These L&D nurses spoke up via emails and one attended a conference committee meeting to speak on behalf of all the nurses about the ongoing staffing issues. One result of their activism is that L&D has backed off of the mandatory call/standby shifts and it is currently voluntary.
Do you have issues in your unit? Do you have ideas for solutions? Speak to any Overlake officer or our WSNA nurse rep, Sydne James, because it might be able to be resolved amicably with Overlake administration at conference committee. If you don’t do anything, nothing will change.
WSNA policy priorities in Olympia – two major victories
In an extremely rare occurrence, this year we had positive outcomes on every WSNA policy priority – in no small part due to your engagement and advocacy.
Breaks & Overtime Protections bill passes. More than 300 nurses and hospital techs were in Olympia on April 24 to rally support for our breaks and overtime protections bill, SHB 1155. They joined Governor Inslee on the capitol steps where the Governor asked the legislature to send him a clean bill to sign. That afternoon, nurses and techs crowded the Senate galleries and watched as the vote count ticked up to 32-16. The House took up the bill shortly thereafter and passed it off the House floor by a vote of 70-24. Cheers broke out in the hallway outside the gallery after the bill finally passed!
The final bill does not include the two bad amendments – no 8-hour shift limits and no exclusion of Critical Access Hospitals. The bill codifies uninterrupted breaks and says that mandatory prescheduled on-call may not be used in lieu of scheduling employees to work regularly scheduled shifts. Unprecedented member engagement pushed this bill across the finish line after ten years of advocacy. Thank you for your phone calls, emails, letters and for showing up in Olympia to get this done!
Workplace violence prevention bill passes. Our workplace violence bill SHB 1931 also passed this session. It is rare for a bill to be introduced and passed in the same session, but legislators really heard your experiences with workplace violence and were moved to act quickly. Thank you for sharing your experiences in emails, postcards, at WSNA Lobby Day, and in Nurses Speak events around the state last fall.
Surprise Billing bill passes. After a number of years of work on a bill to take patients out of the middle of surprise billing, this session the legislature finally passed this law. WSNA has supported this bill for the last three sessions as a good consumer/patient protection bill, testifying in committee about its importance on numerous occasions. This session, HB 1065 passed both chambers unanimously and will be delivered to the Governor to be signed into law.
New online staffing complaint form
This new online staffing complaint/ADO form has been developed by a collation that included WSNA, SEIU, UFCW and WSHA representatives.
Completing the form serves many purposes, including data tracking, bring issues to light, supportive documentation and discussion tool to make things better. It is not punitive.
This form is to be completed if:
· The unit is not staffed according to its staffing plan or if mid-shift staffing adjustments are inadequate (in order to know if your unit is not staffed according to its staffing plan, you must first know what the staffing plan for you unit is. Staffing plans, including nursing and unlicensed staff, are required to be posted on every unit)
· Missed breaks or earned time denied
· In the event of equipment issues or system failure
If you have reason to complete this form, you first should speak with your manager or charge nurse for that shift in order to try to resolve the concern as quickly as possible. When you complete the online form, you are encouraged to include your manager’s name and email.
What happens when I submit the form?
1. A copy of the submitted form immediately goes to you, the WSNA chair and co-chair, WSNA Rep, staffing committee co-chairs and your manager, provided you have entered his or her email.
2. The Nurse Staffing Committee will review the complaint at their next meeting if it is a staffing concern.
3. The Nurse Conference Committee will review the complaint at their next meeting if it is of other concern.
Find the staffing complaint form at wsna.org/ado on your computer or phone.
Questions? Contact your WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James, email@example.com.
Mandatory standby/call is a huge dissatisfier. The WSNA officers discussed this issue at length at nurse conference committee, and Overlake agreed to remove the requirement to sign up for mandatory standby shifts in L&D. On March 24, Peggy and Overlake administration instituted voluntary sign-up for standby shifts. As such, if nurses do not sign up for voluntary shifts, the previous mandatory sign up requirement for standby might be reinstated.
Please consider signing up for voluntary standby.
Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James at 206-575-7979, ext. 3004 or SJames@wsna.org
Not getting all of your breaks? Working short staffed or staying late? Feel like you are taking an unsafe patient assignment? Denied earned PTO?
Yes, there is something you can do about this. Fill out a Staffing Complaint / Assignment Despite Objection form today.
- Nurses are standing together for safe staffing and completing a Staffing Complaint/ADO form is the first step.
- These forms can help make things better NOW and can help gather needed data as we prepare for contract negotiations.
- This new online form can be accessed through your phone making it simple and quick.
- Copies of the submitted online form will automatically be sent to you, your local unit chair, co/vice chair, staffing committee co-chairs, WSNA nurse rep and manager (if you designate).
You can find the online form at wsna.org/ADO. For any questions, your nurse representative is here to help. Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James, BSN, RN at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3004.
Your WSNA local unit officers want to discuss these issues with you. Attend a drop-in meeting to voice your concerns.
WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James and WSNA Resource Nurse Specialist Hanna Welander will also be in attendance.
Location: Insight Conference Room, PACCAR
Date: Jan. 11, 2019
Times: 6-8 a.m. and 5-8 p.m.
Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James at email@example.com or a local unit officer.
Introducing the new WSNA nurse representative, Sydne James, BSN, RN
I have been an RN since 2008. My background is in Step Down, outpatient dialysis and hospice and palliative care. I started at WSNA as a nurse organizer and love being an advocate for nurses. I am excited to represent the nurses at Overlake and look forward to hearing from each and every one of you as to what your work issues are and your ideas of how things could be better. I am also excited to speak to nurses who are interested in learning more about WSNA at Overlake and who may want to get involved. There are many ways to participate and contribute and grow the nurses’ power at Overlake. This is how nurses will get the best contract in 2020.
Contact info: 206-575-7979, ext. 3004 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James in the hospital cafeteria the last Wednesday of every month from noon-2 p.m. It’s a great opportunity for me to hear from you on issues and concerns.
Some union history
Nurses at Overlake formed a union and got their first contract more than 38 years ago. They wanted to have a voice in things related to their wages, hours and working conditions. They wanted shift differential. They wanted to earn seniority, a guarantee of overtime pay and sick leave. They wanted a guarantee of medical insurance benefits.
Since that contract was signed in 1980, nurses have gained a lot more benefits and continue to make gains every time the contract is negotiated. Those gains are not a gift from the employer. They are hard fought and only achieved by the majority of members standing together and showing unwavering support for the nurse negotiation team. If you wonder why the contract isn’t better, why the nurses don’t get all the proposals they ask for, ask yourself what you have done to help. The nurse negotiation team is only as strong as the union membership at Overlake.
Get involved with WSNA at Overlake
We have vacancies in the union leadership at Overlake. We’re asking for officer nominations.
Secretary – Duties of secretary include unit rep responsibilities, participating in contract negotiations, and performing secretarial duties at monthly conference committee meetings with management.
Treasurer – Duties of the treasurer include unit rep responsibilities, participating in contract negotiations and attending monthly conference committee meetings with management.
Grievance officer (multiple) – The grievance officer is trained as a liaison between the union nurses and WSNA to advise and assist in WSNA’s dealing with the employer concerning contract issues and grievances.
We encourage self-nominations and nominations of others. To nominate yourself or someone else, notify one of the WSNA officers at Overlake or WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James at email@example.com or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3004. Please include the nurse name, unit and the position.
All nominees must be members in good standing and must agree to be on the ballot. Ballots will be mailed in January or February 2019.
There are other ways to get involved besides running for a union leadership position. We are seeking multiple unit representatives for most units, membership officers (training provided), folks to manage an Overlake RN Facebook group, volunteers to sit on a committee (staffing, contract negotiations, safety or conference committees), volunteers to help write newsletters, etc. For more information on union activism, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James.
Why be active in WSNA? WSNA at Overlake is a grassroots union led by members. The nurses negotiate our own contracts and we are empowered to be leaders, serve on committees and participate in labor-management problem solving.
We would not have a contract if we did not have a union. Our union contract empowers us to act on important issues like safe staffing, ending mandatory overtime, addressing safety issues and receiving appropriate training.
What’s at stake is our patients’ quality of care, as well as our pay and our working conditions. Our patients will never say to us, “Nurse, I need you to be an active member of your union so that I get the care I deserve.” But it is the strength of our union that affects our patients’ care and their future.
If you are not yet a member, join today at wsna.org/membership.
Contract spotlight on certification pay
1) Are you receiving your rightful certification pay?
Article 5.12 Certification (abbreviated)
Registered nurses will be eligible to receive a nursing certification premium under this Agreement as follows:
- A list of approved certification programs will be available on the intranet and kept in the Staffing Office.
- The Hospital will determine if the certification in question is directly relevant to that individual nurse's practice setting or area of employment.
- The nurse must document to the Hospital's satisfaction certification achievement and maintenance.
- Only one (1) certification premium rate can be credited per nurse, regardless of other certifications a nurse may have.
Do you have a certification that is not currently on the list of approved certification programs and want it to be added? According to the contract, new certification programs may be considered for addition to the list. Please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James to speak more about this.
2) Did you know that you are eligible to receive a certification stipend for continuing education and certification (or recertification) exam costs?
This certification stipend is limited to a maximum of $325 annually for full- and part-time RNs and $175 annually for on-call RNs who meet the minimum work requirements. Read more about this in article 12.6 of the contract.
Current list of approved RN Specialty Certifications:
CCRN, PCCN, CNRN, SCRN, CPAN, RN-BC, AFN-BC, NE-C, CPSN, CEN, CGRN, CGN, CPTC, CEPS, IBCLC, CRNI, CMSRN, CDE, CPN, CNOR, CRNFA, RNC, C-EFM, ONC, CRRN, CWOCN, CWCN, COCN, CCCN, CWON
If you have a specialty certification that is not on this list and you would like it to be considered as an approved certification for specialty pay, contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James.
When does a problem become a grievance? Problems are grievances when they relate to a provision of the collective bargaining agreement (contract). A formal grievance filed by a nurse (or by WSNA on behalf of a nurse) must refer to the article or section of the contract that has been violated.
WSNA will always work with the employer to settle problems or contract violations at the lowest level. This often means we can avoid filing a grievance. Let’s consider a recent issue at Overlake.
Per the contract, the schedule for Thanksgiving week through Jan. 2 shall be posted by June 30. This was a win by nurses during the last contract negotiations to allow nurses to better plan for the holidays. In one unit at Overlake, a manager altered this schedule after June 30, after some nurses had already made travel plans. The manager indicated that the schedule posted on June 30 was merely a draft. A nurse spoke to her unit rep about this. The unit rep consulted the contract, then she and the nurse who brought it to the unit rep’s attention met with the manager who agreed to go back to the original schedule.
Easy, right? In this instance, it was easy. Other times, it’s not so easy, as the employer and the union disagree on the contract language or that a contract violation has occurred. At such times, a grievance may be filed. But the first step in settling a problem is always the same, nurses take note that that a someone is not following the contract and speak up about it. Nurses at Overlake are all stewards of the contract. Membership in WSNA includes a responsibility to protect and enforce the contract.
Upcoming WSNA events
Mark your calendars for upcoming WSNA events that may interest you. Find out more about all these events (including how to register), click on the Calendar tab in the top menu banner.
Jan. 28, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. is Advocacy Camp. The goal of WSNA’s 2019 Advocacy Camp is to educate nurses, nursing faculty and nursing students about the legislative process and about how to effectively advocate for nurses and patients when meeting with legislators. This year’s event will take place at the Red Lion Hotel in Tumwater.
Feb. 28, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. is Nurse Lobby Day. The goal of WSNA’s Lobby Day is to advance our legislative priorities that support nurses and patient safety. This event will include a morning briefing session to help participants get up-to-speed on key issues before the legislature. Time will also be spent role-playing to prepare for afternoon appointments with your legislators. After lunch, you will head up to the hill to attend meetings with your legislators. This is a great opportunity for nurses to talk with their lawmakers about key issues, such as the need for uninterrupted rest breaks, as well as funding for school nurses, nursing education faculty and public health.
May 1-3 is the Washington State Nurses Convention. This bi-annual convention is at Tulalip Casino. You have the opportunity to earn 24 CNE credits and members may get registration and hotel fees covered with local unit funds. If you are interested in taking advantage of this, contact any WSNA officer at Overlake as funds are limited.
Keep abreast of what’s happening with your union at Overlake by keeping up with this page.
Overlake RNs have been asked by the medical center to sign a “Second Meal Period Waiver Form.”
In our last contract negotiations, WSNA agreed with this plan and the form the hospital would use.
10.7 Meal/Rest Periods A nurse shall receive an unpaid meal period of one-half (1/2) hour when scheduled to work more than five (5) hours. Consistent with the Hospital's practice over the years, nurses electing to work twelve-hour shifts shall have the choice of working a twelve-hour that includes one or two unpaid meal period(s). Nurses electing to work a twelve-hour shift with one unpaid meal period must waive their right to a second unpaid meal period on a form provided by the Hospital…
All RNs are required to make your selection and sign the form. If you sign to waive your second unpaid meal period, you can occasionally take your second meal period on a particular day by 1) notifying your supervisor to ensure adequate coverage; 2) code in timekeeping system that you took a second unpaid meal period. You can also revoke your waiver at any time. If you do, you will then work a total of 13 hours (for a 12-hour shift) and receive two 30-minute unpaid meal periods.
If you have any questions about this, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James at SJames@wsna.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3004.
I want to welcome WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James. She will be taking over all incoming, new issues. I will finish up any outstanding matters to their conclusion and assist Sydne to make this transition seamless for you. Sydne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3004.
I also want to welcome WSNA Organizer Ione Fullerton. Ione will be rounding on all of the units, just like WSNA Nurse Organizer Tara Barnes did previously. Ione is assigned to Overlake full-time. If you see her, please be sure to say hello. Ione can be reached at email@example.com or at 206-575-7979, ext. 3060.
It has been a pleasure working with all of the Overlake RNs for the past several months. I have recently accepted a position as WSNA Resource Nurse Specialist. In this position, I will work with all of the nurse representatives, providing resources and support in all of our Local Units, including Overlake.
All my best to you,
WSNA Resource Nurse Specialist
206-575-7979, ext. 3035
It came to the attention of your WSNA local unit officers, WSNA nurse representative and OHMC management that a modification was needed regarding the nurse residency agreement. For 12-hour residents, the only option was to work 0.9 FTE. For 8-hour nurses, the minimum FTE was 0.8. To make this equitable, the residency agreement was modified by a mutually agreed side letter. Going forward from July 1, 2018, the minimum requirement for 12-hour nurse residents will be to work a minimum of 0.75 FTE.
To view this side letter, please go to the Contracts & Documents tab.
If you have any questions, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at (206) 575-7979, ext. 3035 or firstname.lastname@example.org.