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UW - SEIU1199NW Master Contract

2015-2017 Biennium

Article 13 - Employment Practices

13.1 Re-employment.
For purposes of accrual of benefits, employees covered by this agreement who are re-employed will be treated as newly hired except that an employee who has been laid off because of lack of funds or curtailment of work and who is re-employed within twenty-four months (plus a twelve month extension if requested) shall be entitled to previously accrued benefits and placement on the salary schedule which he/she had at the time of layoff.

13.2 Personnel File.
An employee shall have access to his/her own personnel file for review in the office upon written request to the Associate Administrator for Patient Care Services or Clinic Administrator or designee or appropriate Department Director or designee. The Employer may remove any documents in a probationary employee's file which were obtained through assurances of confidentiality to a third party at the time of original appointment.

Upon request of an employee who has achieved permanent status, the Employer or designee will remove pre-employment reference statements from the employee's personnel file(s).

The employee shall be sent a copy of any adverse material placed in the official or departmental file. Notes or files kept by managers regarding staff shall not be shared with others unless shared with the employee first and shall not be kept more than three years. The employee shall have the right to have placed in any of the above files a statement of rebuttal or correction of information contained in the file within a reasonable period of time after the employee becomes aware that the information is in the file. Performance evaluations will be removed from the departmental file three years after the date of completion.

  1. Removal of Documents.
    After two (2) years from the date of issue, employees may request the removal of Formal Counseling documents in their personnel file. After three (3) years from the date of issue, employees may request the removal of Final Counseling documents in their personnel file. If a request for removal of documents is denied, employees will be given a written reason for the denial. The Employer may retain this information in a legal defense file in accordance with the prevailing Washington State law.

13.3 Liability Insurance.
The Employer shall provide appropriate liability insurance for all employees in the bargaining unit and shall provide upon request a summary of the policy or statement of coverage.

13.4 Performance Evaluations.
It is the intention of hospital management during the probationary period and thereafter to give bargaining unit employees a performance evaluation in accordance with the hospital's evaluation procedure. Further, it is the intention of hospital management to advise each employee of the status of his/her work performance in accordance with appropriate standards of practice as needed or through the performance evaluation mechanism.

A copy of the evaluation shall be given to the employee.

13.5 Uniforms/Clothing Damage.
The Employer will reimburse employees for personal uniforms or work clothing irreparably damaged or torn by patients. Such reimbursement shall be based on estimated current value of clothing damaged.

Prior to any decisions by a department head to change the policy on uniforms, employees in the department shall have an opportunity to consult with the department head regarding the policy. The department head will give serious consideration to the wishes of the employees in making a decision.

Airlift Northwest Equipment – See Appendix XII - Airlift Northwest Addendum #2 "Equipment" for equipment that will be issued to Airlift Northwest Registered Nurses.

13.6 Employee Assistance.
The Employer and the Union recognize that alcoholism and chemical dependency are chronic and treatable conditions. Efforts should be made to identify these conditions and treatment options established at an early stage to prevent or minimize erosion in work performance. The Employer and the Union will encourage and support employees' participation in appropriate programs including the UW Care Link services, through which employees may seek confidential assistance in the resolution of chemical dependency or other problems which may impact job performance.

No employee's job security will be placed in jeopardy as a result of seeking and following through with corrective treatment, counseling or advice providing that the employee's job performance meets supervisory expectations.

13.7 Floating.
Employees required to float within the hospital inpatient or outpatient settings will receive adequate orientation. Appropriate resources will be available as follows:

  1. introduction to the charge nurse and/or employee resource for the shift;
  2. review of emergency procedures for that unit;
  3. tour of the physical environment and location of supplies and equipment;
  4. review of the patient assignment and unit routine.

Employees shall not be required to perform new procedures without appropriate supervision. Employees shall seek supervisory guidance for those tasks or procedures for which they have not been trained. Employees who encounter difficulties related to floating should report these to the appropriate supervisor/manager.

There will be no adverse consequences for an employee filing a concern.

See also Article 6.6 regarding charge nurse duties when floating. New Graduate/Returning employees will normally not be floated unless their unit is closed. In this case they will be assigned a specific preceptor or resource employee to provide close and direct supervision. A record of the order of floating will be maintained on the unit for a reasonable period of time.

Employees accepting or requesting employment of either separate part-time positions or assignment in specific multiple departments will be notified in writing in their appointment letters that they are not eligible for float pay for this assignment. It is not the employer's intent to create split positions for the purpose of minimizing part-time employment or float pay.

13.8 Float Pools - Nurses.
The Union and the Employer recognize the value of trained float pools to assist in providing the additional RN staff required to meet the acuity of the patients on the unit, the census/volume and to cover vacations, continuing education contract committees and unscheduled absences.

Airlift Northwest will discuss usage of float pool through the Joint Labor Management process.

13.9 Travel Pay.
Any employee required by the Employer to travel to a place of work other than his/her regular official duty station shall be reimbursed for travel costs, if eligible, in accordance with University policy.

Airlift Northwest Registered Nurses – See Appendix XII - Airlift Northwest Addendum #3 "Mileage" for mileage reimbursement.

13.10 Employment Information.
A written form will be used to specify initial conditions of hiring (including number of hours to be worked, rate of pay, unit and shift).

Upon request to their immediate supervisor, employees will be given written confirmation of a change in status or separation in accordance with University of Washington policy.

Upon request to their immediate supervisor, records shall be readily available for employees to determine their number of hours worked, rate of pay, sick leave accrued and vacation accrued.

13.11 Staff Meetings.
Staff meetings normally will take place on a regular basis. Minutes will be shared with staff. All employees required to attend these meetings will do so on paid time. Employees will be provided at least two weeks' notice of meetings that are pre-planned.

For Airlift Northwest Registered Nurses attendance at mandatory staff meetings will be paid at straight time. Such attendance will not count toward the calculation of overtime.

13.12 Delegation of Nursing Care.
The Union and the Employer acknowledge that the professional nurse is responsible for determining the competency and skill of all persons to whom they delegate a task. The nurse may determine not to delegate such tasks in accordance with the Nurse Practice Act.

13.13 Staffing Practices.
The Employer and the Union recognize that implementing a joint labor/management partnership for determining staffing produces a more satisfying work environment that ensures that patients receive quality care and that there is recruitment and retention of registered nurses. The use of evidence-based nurse staffing can help achieve that outcome.

RN and other patient care staffing levels for each department/ unit/clinic/work area, including overflow areas, shall be based on the acuity of the patients on the unit, the Hospital and the unit's census/volume, the skill of the personnel on the unit, and the magnitude/variety of the activities needed that shift, including but not limited to discharges, admissions, transfers, patient and family education/teaching, patient transports and use of restraints.

These criteria will be applied on a consistent basis throughout the patient care areas including inpatient, outpatient and overflow areas. Evaluation of staffing needs will be done on a shift-by-shift basis and communicated by the unit charge nurse to the staffing census office.

The employer will collect data surrounding effectiveness indicators and share the data quarterly at the Joint Labor Management committee. Examples of indicators may include: patient falls, workplace injuries, patient complaints, percentage of shifts below matrix, numbers of new orientees including students, sick time usages, float pool hours utilized, overtime hours utilized, etc. In addition, for Health Care Specialists collection of available data regarding RVU's (which incorporate the provider FTE, patient complexity, number of patient visits, etc.) will be discussed at JLM meetings. For the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit data on referral agency complaints and follow-up, flight volumes, missed flights (and reasons), response time, QA and QI and aircraft out of service will be provided to the extent such data are collected.

Employees, individually or as a group, believing there is an immediate, continuous or potential workload/staffing problem are encouraged to document the problem and bring that problem to the attention of the supervisor or nurse manager at any time throughout the fiscal year.

If concerns related to staffing or workload are not resolved through normal administrative channels and there are consistent and persistent concerns raised by staff or unit based indicators or trends reflect opportunities for improvement, a Joint Staffing Work Team will be convened to conduct a focused staffing review. The work team will be convened within thirty (30) days of the issue being presented at the Joint Labor Management Committee.

Management and the Union will solicit volunteers to participate on the work team. Representatives will include staff from all shifts appropriate to the issue(s) raised and include a charge nurse. There will be Union and Employer co-chairs for each unit committee. All issues/reviews will be shared at the Joint Labor Management committee and are not grievable.

13.14 Compliance With RCW 70.41.410-420 - Washington State Nurse Staffing Committee Law.

The Union and Employer agree to comply with all relevant provisions of RCW 70.41.410-420 – Washington State Nurse Staffing Committee Law and have negotiated a process to achieve and maintain that compliance. A Nurse Staffing Committee will be composed of sixteen (16) voting members. Eight (8) will be appointed by the union, and eight (8) appointed by the employer. Additional ad-hoc members will be at the discretion of the co-chairs and will be non-voting.

  1. Committee work will be considered work time. If determined appropriate by the Staffing Committee, paid time in addition to Committee meeting time may be provided for Staffing Committee members to complete their work and/or meet with clinical subgroups (units).
  2. The Committee will be given all data required under RCW 70.41.410-420 as well as any other data that has been contractually agreed to that may not be covered by the law. The Committee may ask for additional data which, if available, will be provided. The Committee may also ask for specific individuals to attend for explanations regarding data. The Committee will consider these data in its development and evaluation of the staffing plan(s).
  3. The Committee will determine its chair and the quorum needed to have meetings.
  4. The daily matrix and actual staffing postings will be collected and delivered to the Committee for review.
  5. The employer will make a good faith effort to make available an electronic short staffing form that can be used by the Committee to evaluate staffing and make recommendations for the annual staffing plans.
  6. Annually the Committee will target the late winter/early spring to complete its work regarding the development of the staffing plans and it will regularly review and evaluate the staffing plans which will be used by the employer in the budget development process.
  7. The Committee will produce the hospital's annual nurse staffing plan. If this staffing plan is not adopted by the hospital, the chief executive officer shall provide a written explanation of the reasons why to the Committee.
  8. The Committee's work will include overseeing the posting of the staffing plans in accordance with the law.
  9. The employer may not retaliate against or engage in any form of intimidation of an employee for performing any duties or responsibilities in connection with the Committee; or an employee, patient, or other individual who notifies the Committee or the hospital administration of his or her concerns on nurse staffing.
  10. The primary responsibility of the Committee shall include:
    1. Development and oversight of an annual patient care unit and shift-based nurse staffing plan, based on the needs of patients, to be used as the primary component of the staffing budget. Factors to be considered in the development of the plan should include, but are not limited to:
      1. Census, including total numbers of patients on the unit on each shift and activity such as patient discharges, admissions, and transfers;
      2. Level of intensity of all patients and nature of the care to be delivered on each shift;
      3. Skill mix;
      4. Level of experience and specialty certification or training of nursing personnel providing care;
      5. The need for specialized or intensive equipment;
      6. The architecture and geography of the patient care unit, including but not limited to placement of patient rooms, treatment areas, nursing stations, medication preparation areas, and equipment; and
      7. Staffing guidelines adopted or published by national nursing professional associations, specialty nursing organizations, and other health professional organizations;
      8. Hospital finances and resources may be taken into account in the development of the nurse staffing plan.
    2. Semiannual review of the staffing plan against patient need and known evidence-based staffing information, including the nursing sensitive quality indicators collected by the hospital;
    3. Review, assessment, and response to staffing concerns presented to the committee.

13.15 Payroll Errors.
Recognizing the importance of employees receiving correct pay, the Medical Center intends to correct payroll errors as soon as possible but will correct payroll errors of $50.00 or more within 5-7 working days.

13.16 Contracting Out.
The University will not contract out work which results in the layoff of bargaining unit employees who are employed prior to the time of the execution or renewal of the contract. It is the intent of the Medical Center to minimize the employment of agency and traveler personnel. The Medical Center will continue its efforts to recruit and retain a broad base of regular full-time and part-time employees.

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