RNs at Sunnyside hospital scored a big win in January in protecting RN bargaining unit work. Members in three impacted units at SMC will share in a $300,000 dollar settlement reached to satisfy a grievance filed last May after learning that management had hired travelers to work without notifying the union in MSICU, MSPCU, and the Critical Care float pool.
The RN contract states that when management plans to bring on a traveler, the steward of the impacted workgroup must be notified. RNs in the unit then have the opportunity to pick up the shifts that the traveler would have taken. Notice to our union stewards helps OFNHP track the incidence of travelers in our units and allows members the opportunity to intervene and ensure Kaiser quality care can be delivered by Kaiser RNs.
We know that proper staffing levels are crucial to delivering high-quality patient care. This grievance settlement is a win for all OFNHP members, not only because we enforced our union contract, but because we challenged the revolving door staffing strategy of hiring travelers.
In mediation we were able to show that--where management did not follow the contract--RNs in these units would have been able to fill 100% of the shifts in question, given the opportunity. The $300,000 mediation award will be divided among the members of the three impacted units.