Introducing the new WSNA nurse representative for SCH RNs, Sydne James, BSN RN #

I have been an RN since 2008. My clinical nursing was in Step Down, outpa­tient dialysis and hospice. I started working at WSNA as a nurse organizer and became a nurse rep in 2018. I love being an advocate for nurses and am excited to repre­sent the nurses at SCH. I 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 SCH and who may want to get involved. There are many ways to partic­i­pate and contribute and grow the nurses’ power at SCH.

We are looking for unit repre­sen­ta­tives. These are the go to” WSNA nurses on each unit and training will be provided. The more unit reps we have, the stronger our union. If you want to be a unit rep or want more infor­ma­tion, contact WSNA officers Edna Cortez, or Kara Yates,

COVID at SCH impacts WSNA RNs #

We have been asked by some RNs if changes at SCH are allowed within the provi­sions of your CBA.
Your retire­ment 401(a) plan – The employer has announced that from August 28, 2020 — Feb 8, 2021 the employer discre­tionary contri­bu­tion will be zero. The employer will continue to match 25% of your contri­bu­tion up to a maximum of one percent on your contri­bu­tion of four percent. This is allowed per your CBA.

Manda­tory furlough – The employer has insti­tuted a manda­tory projected low census program, also known as the manda­tory furlough in SCH commu­ni­ca­tions. This program is in effect now through Feb 28, 2021. 1.0 FTE hourly employees must take at least 40 hours (pro-rated by FTE) of projected low census. Time on standby unemploy­ment during this time will count toward the required hours. This is allowed per your CBA, article 6.7.

WSNA has many concerns with this program and asked SCH many questions. It is too many to list them all here. If your questions about this program are not suffi­ciently answered by your manager or HR, please contact any officer or the nurse rep. We have learned that SCH will count volun­tary leave taken since June toward the required hours. We have also learned that as long as the nurse codes the time off as low census, the time will be counted toward no pay hours.

Child­care center closure – The employer has announced closure of the child­care center in June 2021. This is devas­tating news to nurses, MDs and other SCH workers. Because this is not addressed in your CBA, it is at the discre­tion of the employer and they are allowed to do so. This does not mean that employees must simply accept this and cross their fingers that they will find alter­na­tive arrange­ments by next year. Stay tuned for more infor­ma­tion on this topic as to how you can make your voice heard to maintain this vital resource for your family, or that of your coworkers if you do not yourself use this service.

Who do I contact about this? 

Concern Contact

contract questionWSNA officer first, then WSNA Nurse Rep
manager not following the contractShow relevant article to your manager. Ask a unit rep or officer to join you in the discus­sion for support. If the manager disagrees or you are uncom­fort­able speaking to your manager about this, contact any WSNA officer.
issues on my unitSpeak to your unit rep about this or contact a WSNA officer to deter­mine if this is an appro­priate topic for the nurse confer­ence committee meeting.
hospital policyUnit rep or any WSNA officer
manager wants a meetingContact a griev­ance officer or the WSNA nurse rep for repre­sen­ta­tion. It is the employee’s respon­si­bility to ask about repre­sen­ta­tion. Do not ask your manager if you need a rep. They will say No.” Instead, ask your manager if anything said in this meeting could lead to disci­pline or discharge or changes to your wages, hours or working condi­tions. If the manager says anything except, No” you should tell the manager you want union repre­sen­ta­tion for the meeting.
getting involved in WSNAContact a WSNA officer if you want to get involved at SCH or the WSNA nurse rep if you want to get involved with WSNA on another level.
timeline questionNurses have 21 days to file a griev­ance for any contract viola­tion. It is your respon­si­bility to speak up in a timely manner. Contact the WSNA nurse rep for more information.
disci­pline or dischargeWSNA nurse representative
rights and benefits questionany WSNA officer or WSNA nurse representative
Who are the officers and what is the latest news for SCH RNs?You can find a current listing of officers, the WNSA nurse rep contact info, and the latest news on the WSNA SCH web page: wsna​.org/​u​n​i​o​n​/​s​e​a​t​t​l​e​-​c​h​i​l​d​r​e​n​s-hospital


Grievance Corner #

When does a problem become a griev­ance? Problems are griev­ances when they relate to a provi­sion of the CBA, or collec­tive bargaining agree­ment (contract). A formal griev­ance filed by WSNA on behalf of a nurse must refer to the article(s) of the contract that has been violated.

WSNA will always work with the employer to settle issues at the lowest level, which often means avoiding filing a griev­ance. This is preferred, as it is quicker than the griev­ance process, and the nurse often has more control in the outcome. Sometimes this is not possible and so the associ­a­tion files a griev­ance on behalf of the affected nurse(s). Currently we have several open griev­ances. Here are the details of one such griev­ance.

Associ­a­tion griev­ance for viola­tion of the COVID MOU (Memorandum of Under­standing: this griev­ance was not filed on behalf of any one nurse, but rather the Associ­a­tion. The union states that the employer violated the MOU by informing repre­sented RNs that they would lose benefits’ eligi­bility if a reduc­tion of hours caused a nurse to fall below a 0.6 FTE because of partic­i­pa­tion in the Shared­Work program or due to a tempo­rary standby unemploy­ment layoff.

Nothing in the MOU gives the employer the discre­tion to unilat­er­ally decide and declare that RNs who drop below a 0.6 FTE will no longer be eligible for Employer-paid health benefits. This is a change in working condi­tions and there­fore a manda­tory subject of bargaining. WSNA pointed this out to SCH and insisted that they cease and desist” saying this immedi­ately. Further, the union asked that the employer to send a correc­tion notifi­ca­tion to all bargaining unit RNs by July 8, 2020, notifying them of the continued benefits. Had they done so, WSNA would have withdrawn the griev­ance. They did not and we met with HR and SCH attorney on July 27 to argue the griev­ance. The employer has 14 days to respond.

WSNA Officers #

Co-Chair – Edna Cortez, PACU

Co-Chair – vacant

Secretary/​Treasurer – Lindsey Kirsch, Pediatric Trans­port Control

Griev­ance Officer – Diane Gates, PICU

Griev­ance Officer – Samantha Forte, Acute Care Float

Griev­ance Officer – Maria Sixto, Airlift Northwest

Griev­ance Officer – Doris Taylor, Gastroen­terology Clinic

Member­ship Officer – Kara Yates, Medical FA3

Staying informed #

WSNA updates specific for SCH RNs are always found on the WSNA SCH webpage, wsna​.org/​u​n​i​o​n​/​s​e​a​t​t​l​e​-​c​h​i​l​d​r​e​n​s-hospital. However, email is the best way to get prompt, up-to-date infor­ma­tion on the latest news and infor­ma­tion that affects you at work.

Do you have ideas for the WSNA SCH newsletter? Contact your WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James,