As we, your contract bargaining team, have moved forward with our fight to obtain a fair COVID-19 Memorandum of Agreement to protect nurses at Overlake, management has approached us about voluntary furloughs for staff facing too much low census. Management’s first request for furloughs left us with many questions about the impact on affected nurses. We wanted to be sure that nurses taking furloughs would have job protection and fair treatment. Our Nurse Representative Sydne James posed the following questions to management:
- To what position would a furloughed RN be assigned if called back during the furlough period?
- What ability would the furloughed RN who is called back in have to refuse an assignment?
- At the end of the furlough period, will the furloughed RNs be returned to their unit, position and FTE?
- Can a furloughed RN apply for any open position while on furlough and be considered for that position as if they were not on furlough (seniority applies)?
- Does seniority apply in granting furloughs if there are more nurses interested than availability allows for?
On Thursday, April 9, in negotiations management passed an otherwise unacceptable MOU which included language which answers some of our key questions on furlough and provides some key protections. This movement prompted us to move the furlough issue forward without waiting for an overall MOU. The same day, Christine Watts, WSNA’s Senior Labor Adviser, reached out to management to schedule a phone conference the following day to get complete answers to our questions and resolve the furlough issue without delay. That conference call will occur today, Monday, April 13.
Hold tight – We will report on our ability to move this issue forward. In the meantime, please review our last update to highlight key protections management still denies us.
Chris Birchem, East 3; Gemma Aranda, PACU; Brooke Dodd, South 4; Janet Moore-Lane, IPS; Pauline Whitney-Hille, IPS; Kathryn Geren, PACU; Cherise Horn, South 4; Sharon Sim, South 4; Magdalyn Chu, Emergency; Brenda Elliott, L&D; Jennifer Carney, South 3; Jesse Huang-Refuerzo, West 4
Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James, email@example.com