CRONA Webinar Q&A, May 7, 2020
Thank you to the many CRONA Nurses who attended our May webinar. For those who were unable to attend, here are the questions that were asked during the webinar. If you asked a question that was specific to your personal situation and need more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also will post this newsletter on the COVID-19 page of the CRONA website: http://crona.org/covid-19/
We had our first Nurses Week CRONA backpack giveaway drawing during the webinar. Here are the winners of the drawing:
- Jethel Fernandez Herrera, SHC Emeryville Multispecialty Clinic
- Melissa Hymes, LPCH Intermediate Care Nursery
- Melody Falsis-Mittelbuscher, SHC Operating Room
- Susannah Pearce, Acute Care Float Pool
- Linda Whitmer, SHC AAU M7
Q: Our unit been cutting number of NAs or USA on shift. If it starts to affect our workflow, can the nurse file an ADO (Assignment Despite Objection) form?
A: YES! The TWA does not override safe staffing and Title 22.
Q: Will you be able to address the issue of managers taking back A-days due to increase in census?
A: Changes to a posted schedule may only be made with the agreement of the nurse. If you took time off as part of the TWA’s voluntary reductions, once those changes are posted on the schedule they may not be changed without your agreement. Managers were supposed to do projections to determine staffing needs. If those projections were inaccurate and they need nurses to return to their originally scheduled shifts, they must ask the nurses and the nurses may agree or not. Right now, we don’t know what is going to happen with COVID-19 and if there will be another surge or another shutdown. We strongly advise that you consider taking work if it is offered to you. However, if you made a commitment that cannot be changed, you do have the right to decline to give back the time off your manager offered. Please let us know if a manager tells you that you are required to return to work, or if a manager tells you that if you return to work you have to do so on shifts that are different from those on your original schedule.
Q: Are limited relief nurses also eligible to get the 1% retention bonus as well or not?
A: Yes. The bonus will be based on your FTE, which for a Relief nurse will be 1% of the pay you would receive for your required 24 shifts per year.
Q: How long will the Labor Pool be in place?
A: CRONA was told that there are no current plans to eliminate the LPCH Labor Pool. We were told that the SHC Labor Pool will end on Wednesday, May 13, and the tasks assigned to the Labor Pool will be transitioned to another group; we do not know who will take over screening at the door or other jobs currently performed by the Labor Pool.
Q: If you volunteer to take one PTO shift in a week, can they still cancel you/give you A-day for your other shifts that week?
A: Yes, according to the order established in the Staffing Absent Day policy. Your voluntary shift of PTO does count towards hours of cancellation within the pay period, so a nurse who did not take any time off would be cancelled ahead of you, even if the other nurse is more senior.
Q: In the LPCH Ambulatory Clinics, we were told that we can be cancelled the Friday before our shift on Monday morning, that it does not have to be a same day cancellation, is that correct?
A: Ambulatory clinics, and other areas that do not have 24/7 operations generally do staffing on the day before. If a clinic is not open on the weekend, staffing for Monday would be done on Friday.
Q: Do we know how long the hospital will still offer housing/ hotel stays…temporary housing request?
A: The hospital is no longer offering free hotel rooms. There are discounted rooms available. The information about hotel rooms is archived on the hospital intranet, or available on the COVID-19 page of the CRONA website.
Q: What if patient first admitted on 3/22 tested negative for respiratory procedure and discharged home, then admitted again on 4/14 tested negative for COVID-19 prior to another procedure, then had an interventional procedure on 5/4 while as an inpatient and asymptomatic. My question: should patient get another test before the procedure on 5/4?
A: It is our understanding that patients who are being admitted or will have aerosolizing procedures (e.g. intubation) as part of an outpatient procedure, will be tested prior to the procedure. Testing is to be done within the timeframe specified by policy – currently 72 hours but check the hospital policy for current information. If a patient was last tested two weeks ago, that would not meet current testing criteria and the patient should be re-tested.
Q: Can you clarify which pay rate is the 1% retention pay based on?
A: It is based on the annual salary for you based on your FTE. We do not know exactly how the hospital is calculating it or when exactly they are running the report. It is most likely based on your FTE at the time of the payment.
Q: Will the hospitals stop the no visitors policy next week?
A: We do not know when the visitor policy will change. We expect hospital policies to remain in alignment with California Department of Public Health and CDC recommendations.
Q: I’m from El Camino PEC, can I go to the labor pool?
A: No LPCH Labor Pool slots were allocated to El Camino. As the staffing of the hospital changes, CRONA will ask that slots be re-allocated.
Q: Last week my unit was canceling travelers and denying our A-days?? We are willing to stay home on A-days!!!!
A: This is not correct. Volunteers have priority if there is excess staff on the unit; cancellations start if no volunteers or insufficient volunteers.
Q: When are we supposed to get the $2000 payment for the certification?
A: If you are due to receive the $2000 payment for the first contract year of certification, the payment will be included on your May 22 paycheck.
Q: I was not able to take my certification test in March due to COVID-19 and I applied for the extension. Now my testing center cancelled my May testing date. Is there going to be a further extension due to extended shelter in place?
A: Yes. At this time, CRONA does not have a written agreement about the length of the new extension. We will publish that information when it is available, which we expect within the week.
Q: I work in one of the ambulatory clinics. Can I be canceled if a Nurse Coordinator who is non-CRONA and is a Nurse Coordinator is working?
A: If the Nurse Coordinator is doing her own work and there is not work for you, you could be cancelled. But you should not be cancelled and the Nurse Coordinator allowed to do your work in your place. If this happens, we need to hear about it. Please send full details to email@example.com.
Q: On the wage scale, do the longevity steps apply only to the number of years at that step as a CRONA Nurse, or is time as a hospital employee in other positions also counted?
A: For the longevity steps on the wage scales (longevity steps start with Step 8), your total years as an employee are counted. This includes any time spent in other non-CRONA positions. This is true of seniority in general.
Q: Are we going to be able to use ESL/PTO/ATO for school/day care/adult care closures past May 15th? Are we going to be able to use more hours?
A: We do not have that information at this time. We have asked the hospital this question multiple times over the last few weeks. We have been told they will have an answer for us before May 15th. We will publicize that information when it becomes available.
Q: What is the Employer Username and Employer Password for using Bright Horizons?
A: Employer Username is SHC for Stanford; it is LPCH for Packard. Employer Password for both is backup1.
Q: NICU still has crisis travelers through our next schedule. We thought they were cancelled hospital wide?
A: NICU should still have many travelers. The unit census is high and the unit is short-staffed. Nurses may continue to be scheduled over commitment on that unit due to ongoing staffing shortage. Please file ADOs if your unit is not staffed safely, including during all meal and rest breaks.
Q: What workplace accommodations can be made for nurses at higher risk for complications or increased severity of illness with COVID-19?
A: You may request an accommodation. You will have to provide documentation from your doctor and submit a request for accommodation through HR.
Q: When does admin leave pay start? The day you take off to go take a test and wait for result or only when you’re tested positive?
A: You are eligible for paid administrative leave if you are directed to self-isolate by Occupational Health. You should notify your manager if this happens so you are paid correctly. You should be provided information about returning to work if you have a negative test result, or about quarantine if you have a positive result. You should apply for workers compensation and/or Disability if you have a positive test. There are significant delays right now with the state due to high volume of applicants, so it is best to apply as soon as you have a positive result. Neither workers compensation nor disability pays your full salary and while normally you would have to use your ESL/PTO/ATO to “top off” your leave, during COVID-19 the hospital will pay you using paid administrative leave for the portion of your salary not covered by workers compensation/disability benefits.
Q: Thank you CRONA for all your hard work and happy nurses week and year!!!!
A: You’re welcome! We’re glad you came to the webinar!
Q: FYI – there are a TON of FREE CEUs on HealthStream right now!
A: Good to know, thanks!
Q: I’m so sorry, but can you quickly explain the Retention Bonus, who will receive it, and when?
A: You are eligible to receive the Retention Bonus if you were a CRONA Nurse on the date the contract was ratified (May 9, 2019) and remained a CRONA Nurse through the date of the payment (May 22, 2020). The amount of the bonus is equal to 1% of your salary for one year, based on your FTE.
Q: Does the August 31st deadline apply to both education hours and education money? Or does the deadline apply to just the education hours?
A: August 31 is the deadline for both hours and money. You may not roll any unused funds over to the next year. You may roll over unused hours if you requested to use them, your request was denied, and you were not able to use all your hours by the end of the academic year (August 31). At SHC a CRONA Nurse may roll over up to her full amount of education hours if that many hours’ worth of education requests were denied; at LPCH a CRONA Nurse may roll over up to 16 hours to the next year.
Q: I’m on FMLA to care for my spouse, can I use ESL?
A: No, ESL may only be used for self. The only exception to that is the use of ESL for school/day care/adult care closures related to COVID-19.
Q: I’m wound care certified. I work in critical care but am not CCRN certified. Can I still apply for PNDP? It will be my first time applying.
A: The standard for certification for PNDP is: “A Nurse who possesses or obtains a national certification or recertification that is either the most applicable certification in the Nurse’s area of specialty or a certification that supports the basic clinical practice in the Nurse’s area of work.” We recommend that you have a conversation with your manager about your certification prior to starting your packet for the PNDP, and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you get pushback from your manager about your certification.
Q: Our managers keep saying LPCH float pool is mandatory even when we are short.
A: This does not make sense. Your unit still has to meet minimum numbers and cannot staff unsafely in order to send a nurse to the Labor Pool. There are other units giving A-days or cancelling nurses that could send a nurse to the Labor Pool. Please send your manager an email and Cc email@example.com on the email.
Q: A nurse went on work injury LOA since November 2019, she did not use PTO while on Leave, does she still qualify for the 1% bonus?
A: The Retention Bonus is based on employment and FTE, not on actual hours worked. A nurse on a workers compensation leave is still employed by the hospital and thus eligible for the Retention Bonus.
Q: Because of stock market crisis, my 403B TDA contribution is literally going down the drain. what is the minimum contribution I should continue in order to keep the maximum hospital matching?
A: Your hospital match depends on your years of service. For 1 – 4 years it is 4%, for 5 – 9 years it is 5%, for 10+ years it is 7%. We recommend you discuss changing contributions with a financial advisor before making changes.
Q: We have N95s that say GAN on our unit, what is that?
A: Those are N95 masks that have been processed for reuse. The letters GAN are used by the reprocessing company to indicate that the mask is a used mask that has been sent through sterile processing.
Q: My manager emailed that I need to be re-fitted for N95 despite that I was fitted with a 3M Aura1870+ (duck mask) in January (4 months ago). I have failed 3M N95 every year for the past 3 years, I don’t understand why I need to be refitted again.
A: The hospital no longer has any 1870+ masks. You must be re-tested to determine if you are able to wear a different mask. If you fail mask fit testing, you will be instructed to wear a CAPR and given the appropriate sticker to put on your badge. If you do not have this information documented, you will have difficulty obtaining a CAPR should you need one. Fit testing is being done in Occupational Health, in its usual location on the ground floor of Stanford.
Q: I was on workers compensation leave for 6 months; when I returned to work, it was time for my yearly evaluation. I was given an unsatisfactory for the evaluation based on the fact that “I had not worked enough shifts in between my previous evaluation to my current evaluation” in order to be sufficiently evaluated for this year’s evaluation. Can management do this?
A: This sounds punitive. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss this in more detail.
Q: Hey Colleen I have been seeing a lot of people posting on Facebook, TikTok et cetera, might this be a good time to remind nurses to not post work stuff?
A: Yes. Please make sure you do not discuss HIPAA-protected information and are in compliance with hospital policy when posting on social media. Nurses have been disciplined for their social media activity in the past, even for putting an emoji on a post containing HIPAA-protected information.
Q: I am on orientation; do I have to take 96 hours of PTO (which I don’t have) or unpaid time off? Will I be cancelled on my shifts during orientation?
A: Stanford erroneously sent some new hire nurses a letter telling them they would be required to take 96 hours of PTO or unpaid time for the TWA; this letter was sent in error and HR was directed to remove the letter for the personnel files of all CRONA nurses. If your manager tries to tell you that the TWA 96-hour PTO/unpaid time applies to you, please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com and telling us where you work and your manager’s name.
You may be involuntarily cancelled from your scheduled shifts if your preceptor is also cancelled. You should not otherwise be cancelled. Please let us know if this is not being done correctly. Your orientation will be extended for any shifts missed.
Q: What if you don’t have a primary or secondary preceptor? In my unit orientees are not with primary/secondary nurse. I am not on a new grad program but just was hired in March am I still considered an orientee and should not be cancelled?
A: You should still have an assigned preceptor each day, and you would be cancelled only if your preceptor is cancelled. If your unit does not assign a preceptor until you arrive, and then assigns you to a nurse who is getting cancelled, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your unit and manager’s name.
Q: Is it required to wait for COVID-19 test results before bringing a patient into the hospital? Some doctors are trying to skip the test result and get the patient into the operating room ASAP.
A: If an asymptomatic patient meets criteria for COVID-19 testing and has not received a test at the time of arrival for surgery, the patient should be given a rapid test, and not go to the OR until results are ready. This is part of hospital policy and available on the intranet. If a doctor tries to break policy, please refer the issue to your Resource Nurse and manager, and write a SAFE (SHC)/P-CARES (LPCH).
Q: I uploaded my certification when I first started working on HealthStream. But last I checked it was not on there. So I sent an email to the group regarding my certification and a picture of my certification to make sure I get pay, but I still have not heard back. Is there anything I can do?
A: If your documentation was not in the system on the day of the deadline, you will not receive the $2000, but you can upload now and will be eligible for future quarterly payments. If you are unsure if you uploaded in time, send us an email at email@example.com. We have the list and can look you up.
Q: As the world begins to open back up, what is determined as necessary to take an additional 14 days quarantine for when returning from travel? Currently, our daily attestation says New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and whatever the CDC recommends. Just trying to plan ahead.
A: Ask this question of HR by opening a ticket. They should have current information and then you will have documentation of their answer.
Q: For this certification pay, is it a quarterly 2K? I was told I uploaded my certificate too late? I uploaded it today but I’ve been certified since 2019. I started working at LPCH in March.
A: It was $2000 for the first year of the contract as a one-time payment, after that is its $375 quarterly. The first quarterly payment will be made in July.
Q: If you got denied certification pay due to not properly uploading proof of certification, will pay be distributed later?
A: No. You will be eligible for future payments once your certification documentation is uploaded.
Q: If I have had to call in sick, not with COVID, during this time, do I have to use my PTO or can I just use TWA and not collect pay?
A: If you are non-COVID sick you follow the same normal process for sick call/Kin Care as applicable.
Q: There are two nurses that are on orientation on my unit who have been asked to take 10 hours per week for the TWA (they are 10-hour shift nurses). I asked them both to email CRONA with the specific conversation they had with their manager.
A: Great, we would love to follow up! Please check in and ask if they sent email, we can’t do anything about something if we don’t know about it.
Q: How do we know if we will get certification pay?
A: CRONA requested, and received, a list from the hospital. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will look you up.
Q: On my unit travelers are not being canceled after they have reached 2 shifts canceled and staff is forced canceled instead. Is this wrong?
A: YES. Please email us at email@example.com so we can ask senior nursing leadership to make sure your managers get correct information. This information was provided to all managers so it should not be happening. We need unit and manager name please.
Q: We don’t have overnight stay patients. Can my manager cancel my shift and instead, call the on-call nurses from 0100-0600 if needed??
A: It is in the Staffing Absent Day policy that if a nurse is cancelled, that nurse must be offered the opportunity to return if census changes. You must be offered the ability to return to work, the on-call nurses do not get called ahead of you. Your management team has already been warned about not doing this. Please send a detailed email to firstname.lastname@example.org if this happens, so we can follow up.
Q: Does the hospital still have to honor who’s next in line to go down to 0.75 (from 0.9) or if they were waiting to go to a day shift position from night shift
A: It’s not a wait list for a reduced commitment or other change in position. Per contract language, the manager sends email to internal staff via Outlook and staff have 5 days to apply. Position goes to most senior nurse who is qualified. A nurse on leave may apply.
Q: Has there been any discussion how can we use education money since all conferences are cancelled??
A: You may take CEUs online, take a certification exam and purchase study materials. You may pay for professional organization memberships also.
Q: I am hired in November 2019; will I get a retention bonus?
A: No, you must have been employed on May 9, 2019.
Q: With mandatory A-day, after travelers & Relief are cancelled, will new hire float first based on seniority?
A: It also matters who was floated most recently. Both floating and cancellation are based on hospital policies and there are some differences between Stanford and Packard; it is best to read the applicable policy. These are the Floating Guidelines and Staffing Absent Day policies. Both are posted on the COVID-19 page of the CRONA website so you may review at any time.
Q: If I was hired at step 6, when do I go to step 7?
A: One year from your hire date.
Q: How does it show in iWork (SHC) when someone is over their commitment? Is there a specific symbol/marking? Our schedule does not show any of those and it makes it less transparent.
A: There is supposed to be this information marked in API. Please let us know your unit. If it’s not a marked shift, then it’s not an over-commitment shift. All managers were supposed to have done this. If none of the shifts are marked “OSC” on any given day, then no CRONA nurse working that shift may be cancelled ahead of a traveler. This is also true at LPCH, though LPCH uses KRONOS instead of API.
Q: Once I uploaded my certificate in the past, do I have to upload every year?
A: Only when you renew your certification.
Q: I was certified 2 years ago, already received the initial $2000 bonus last year. Will I get $2000 next pay check or just $375 quarterly?
A: You will not receive another $2000. You will receive the quarterly payments; these start in July.
Q: Colleen and Kathy, thank you for everything you all do for the CRONA nurses. Though we do not always express our gratitude, we truly feel empowered and unified by your support. Much Love.
A: Thank you! All CRONA leadership are also bedside nurses, so we are really all in it together. The more informed and involved we are, the stronger we are, and the better!
Q: I volunteered a leave of absence 5/12- 7/3. But my manager says she can only let me know on a week by week basis. Is this true? Or is there a way to let me know my schedule for the rest of the month?
A: Your schedule must be published for 4 weeks at a time; this is in our contract. If your schedule is only made available a week at a time, please send us an email at email@example.com so we can follow up.
Q: How do we voluntarily get tested for COVID-19 swab and blood test?
A: Call Occupational Health and make an appointment. They make the appointments and have the most current information about hours and locations of testing.
Q: We are testing patients for COVID-19 and I requested that the provider order isolation for the patient as we wait for results. The provider told me that isolation is not necessary. Please advise.
A: If your patient is being tested because of symptoms and is a PUI (Person Under Investigation), isolation is required. If your patient is asymptomatic and is being tested due to pending procedure, treatment, or admission, then your patient is not a PUI and does not need to be isolated. This is the same as when staff have COVID-19 asymptomatic testing – we are not on quarantine pending results.
Q: A new hire nurse in my department was called into our manager’s office and told that she has to give up one shift per week as part of the TWA. Is that correct?
A: NO! No CRONA nurse, regardless of hire date, is required to take a set number of hours of PTO or unpaid time off.
Q: Good evening I am new to CRONA , I have noticed that there’s not much in the agreement for newcomers however I believe something needs to be done about incoming pay scale most of us have years and years of nursing but we are started at a set step and pay scale and I don’t think that’s fair.
A: Within limits, the step you start at is negotiable and determined by HR. The priorities of the Negotiation Team are the priorities of the membership. Two contracts ago we achieved improvements in step and salary for the many new graduate and limited experience nurses that has been hired at that time. If this is a priority for our membership, we will pursue it. That is why the negotiation survey that goes out in the fall of 2021 will be so important for everyone to complete.
Q: How do you think these different staff issues that have arisen as the result of COVID for impacts negotiations for next year/does it?
A: The Negotiation Team pursues new contract language based on the priorities of our membership. If COVID-19 affects the priorities of our members, that will impact our goals at the next negotiations. Most of our contract language was pursued as a solution to a past problem. What problems will we want to solve in the next contract? That’s up to us!
Q: Hi there, is it true that no one can pick up your shift even the one who picks it up doesn’t accrue OT? It won’t change the budget so I don’t get it why they decline it.
A: This does not make sense, the person who picks up your shift would be counted as OSC and first in line to be cancelled if the unit is overstaffed. You should be able to have another nurse pick up your shift. It sounds like your manager either received bad information or has a misunderstanding. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with details so we can follow up.
Q: I did not get the $2000 one-time bonus for this paycheck although I uploaded my proof of certification before March 31. I was given $375 quarterly pay instead. Please advise.
A: What?! Please email email@example.com with the details of your situation. The $2000 bonus will be on the May 22 paycheck, you should not receive the quarterly payment now.
Q: Will crisis care be taxed as income?
A: This is a question for HR and possibly your tax advisor, sorry we do not have that information.
Q: Are the hours you are canceled or take voluntary off for the TWA, do the hours continue to add up for the duration of TWA or does it reset each pay period?
A: Hours of cancellation, including any voluntary time off, are counted by the pay period and everyone resets to zero at the beginning of each pay period. That is part of the Staffing Absent Day policy.
Q: Do the RNs in the clinics have representation?
A: All CRONA Nurses have representation. One of the reasons we starting having the online webinars was to provide more easily accessible information for nurses from remote sites, many of which are clinics.
Q: So just to clarify, if I am a Relief B nurse, I will get the 1% retention pay off 32 hours a pay period even if I’ve been working 72 hours in a pay period?
A: Yes, it is based on your commitment, not on actual hours worked.
Q: If you are on leave and are blocked out of HealthStream how do you upload your certification document – management states they are not able to upload these documents to individual profiles either?
A: Email CPEI (LPCH) or CEPD (SHC) with the information and request assistance. They are aware that a nurse on leave does not have access to HealthStream.
Q: Is there a max number of hours a staff member can be cancelled/called off? Today I was canceled for an hour, would that count as one incident?
A: Cancellation is by hours, not incident. There is not a set minimum or maximum number of hours except as specified in the Staffing Absent Day policy. The next time in the pay period that someone is due to be cancelled, if you have one hour and your coworkers have zero hours, one of them will be cancelled ahead of you – even if your coworkers are more senior.
Q: I was out on administrative leave and only received my base rate even though I work night shift. Why didn’t I get my shift diff?
A: The hospital is not paying shift differential on paid administrative leave related to COVID-19.
Q: Good evening to all panelists. What information do we send to enter the raffle?
A: There will be a giveaway with 4 backpacks each week. This week’s drawing was for nurses who attended the webinar. We had an extra backpack and gave away 5 tonight at the webinar. Next week’s contest is social media. Like/comment/share our social media posts on Instagram and/or Facebook. The following week will be CRONA Nurse photos: send us a photo via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter. The last week’s contest will be Nominate a Nurse: tell us who deserves to be recognized and (briefly) why. This information is in the most recent newsletter.
Q: Our LPCH management was told that education time that had been preapproved for the TWA period now had to be “specially approved” by upper management. Is this true?
A: LPCH is not allowing any use of education time if the time is requested during the schedule request period. We have also had a nurse denied education time she already had pre-approved and we are working to get that decision reversed as it is a violation of the Pre-approved Vacation and Pre-approved Education Days policy. If you have a similar issue – at either hospital, please let us know.
Q: They also got an email from employee-labor relations stating that if the conference for which the education was cancelled, then the education time will be cancelled.
A: Please forward the email to email@example.com.
Q: I love those new texts from CRONA, thank you! very helpful!
A: You’re welcome! We will not be texting frequently, but will share occasional information via our new text system. CRONA leadership is constantly working on ways to improve our communications.
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