Your officers and WSNA nurse repre­sen­ta­tive met with manage­ment late after­noon on April 23. We demanded to bargain with them. They had a 5 p.m. deadline to get all the names of the partic­i­pants to ESD (Employ­ment Security Depart­ment) by 5 p.m. in order for people to start getting paid by ESD starting Monday. Again, things have happened fast and WSNA was forced to make a decision. Either they negotiate the terms in an MOU or they give us 30 days’ notice for layoffs. We were able to negotiate the terms and still believe this was the best outcome for our members.

We were able to get a commit­ment to the process of selecting partic­i­pants. They agreed to do their best to give nurses 24 hours’ notice if they are needed to work. With this program, partic­i­pants do not have to be looking for work, which is one of the condi­tions of unemploy­ment. Attached to that is the require­ment that you work when you are asked to work. If you are sick, you can’t come in and there would be no conse­quences but if you say no for any other reason, unemploy­ment will drop you. Julie McAlister and Tracey Kasnic under­stand that you have lives out side of work. For that reason, they committed to doing their best to give at least 24 hour notice. Is there ever going to be a time when that doesn’t happen? Probably, but it should be the excep­tion to the rule. We want to know if that starts happening and with what frequency, we want to track it in some way. Are there going to be days when they have 3 sick calls on a unit and need help? Yes, and when that happens the partic­i­pating nurses will be asked to come in. They have committed to calling in the most senior nurses first then in rotation by seniority.

PPE Update

Your local unit officers and nurse repre­sen­ta­tive meet via confer­ence call every Monday. In the most recent meeting on April 27, manage­ment presented us with a power point presen­ta­tion that we would like to share with you. 

A message from your Local Unit Chair and Co-Chair


To Our Members,

Your union officers met with hospital leader­ship on April 27th to discuss the imple­men­ta­tion and logis­tics of the Shared Work Program and the organi­za­tions response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming days, you should be receiving a presen­ta­tion summa­rizing how Conflu­ence Health has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, both inside our facil­i­ties, and outside, in the commu­nity; it will also explain the sources used to develop and guide PPE and isola­tion policy and practice. 

We used our time with hospital leader­ship to seek answers to many of the questions we have received from nurses who are being affected by the shared work program. HR agreed to put together an FAQ avail­able on pulse to help answer questions regarding the program and how it may affect you. We, along with HR, strongly encourage you to read and review the infor­ma­tion provided to you regarding the program, and the infor­ma­tion avail­able on the Shared Work Program website, which can be found here. Most questions ought to be answered by reviewing those resources. Below are the questions asked today, and the answers received:

Q: Can I submit questions to HR regarding the Shared Work Program?

A: Yes, you are able to do so.

Q: Are those who are partic­i­pating in the shared work program able to use PTO?

A: PTO is able to be used for any low census. This program does not change low census.

Q: Will full/​part time nurses who are in the program receive low census to allow pool employees to work?

A: No, the Shared Work Program does not change the rules of low census as defined by our contract.

Q: Will my retire­ment contri­bu­tions and matching remain the same?

A: No. You are only able to receive retire­ment matching based on money earned from Conflu­ence Health. Compen­sa­tion from unemploy­ment benefits does not count towards retire­ment contri­bu­tions or matching. To better under­stand how retire­ment contri­bu­tions are calcu­lated, and to learn how to maximize retire­ment savings during this time, we encourage you to review the summary plan descrip­tion for our retire­ment plan, avail­able on Pulse.

Q: I am a pool employee. Will I receive low census so that nurses from other floors can work?

A: Skills and abili­ties are still taken into consid­er­a­tion when consid­ering floating and deciding on low census. If you believe you have received low census inappro­pri­ately, we encourage you to seek correc­tion of the issue with your manager. If that does not lead to resolu­tion, please reach out to us. These are unprece­dented times, and there are many new wrinkles surrounding low census, which increase the likeli­hood of errors occur­ring with low census.

Q: If I am partic­i­pating in the Shared Work Program, will a nurse from another floor that is not partic­i­pating in the shared work program be floated to fill a need in my unit before I am called to work?

A: The answer to that question depends on the skill of the nurse who may be floated. If the nurse to be floated has the skills and abili­ties to fill the need, then yes, that nurse will be floated to fill the need. If the nurse does not have the skills and abili­ties, then nurses partic­i­pating in the Shared Work Program will be contacted, on a seniority based rotation to fill the need. This practice allows the nurse from the unit not partic­i­pating in the program to remain whole” — i.e, not having to use PTO to fulfill their FTE. The Shared Work Program keeps the partic­i­pants whole” by compen­sating them with unemploy­ment benefits.

Q: Was seniority taken into account when choosing nurses to partic­i­pate in the shared work program?

A: Yes, however, you may notice that in some instances, a nurse with lower seniority is not on the program, versus another nurse with more seniority who was placed on the program. This is due to manage­ment not wanting to force” nurses from day shift onto night shift.

Q: Once in the program, can you opt out?

A: no

Q: If you are not in the program, can you volun­teer later to do it if your unit is doing it?

A: Yes

Thank you for your time reading this. Please, continue to reach out to us with issues and concerns. The more we know the more we can advocate for you!

In Solidarity,

Crystal Clabaugh & Nick Jackson

WSNA Chair & Co-Chair

If you have any questions, feel free to contact one of your officers or your WSNA nurse repre­sen­ta­tive, Carmen Garrison at cgarrison@wsna.org.