We held our eleventh negoti­a­tion session on Wednesday, Nov. 14. We reached several tenta­tive agree­ments in an attempt to move these negoti­a­tions forward, but manage­ment has not funda­men­tally changed their positions on issues Skagit nurses care about.

Staffing: #

In our previous session, we talked about specific solutions to staffing issues related to Resource Nurses, ED Triage Nurses and IV Therapy.

During negoti­a­tions on Nov. 14, manage­ment replied by saying they do not find evidence that a need exists for our proposed solutions.

Instead, they proposed supplying WSNA with infor­ma­tion, including infor­ma­tion related to short staffing, missed breaks, overtime, etc. on a monthly basis for review in Nurse Confer­ence Committee. The infor­ma­tion they propose supplying is infor­ma­tion WSNA is already entitled to receive. Management’s plan to review these issues in Confer­ence Committee is NOT a substi­tute for bargaining real, substan­tive changes to the contract that will help improve safe patient care and alleviate staffing short­ages – including the three items we proposed previ­ously. Nurse Confer­ence Committee is an advisory committee only, meaning WSNA is not able to bargain issues that are brought to the committee. And, Confer­ence Committee has not met since early spring 2018. We want our very real safe staffing issues addressed at the table, NOW.

Layoff: #

We had a lengthy discus­sion with manage­ment about their layoff and restruc­ture proposals. Manage­ment continues insisting on reducing nurses’ options and protec­tions in the event of a layoff. Under this proposal, manage­ment would have the ability to change nurses’ FTEs, shifts and hours with far fewer options than nurses have now.

WAGES/​Reopeners: #

Manage­ment brought a package proposal to the table that does not tie wages to quality metric scores and proposes that your wages would not be reduced if the contract is reopened. BUT – the package continues to contain contract reopeners to your health­care and retire­ment benefits. Manage­ment isn’t willing to guarantee that those benefits will not be reduced if the contract were to be reopened. Even if your wages are maintained, you would still be making less money if you are paying more for health­care and having less money going toward your retirement. 

Next steps #

Thank you to everyone who sent messages to Skagit’s negoti­ating team by signing Signs of Solidarity.” We displayed your messages/​posters on the walls of the room where we held negoti­a­tions. It was a boost for us seeing your messages of support and it was good for manage­ment to be reminded that the negoti­ating team repre­sents all of you — the bargaining unit!

STAY TUNED for more infor­ma­tion on how you can make your voice heard on our impor­tant issues in negotiations!

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA Negoti­a­tion Team: Peter Moore (MPC), Alyssa Stirpe (Stanwood), Randi Dykstra (Case Manage­ment), Rachel Yates (MPC), Liz Rainaud (FBC), Alice Riddle (IV Therapy) and Jessica Knutzen (Float Pool)

Contact WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive Sue O’Don­nell at sodonnell@wsna.org for any questions.