Andrew Meeks

Andrew Meeks

Meet your WSNA member­ship officer

Hello! I’m so excited to intro­duce myself. My name is Andrew Meeks and I am the new member­ship officer for WSNA at Overlake. I’ve been a nurse since 2014 and I’ve worked here on South‑4 since 2016. When I’m not at work, I enjoy gardening, taking my dog to the park, and exploring new parts of Seattle. I support our union because I believe that we, the people who deliver care, should have a hand in shaping the organi­za­tion we serve.

Nurses Week, May 6 – 12

WSNA is celebrating Overlake members during Nurses Week. Find WSNA officers and staff handing out treats and WSNA swag in the cafeteria (dates and times to be announced) and rounding the units during night shift.

All members will be automat­i­cally entered to win a $150 gift card.

There is a second $150 gift card drawing for all new members! If you have become a new member of WSNA in 2019 or if you join now, you will be entered to win.

If you are not currently a member, now is a great time to join. To learn more about WSNA or to join, contact any WSNA officer. Visit www​.wsna​.org for more infor­ma­tion about WSNA and for an appli­ca­tion. Appli­ca­tions will also be avail­able onsite during Nurses Week.

Contract Spotlight – Unpaid Personal Leave Time

Have you ever wanted to go on vacation but do not have suffi­cient PTO to cover all of your days off? If that happens to you, do not despair.

The CBA (Contract Bargaining Agree­ment) for Overlake nurses includes a provi­sion that allow for up to three days of unpaid leave. To under­stand this provi­sion, you need to read Articles 13.3 and 16.8.

Article 13.3 states, in part, that sched­uled time off will not be granted if the employee does not have suffi­cient time to cover the entire absence with accrued PTO; however, up to three unpaid days may be used under Section 16.8 to cover the sched­uled absence.

Article 16.8 states that all full-time and part-time nurses shall be granted a minimum of three days of personal leave per year without pay upon request; provided in the opinion of the Hospital such leave does not jeopar­dize service at the Hospital.

Find this provi­sion and a lot more by reading your contract. You can find it on the WSNA Overlake web page, at wsna​.org/union. Select Overlake from the list of facil­i­ties, then click Contracts and Documents.

Ingrid Anderson

Ingrid Anderson

WSNA Spotlight Member Activist

My name is Ingrid Anderson and I have worked at Overlake hospital for nearly 12 years. I worked in the Emergency Depart­ment for 11 years and now primarily work in Behav­ioral Health. I occasion­ally work in the ED, but when I do it is primarily to do a sexual assault exam, as I am on the SANE team. I have recently become a WSNA unit repre­sen­ta­tive for BHU. However, if anyone in the hospital ever needs help, you are more than welcome to reach out to me.

I am currently working on becoming a Psychi­atric Nurse Practi­tioner through a distance program with Gonzaga. In addition, I serve on the WSNA PAC Board of Trustees as the Vice Chair. We on the PAC Board are all volun­teer nurses who work at advancing legis­la­tion that impacts patient care and nursing. All of this is done from volun­tary PAC donations and is not from your union dues.

I have had the privi­lege to give testi­mony the last two years in a row in Olympia to advocate for the rest break bill that has just passed. I have traveled to Olympia to speak to Senators and other legisla­tive repre­sen­ta­tives many times over the last several years to educate them on the impor­tance of this legis­la­tion. I was lucky enough to be in Olympia in the Senate gallery when this bill finally passed! In addition to this I love the PNW, hiking, reading, exploring nature with my family and camping! I also do a lot of commu­nity outreach and volun­teer work. If you ever see me in the hall don’t hesitate to stop and say hello or ask a question!

If you are curious about nurse advocacy, I encourage you to check out #BeyondThe­Cards (Wa Nurse Power) on FB through WSNA or check out the WSNA page for infor­ma­tion about educa­tion, CEs, and legisla­tive goals. WSNA is your union and your profes­sional organization.

Nurses United, Will Never Be Divided!

WSNA confer­ence committee. What is it and what is on the agenda?

Nurses often feel isolated to their own units and have no idea what is going on in other units. Article 17.1 of the CBA relates to confer­ence committee. This article reads, in part:

The Committee will function as a vehicle for the Hospital and nursing staff working in a collab­o­ra­tive and advisory capacity, to identify and/​or react to contract related problems and to promote positive change in an expedi­tious manner by both inter­ven­tion in selected issues and through recom­men­da­tions made to Nursing Administration.

You will also find confer­ence committee refer­enced at many other places in your contract. Pull up the contract, search the word confer­ence” to learn more.

What is discussed at confer­ence committee? For several months now, Labor & Delivery has been on the agenda due to ongoing issues there. For one, this unit is chron­i­cally short-staffed. Nurses have been experi­encing manda­tory overtime, working short-staffed, missed breaks, and manda­tory call shifts (referred to as manda­tory standby in this unit).

Wait. Isn’t manda­tory OT illegal? It depends. WSNA has asked for records kept in regards to these instances of manda­tory overtime but Overlake did not produce accurate data. Nurses were not ok with this and exercised their right to file complaints with Labor & Indus­tries. L & I has since opened an inves­ti­ga­tion into reported instances of manda­tory OT for these nurses.

As for the manda­tory call/​standby, this was a huge dissat­is­fier, as one can imagine. This is not in the job descrip­tion and nurses report they were not informed of this require­ment when accepting the position at Overlake. These L&D nurses spoke up via emails and one attended a confer­ence committee meeting to speak on behalf of all the nurses about the ongoing staffing issues. One result of their activism is that L&D has backed off of the manda­tory call/​standby shifts and it is currently voluntary.

Do you have issues in your unit? Do you have ideas for solutions? Speak to any Overlake officer or our WSNA nurse rep, Sydne James, because it might be able to be resolved amicably with Overlake admin­is­tra­tion at confer­ence committee. If you don’t do anything, nothing will change.

WSNA policy prior­i­ties in Olympia – two major victories

In an extremely rare occur­rence, this year we had positive outcomes on every WSNA policy priority – in no small part due to your engage­ment and advocacy.

Breaks & Overtime Protec­tions bill passes. More than 300 nurses and hospital techs were in Olympia on April 24 to rally support for our breaks and overtime protec­tions bill, SHB 1155. They joined Governor Inslee on the capitol steps where the Governor asked the legis­la­ture to send him a clean bill to sign. That after­noon, nurses and techs crowded the Senate galleries and watched as the vote count ticked up to 32 – 16. The House took up the bill shortly there­after and passed it off the House floor by a vote of 70 – 24. Cheers broke out in the hallway outside the gallery after the bill finally passed!

The final bill does not include the two bad amend­ments – no 8‑hour shift limits and no exclu­sion of Critical Access Hospi­tals. The bill codifies uninter­rupted breaks and says that manda­tory presched­uled on-call may not be used in lieu of sched­uling employees to work regularly sched­uled shifts. Unprece­dented member engage­ment pushed this bill across the finish line after ten years of advocacy. Thank you for your phone calls, emails, letters and for showing up in Olympia to get this done!

Workplace violence preven­tion bill passes. Our workplace violence bill SHB 1931 also passed this session. It is rare for a bill to be intro­duced and passed in the same session, but legis­la­tors really heard your experi­ences with workplace violence and were moved to act quickly. Thank you for sharing your experi­ences in emails, postcards, at WSNA Lobby Day, and in Nurses Speak events around the state last fall.

Surprise Billing bill passes. After a number of years of work on a bill to take patients out of the middle of surprise billing, this session the legis­la­ture finally passed this law. WSNA has supported this bill for the last three sessions as a good consumer/​patient protec­tion bill, testi­fying in committee about its impor­tance on numerous occasions. This session, HB 1065 passed both chambers unani­mously and will be deliv­ered to the Governor to be signed into law.

New online staffing complaint form

This new online staffing complaint/​ADO form has been devel­oped by a colla­tion that included WSNA, SEIU, UFCW and WSHA representatives.

Completing the form serves many purposes, including data tracking, bring issues to light, supportive documen­ta­tion and discus­sion tool to make things better. It is not punitive.

This form is to be completed if:

· The unit is not staffed according to its staffing plan or if mid-shift staffing adjust­ments are inade­quate (in order to know if your unit is not staffed according to its staffing plan, you must first know what the staffing plan for you unit is. Staffing plans, including nursing and unlicensed staff, are required to be posted on every unit)

· Missed breaks or earned time denied

· In the event of equip­ment issues or system failure

If you have reason to complete this form, you first should speak with your manager or charge nurse for that shift in order to try to resolve the concern as quickly as possible. When you complete the online form, you are encour­aged to include your manager’s name and email.

What happens when I submit the form?

1. A copy of the submitted form immedi­ately goes to you, the WSNA chair and co-chair, WSNA Rep, staffing committee co-chairs and your manager, provided you have entered his or her email.

2. The Nurse Staffing Committee will review the complaint at their next meeting if it is a staffing concern.

3. The Nurse Confer­ence Committee will review the complaint at their next meeting if it is of other concern.

Find the staffing complaint form at wsna​.org/ado on your computer or phone.

Questions? Contact your WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James, sjames@wsna.org.