WSNA has been working in coalition with sister unions SEIU 925, 1199NW and WFSE to create assurances for our registered nurses in this time of uncertainty.
Our unity secured protections for our work during this pandemic. We now can go to work knowing that if we test positive for COVID-19, UW will not contest that we were exposed at work. We have reached an agreement that includes protections for those in the at-risk groups as well as those who may be redeployed. Moving forward, we have stronger guarantees for the safety for our members, but we are frustrated and disappointed in the process it took to reach this agreement.
We have provided extraordinary care and have collaborated with many of your immediate supervisors in this crisis. Despite this partnership to provide quality care with our local teams, UW Medicine Administration has hesitated to take our safety and our value to the community seriously. We will not forget that we had to fight for nearly 6 weeks, work with elected officials to pass legislation, changing government administrative policies to get UW to do the right thing. Many healthcare employers in our community partnered with unionized healthcare workers to come to timely agreements with these same protections. Collectively, along with Coalition Union partners, we prevailed.
Our voice in politics matters
To win these protections we called on elected officials we have supported for years, to stand with us in this critical time. New legislation and administrative rule changes have greatly expanded our ability to stay safe at work and have economic security.
- L&I will assume all healthcare workers testing positive for COVID-19 were exposed at work
- Unemployment expansions to allow more at-risk members to work from home when denied an accommodation
- Unemployment expansions to protect lost work
- Expanded access to Childcare through the County
- Free Parking to the employee through April 30, 2020. If free parking is not offered for May 2020 the parties may discuss an extension of free parking
- Free parking on city streets
Protection when we are exposed
- If we are not permitted to work due to an exposure of COVID-19 we will receive paid administrative leave
- Our pay and benefits will be kept whole if we test positive for COVID-19
- If we are positive, we need to file for workers compensation within 48 hours of our test results (If the employee fails to follow the procedures as directed, the employee may become ineligible for the paid administrative leave)
- Notice will be provided as soon as possible if the Employer learns we are exposed
Protections for Redeployment
- Our FTEs will be guaranteed when we are redeployed
- Volunteers will be asked before mandatory redeployment when possible
- Redeployment should be rotated by seniority or utilizing already established unit float lists
- $4.00/hour reassignment premium when we are reassigned or floated outside of our home department or regular work
- No Standby or On Call shifts when we are reassigned unless mutually agreed
- UW will provide appropriate PPE following UW Medicine COVID-19 guidelines
- No discipline or retaliation for advocating for the PPE we believe is necessary
- Training will be provided when we are reassigned
Protections for At Risk Employees
- At risk employees can ask for an accommodation or medical leave (this will likely require note from PCP)
- At risk group defined by King County Public Health including individuals older than 60
- Employees who are on Medical Leave of Absence will have access to Unemployment Insurance
- Employees will be allowed to work from home for 8 hours in order to maintain benefits
- Telework or alternative assignments may be provided
- Access to shared leave, if eligible, or can apply for Paid Family Medical Leave
Protections that cover all of us
UW Administration tried excluding those who work at Hall Health from the same protections guaranteed to every other UW healthcare worker. Our solidarity ensured Hall Health members are not left behind and without protection by UW Administration.
“Having the security of knowing that our jobs, our hours and our pay is protected is more important than it has ever been during my 30+ years of employment at UWMC. Working together with other unions on these agreements helped achieve things that we may not have been able to achieve individually” Anita Stull RN 7N Inpatient Psychiatry
For additional questions or concerns, please contact your WSNA Nurse Representative:
UWMC Montlake Ed Zercher at email@example.com
UWMC Northwest Campus Brenda Balogh at Bbalogh@wsna.org
United we bargain, Divided we beg…