March 29, 2020
Dear CRONA Nurses,
This newsletter is divided into two sections: COVID-19 updates and related issues, and regular news and updates including $$ news and deadlines. Both sections contain important information so please read the entire newsletter.
Colleen Borges, President
Advocating for Nurses – What CRONA is Doing Now. CRONA leadership meets daily with nursing leadership from both hospitals and Employee and Labor Relations (part of HR) from LPCH. CRONA takes concerns, suggestions, and questions from nurses and brings them to nursing leadership and Employee and Labor Relations/HR at both hospitals. Our current priorities include:
- Improvements to staffing and processes in Occupational Health
- Changes to PPE policy
- Information about number of COVID-19 positive and PUI patients admitted – getting daily reports published for staff
- Implementation of paid administrative leave policy
- Streamlining the accommodation request process
- Improvements to the SHC Labor Pool
- Temporary lodging for nurses
We welcome hearing from CRONA Nurses about their concerns and suggestions so we can ensure they are communicated to the hospital.
PPE Guidelines Update. Look for updates to guidelines for PPE use from both hospitals early this week, including expanded surgical mask use. We need better protection, and the new guidelines offer some improvements. The 1870+ N95 (the larger of the two white “duck bill” masks) remains out of stock; nurses who were previously fit for this mask must go to Occupational Health to be re-tested. If you do not know your N95 mask size, double-check to see if you have a sticker on your badge with this information; if you do not have a sticker check with Occupational Health as they keep a record of mask sizes for all staff.
Protecting CRONA Nurses. If you were directed by Occupational Health to self-isolate and your time off was not coded as administrative leave, please let CRONA know so we can help you. This includes nurses who felt ill before a shift and started self-isolation, contacted Occupational Health, and had to wait for a return call with further instructions. CRONA is hearing that some managers are still having issues with this process.
Do You Need a Workplace Accommodation? Nurses who have been advised by their doctor to have work restrictions due to COVID-19 must go through the hospital in order to seek formal accommodation. CRONA is advocating for nurses to be accommodated to the extent possible and for the hospital to make every effort to keep nurses working. To seek an accommodation, you must make the request and you will be asked to provide documentation from your physician:
SHC: open a ticket through AskHR on the intranet online HR portal.
LPCH: send an email to IDM@stanfordchildrens.org
CRONA is hearing about issues with the accommodations process and we are pushing the hospital to respond faster and streamline the process. Please let us know if you are having issues so we can assist you.
If an accommodation is not available you may be eligible for disability benefits and a leave of absence; you must contact The Hartford online https://abilityadvantage.thehartford.com or by phone at (877) 404-0429 for SHC or for LPCH at (866) 432-6721 to initiate the LOA process, and contact the EDD (Employment Development Department, aka state disability) about disability. California is currently waiving the normal 7-day waiting period for disability benefits.
Answering your questions and concerns. CRONA will hold two webinars this week, on Tuesday from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. and Wednesday from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. We will send an email with the webinar login information on Tuesday for the Tuesday webinar, and on Wednesday for the Wednesday webinar. You are welcome to drop in for as long as you want, or stay for the entire meeting. We will provide the latest updates and answer your live questions.
Due to current restrictions on in-person gatherings, there will be no in-person Area Rep/Membership meetings this month.
Communication is key to our success in keeping CRONA Nurses protected. We know that many demands will be made of CRONA Nurses over the coming days, weeks and months, and we will stand strong together. Let us know what’s happening in your units. Send us your questions and concerns. And look out for one another.
We can help each other. If there is a nurse on your unit asking to not take an assignment because of a co-morbidity or pregnancy, and you are able and willing to help, consider offering to help. Helping each other is a part of what makes CRONA Nurses strong and united. Nurses have gotten together to send breakfast to other staff, to offer room in their homes to nurses with long commutes, to virtually socialize, and to share resources, information, and ideas. We can come through this stronger than ever when we support one another.
New Temporary Lodging Option. Based in part on the active voices of nurses expressing a need for alternate lodging, and CRONA’s ongoing advocacy for nurses, the hospital has put in place a new lodging program for staff. This program is open to all but supply of rooms is limited. More lodging options should be made available to nurses and CRONA will continue to pursue this based on the needs of CRONA Nurses.
This link will take you to a hospital intranet site; if you are accessing from outside the hospital you will be required to log in using Duo. CRONA has already learned that LPCH nurses are not able to access this website; we brought this information to the hospital immediately and per the hospital it is being corrected.
Please let us know if you use this lodging and what your experience is, so we can better advocate for any improvements that may be needed.
Help CRONA Leadership Advocate for You – Share Your Story. How many of us do not have access to a washing machine at home, or are not returning home between shifts in order to protect vulnerable loved ones at home? Share your story with us via email to email@example.com so we can better advocate for you.
There is a possibility that the hospitals will have to declare a critical staffing shortage. If that happens, nurses may be required to float out of region. This can only happen if the hospitals make this declaration of critical staffing shortage. CRONA has heard from nurses in outpatient areas are being asked about any inpatient skill sets they have. You still must be given an assignment consistent with your skills. Notify CRONA and submit an ADO if you are given an assignment for which you are not competent.
The contract language on out of region floating and appropriate assignments is from Section 16.3 SHC/Section 15 LPCH:
Except in unforeseeable circumstances of critical patient care needs, the Employer will not float a Nurse outside her/his designated region unless s/he has been crosstrained to the unit, or has volunteered to do so. Such assignment shall be consistent with nursing supervision’s assessment of the individual Nurse’s competence and skills. Nurses who float are expected to fully exercise their knowledge, skills, and abilities in performing the work assigned. The Nurse will not be required to perform without assistance any patient care skills which exceed her/his scope of practice. If the Nurse asserts in good faith that s/he is not qualified to handle the assignment, s/he may request that the assignment be continued only until a qualified Nurse is available and assigned. The Employer will make reasonable efforts to identify a qualified Nurse for the assignment, or to provide guidance, training or modification of the assignment if the Employer determines such assistance is warranted. If a qualified Nurse is available and assigned, the floating Nurse may be excused from the remainder of the assignment and given absent time, PTO or an assignment in another area.
In addition, you may only be involuntarily floated to a work location more than thirty-five miles from your scheduled location if there is a critical staffing shortage. This is not likely to affect nurses at the main campus. For work at offsite locations, CRONA is advocating that nurses from those sites be offered work at their home sites first.
Section 16.4.3 SHC/Section 15.4.3
Except in cases of critical staffing shortages, as determined by the Employer, a Nurse shall not be required to float to a different work location more than one time per shift or to a location more than thirty-five (35) miles from the Nurse’s assigned work location for that shift. In addition, a Nurse who does float to a different work location shall not be required to return to the original location within that shift.
Money Matters: Updates and Deadlines
Certification Pay Deadline is March 31, 2020. Remember to upload your proof of certification to your HealthStream profile in order to qualify for the $2000 certification bonus. If you had a scheduled certification testing date through March 31st that was cancelled due to COVID-19, you will be given a 60-day extension to test. To qualify for the extension, submit proof of test date and cancellation notice:
SHC: email to SHCNationalCertifications@stanfordhealthcare.org
LPCH: email to CPEI@stanfordchildrens.org
CRONA Nurses Get a Raise This Pay Period. We are about to start the second year of our three-year contract and the 3% pay raise is effective for the pay period that started March 22, 2020. Look for your raise on your April 10, 2020 paycheck. Don’t know what your new pay rate will be? Check out the online version of our contracts for the wage scales. In the LPCH Contract the wage scale is on page 83; for SHC it is page 89.
Have an HAS or HIA? March 31st is the Deadline for Extra $100. Go to the Healthy Steps intranet page and complete the online assessment to have $100 added to your HSA. This is not the in-person biometrics, it is just a simple online assessment.
A printer-friendly PDF of this newsletter is available HERE.