On April 15 we met with Overlake administration and management for our fifth contract bargaining session. We are pleased to announce that we have reached agreement on a one-year interim contract with 3% across the board wage increases effective May 1, 2020. There are no other substantive changes to our CBA.
We previously asked Overlake to delay bargaining and they refused. While the Overlake RNs are consumed with the COVID pandemic and concerned with lack of PPE, staffing issues, our own safety at work and the health and safety of our patients and our loved ones, this is not a good time to be in protracted bargaining for normal contract proposals. This one-year interim contract maintains current contract benefits and protects us if the contract were to expire April 30, 2020. During these uncertain times, 3% wage increases should not be taken lightly.
In normal times, this agreement would be subject to a vote of the WSNA membership. As we all know, these are not normal times. We are unable to have an in-person vote. On April 5, the WSNA Cabinet on Economic & General Welfare adopted an emergency motion that authorizes, for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic emergency, the Executive Committee of the Cabinet (chair, vice chair, and treasurer) to execute an interim contract of up to one year provided that it is in the best interest of the nurses, and provided it is done in consultation with the local unit officers and negotiating team. The Cabinet consists of ten elected members across the state and is the highest-ranking elected body of WSNA collective bargaining program.
We, your WSNA bargaining team, are in unanimous agreement in recommending this one-year interim contract to the Cabinet Executive Committee.
We also came to agreement with Overlake on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding furloughs. Read the full agreement. Provisions include assuring that nurses who take voluntary furloughs will retain their seniority, benefits, and the right to return to their positions and FTE. Similar to the emergency motion above, on March 30, the Cabinet on E&GW adopted another emergency resolution authorizing WSNA to enter into MOUs with employers as necessary, provided such MOUs are deemed to be in the best interest of the affected nurses. Our Team unanimously supports this MOU.
If you have questions, please ask member of the bargaining team or the WSNA nurse representative, Sydne James, email@example.com.
This is not the end of the story.
For the last four sessions, we have worked hard to achieve an MOU to address COVID-19’s horrendous impacts on Overlake’s nurses. Our proposal includes better access to testing, hazard pay, PTO protection, reasonable accommodation with benefits to those at high risk, extra shift incentives and administrative pay for nurses the Employer prohibited from working due to exposure at work. We will continue this work when we meet with administration again April 27.
In our communication update last week, we asked for your help. Overlake is not taking us seriously and do not see that you, the 900 RNs in the Overlake bargaining unit, support us. We know that you do, but it’s not visible to Overlake.
While we work with WSNA staff to formulate a plan before April 27 to turn up the heat, you can help us now by completing more ADOs. These can be completed days or weeks after the fact. They are for staffing issues, inadequate PPE, workplace safety issues, missed breaks, unsafe assignments, violations of the staffing plan, etc. There is no retaliation for submitting this form. We need hundreds of forms submitted for this to make an impact.
Another thing you can do is to complete the COVID-19 Healthy Workplace Survey, if you have not already done so, about your COVID/PPE work experience.
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; Jesse Haung-Refuerzo, West 4; Jennifer Carney, South 3