I want to commend all of you for your hard work and diligence in getting us through the second wave of this pandemic. I know the last year has been emotionally and physically exhausting, and I personally wish it was over and behind us. We are still seeing our fair share of COVID patients, but with our immunizations and continued wearing of masks, I hope that you all have the opportunity to start reuniting with some of your family members and getting back to some semblance of normalcy.
Your Local Executive Board (LEB) has been working behind the scenes with weekly labor-management meetings and communication to ensure safety has been maintained throughout. If you have any concerning issues as always, please bring them to our attention so they can be addressed.
Going forward, so that we can share the most up to date information to our members, HPAE has adopted a new method for communication. Hence forth, the 5621 LEB will no longer be mailing a quarterly newsletter. We will be formatting a monthly email blast.
It is imperative that we have the most current personal email addresses for all our members. Our unit representatives have been attempting to reach new members in our local. Please assist us in getting the word out that any member who does not receive this information should contact a Unit Rep, LEB Officer, or go to the HPAE website to register and/or update their information. Please also advise members who did not receive this information to check their spam folders. All communication sent to your officers and reps should be done from your personal email NOT your work email.
Again, I personally appreciate all that you do every day! It is humbling to me to work with such a great group of nurses that give their all and sacrifice so much to get the job done!
April Ferrara MSN, RN, CCRN
President, Local 5621
COVID Agreement Ending
We signed a temporary agreement in December to help increase staffing to deal with an anticipated second surge. This was intended to staff our hospital as safely as possible for ourselves and our patients. The agreement:
- created a $24/hour COVID differential for qualifying extra shifts
- gave the hospital flexibility to use staff as extenders on units they normally do not work
- put a freeze on internal transfer dates because nurses would not get a proper orientation on their new unit during a surge
- allowed the hospital to utilize agency nurses, LPNs, and other Inspira nurses from outside the hospital to staff the units
The agreement is coming to an end on April 6th, but the COVID differential will continue until the end of the pay period, April 17th. There will no longer be a $24/hour COVID differential for extra shifts you pick-up after that date. But the hospital may offer PIP and double PIP at their discretion.
Work & Meal Breaks
Article 44 of our contract outlines what we are entitled to for work and meal breaks. This is in accordance with federal law. You are entitled to a 30 minute uninterrupted break during your workday, as well as two 15 minute breaks in a 10-12 hour day. Take your breaks! If taking a break is not possible or you don’t have coverage, tell an ANM, manager or supervisor. You can use a time adjustment form marking “no lunch” if you still have not been provided with adequate coverage to get your break. We know how frustrating it can be, but the initial attempt to fit in a break does fall back on the employee. However, if you have made and effort and notified management and you still did not receive your break, this is when you use the time adjustment form. It is not our responsibility to work a ½ hour we are not being paid when we have taken the appropriate steps to ensure our uninterrupted meal breaks.
Time recordation is important. Have your badge on you and use it for all time recordation. There is an electronic stamp everywhere you swipe in the building. How can someone be swiping into stairwells, the employee entrance or even charging lunch and then filling out a “forgot badge” time adjustment form? Management is well aware this is happening and have recently cracked down on all staff for these inconsistencies. As a union, we have no recourse for an employee who is obviously being dishonest with their timecard. Especially when cameras and badge entry can prove otherwise. It is a lot easier to defend an honest mistake than an intentional deception. Please be vigilant about carrying your badge and using it appropriately.
Clinical Ladder Reminder
The next clinical ladder applications are due by July 15th. Please review the guidelines set forth in Article 70 Professional Development in our contract. Clinical Ladder is open to all full-time, part-time and per diem staff who work 1,000 hours or more per year. Those who are interested should start preparing now to have all their requirements ready in time for the next submission.