Your WSNA Local Unit Chair Edna Cortez and Nurse Rep Sara Frey are in active discussions with Seattle Children’s about the COVID crisis and its impact on nurses. Our primary concerns are the protections of nurses’ safety and livelihoods during this crisis. Currently, we are engaging in a 30-minute phone call with your CNO and HR every Tuesday and Friday to discuss what is going on and to share concerns about issues we are hearing.
Low Census / No Pays – To date, the hospital has refused to engage with WSNA on the MOU we were seeking which in part, would provide other work or administrative pay if there is no other work. This is very disappointing. Please review this information for state benefits that you might be eligible for and apply as soon as possible as we anticipate that many workers around the state will be in the same position. It will likely take some time to process claims. If you have questions about the various state benefits, you should ask the state for assistance in determining what you are eligible for.
Travel and quarantine – WSNA is aware that a number of nurses were forced to stay home after travel to foreign countries that were not identified as level 3 category by the CDC. Nurses were also forced to draw from their leave banks. Children’s has confirmed they are not willing to pay nurses administrative leave related to this directive. WSNA filed a grievance on March 24, 2020 on your behalf. If you were affected by this mandate and have not done so already, please contact your nurse rep and provide the dates you missed shifts.
Exposure to communicable disease – Were you forced to stay home as a result of a potential exposure in the workplace? The hospital is refusing to abide by the contract language in 13.16 which provides for administrative pay when the hospital “does not permit [a nurse] to work due to exposure to communicable disease while performing their job at the Employer’s facilities.” WSNA has filed a grievance on March 24, 2020 for those affected. If you have been affected by this, please email your nurse rep with the dates you were required to stay home.
Screening lines – We continue to hear concerns about the length of the screening lines and lack of social distancing as nurses report to work. Please note, time spent in these lines must be paid. Please edit your time card to account for any required time spent in a line. If the hospital refuses to pay, please contact your nurse rep ASAP.
Child Care Available for Health Care Workers — WSNA continues to work with state and local government leaders on providing child care to health care providers during this declared emergency.
Thank you to those of you who completed WSNA’s child care survey – we have shared results with the Governor’s Office, King County Executive’s Office, and Seattle Mayor’s Office. Having direct information about your child care needs helps inform everyone working together to find solutions.
Child care for health care workers is available through a network of providers being coordinated by Seattle Public Schools. Available slots are currently full, although the Office of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has told WSNA that more slots will be opening later this week – they encourage you to get on the waiting list now if you might want to take advantage of this option. While these child care options currently require payment by individual families, the Mayor’s Office is working on potential funding options so this child care may be subsidized at some point in the near future. We will keep you informed of progress on those efforts.
Please let us know what you are experiencing, what you need us to know and how we can help you get through this increasingly challenging pandemic.
In Solidarity, Your local unit officers Edna Cortez, Diane Gates, Doris Taylor, Samantha Forte, Amy Sorensen, Lindsey Kirsch, Maria Sixto, Nancy Wilder, Kara Yates Sara Frey JDBSNRN – 206.575.7979 ext. 3039
If you find yourself in a situation that you believe creates unsafe conditions for patients or for you, you should complete a Staffing Complaint / ADO Form as soon as possible.
By completing the form, you will help make the problem known to management, creating an opportunity for the problem to be addressed. Additionally, you will be documenting the facts, which may be helpful to you later if there is a negative outcome.
WSNA also uses your ADO forms to track the problems occurring in your facility. When you and your coworkers take the important step of filling out an ADO form, you are helping to identify whether there is a pattern of unsafe conditions for you or your patients at your facilities. This information is used by your conference committee, staffing committee, and WSNA labor staff to improve your working conditions.
If called into a meeting with management, read the following to management when the meeting begins:
If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, I respectfully request that my union representative be present at this meeting. Without representation present, I choose not to participate in this discussion.