Introducing the new WSNA nurse representative, Sydne James, BSN, RN #
I have been an RN since 2008. My background is in Step Down, outpatient dialysis and hospice and palliative care. I started at WSNA as a nurse organizer and love being an advocate for nurses. I am excited to represent the nurses at Overlake and 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 Overlake and who may want to get involved. There are many ways to participate and contribute and grow the nurses’ power at Overlake. This is how nurses will get the best contract in 2020.
Contact info: 206 – 575-7979, ext. 3004 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cafeteria time #
Find WSNA Nurse Rep Sydne James in the hospital cafeteria the last Wednesday of every month from noon‑2 p.m. It’s a great opportunity for me to hear from you on issues and concerns.
Some union history #
Nurses at Overlake formed a union and got their first contract more than 38 years ago. They wanted to have a voice in things related to their wages, hours and working conditions. They wanted shift differential. They wanted to earn seniority, a guarantee of overtime pay and sick leave. They wanted a guarantee of medical insurance benefits.
Since that contract was signed in 1980, nurses have gained a lot more benefits and continue to make gains every time the contract is negotiated. Those gains are not a gift from the employer. They are hard fought and only achieved by the majority of members standing together and showing unwavering support for the nurse negotiation team. If you wonder why the contract isn’t better, why the nurses don’t get all the proposals they ask for, ask yourself what you have done to help. The nurse negotiation team is only as strong as the union membership at Overlake.
Get involved with WSNA at Overlake #
We have vacancies in the union leadership at Overlake. We’re asking for officer nominations.
Secretary – Duties of secretary include unit rep responsibilities, participating in contract negotiations, and performing secretarial duties at monthly conference committee meetings with management.
Treasurer – Duties of the treasurer include unit rep responsibilities, participating in contract negotiations and attending monthly conference committee meetings with management.
Grievance officer (multiple) – The grievance officer is trained as a liaison between the union nurses and WSNA to advise and assist in WSNA’s dealing with the employer concerning contract issues and grievances.
We encourage self-nominations and nominations of others. To nominate yourself or someone else, notify one of the WSNA officers at Overlake or WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James at email@example.com or at 206 – 575-7979, ext. 3004. Please include the nurse name, unit and the position.
All nominees must be members in good standing and must agree to be on the ballot. Ballots will be mailed in January or February 2019.
There are other ways to get involved besides running for a union leadership position. We are seeking multiple unit representatives for most units, membership officers (training provided), folks to manage an Overlake RN Facebook group, volunteers to sit on a committee (staffing, contract negotiations, safety or conference committees), volunteers to help write newsletters, etc. For more information on union activism, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James.
Membership matters #
Why be active in WSNA? WSNA at Overlake is a grassroots union led by members. The nurses negotiate our own contracts and we are empowered to be leaders, serve on committees and participate in labor-management problem solving.
We would not have a contract if we did not have a union. Our union contract empowers us to act on important issues like safe staffing, ending mandatory overtime, addressing safety issues and receiving appropriate training.
What’s at stake is our patients’ quality of care, as well as our pay and our working conditions. Our patients will never say to us, “Nurse, I need you to be an active member of your union so that I get the care I deserve.” But it is the strength of our union that affects our patients’ care and their future.
If you are not yet a member, join today at wsna.org/membership.
Contract spotlight on certification pay #
1) Are you receiving your rightful certification pay?
Article 5.12 Certification (abbreviated)
Registered nurses will be eligible to receive a nursing certification premium under this Agreement as follows:
- A list of approved certification programs will be available on the intranet and kept in the Staffing Office.
- The Hospital will determine if the certification in question is directly relevant to that individual nurse’s practice setting or area of employment.
- The nurse must document to the Hospital’s satisfaction certification achievement and maintenance.
- Only one (1) certification premium rate can be credited per nurse, regardless of other certifications a nurse may have.
Do you have a certification that is not currently on the list of approved certification programs and want it to be added? According to the contract, new certification programs may be considered for addition to the list. Please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James to speak more about this.
2) Did you know that you are eligible to receive a certification stipend for continuing education and certification (or recertification) exam costs?
This certification stipend is limited to a maximum of $325 annually for full- and part-time RNs and $175 annually for on-call RNs who meet the minimum work requirements. Read more about this in article 12.6 of the contract.
Current list of approved RN Specialty Certifications:
CCRN, PCCN, CNRN, SCRN, CPAN, RN-BC, AFN-BC, NE‑C, CPSN, CEN, CGRN, CGN, CPTC, CEPS, IBCLC, CRNI, CMSRN, CDE, CPN, CNOR, CRNFA, RNC, C‑EFM, ONC, CRRN, CWOCN, CWCN, COCN, CCCN, CWON
If you have a specialty certification that is not on this list and you would like it to be considered as an approved certification for specialty pay, contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sydne James.
Grievance corner #
When does a problem become a grievance? Problems are grievances when they relate to a provision of the collective bargaining agreement (contract). A formal grievance filed by a nurse (or by WSNA on behalf of a nurse) must refer to the article or section of the contract that has been violated.
WSNA will always work with the employer to settle problems or contract violations at the lowest level. This often means we can avoid filing a grievance. Let’s consider a recent issue at Overlake.
Per the contract, the schedule for Thanksgiving week through Jan. 2 shall be posted by June 30. This was a win by nurses during the last contract negotiations to allow nurses to better plan for the holidays. In one unit at Overlake, a manager altered this schedule after June 30, after some nurses had already made travel plans. The manager indicated that the schedule posted on June 30 was merely a draft. A nurse spoke to her unit rep about this. The unit rep consulted the contract, then she and the nurse who brought it to the unit rep’s attention met with the manager who agreed to go back to the original schedule.
Easy, right? In this instance, it was easy. Other times, it’s not so easy, as the employer and the union disagree on the contract language or that a contract violation has occurred. At such times, a grievance may be filed. But the first step in settling a problem is always the same, nurses take note that that a someone is not following the contract and speak up about it. Nurses at Overlake are all stewards of the contract. Membership in WSNA includes a responsibility to protect and enforce the contract.
Upcoming WSNA events #
Mark your calendars for upcoming WSNA events that may interest you. Find out more about all these events (including how to register), click on the Calendar tab in the top menu banner.
Jan. 28, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. is Advocacy Camp. The goal of WSNA’s 2019 Advocacy Camp is to educate nurses, nursing faculty and nursing students about the legislative process and about how to effectively advocate for nurses and patients when meeting with legislators. This year’s event will take place at the Red Lion Hotel in Tumwater.
Feb. 28, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. is Nurse Lobby Day. The goal of WSNA’s Lobby Day is to advance our legislative priorities that support nurses and patient safety. This event will include a morning briefing session to help participants get up-to-speed on key issues before the legislature. Time will also be spent role-playing to prepare for afternoon appointments with your legislators. After lunch, you will head up to the hill to attend meetings with your legislators. This is a great opportunity for nurses to talk with their lawmakers about key issues, such as the need for uninterrupted rest breaks, as well as funding for school nurses, nursing education faculty and public health.
May 1 – 3 is the Washington State Nurses Convention. This bi-annual convention is at Tulalip Casino. You have the opportunity to earn 24 CNE credits and members may get registration and hotel fees covered with local unit funds. If you are interested in taking advantage of this, contact any WSNA officer at Overlake as funds are limited.
Keep abreast of what’s happening with your union at Overlake by keeping up with this page.