UWHCA

Safe Staffing = Quality Patient Care

No Patient Assignment For Care Team Leaders, Why?

Medical unit Care Team Leaders (CTLS) still have a 50% patient care assignment. The patient assignment needs to be stable, low acuity patients. Giving up a primary patient to a care team leader is not a satisfier for the staff nurse. “I have built a relationship with this patient when he was really sick and now I can’t care for him!”

CTLS need to triage patients for throughput, coordinate staffing, be a resource to staff nurses, lead in IMOC rounds, improve patient satisfaction and intentional rounding etc. “I want a CTL to have my back not take my patient.”

Patient acuity and throughput continue to rise. Forty five minutes from ED discharge to admit to a unit bed is the UWHC goal but today’s average is 90 minutes.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will reward hospitals for quality patient care.

Let’s organize our units to maximize the best chance for high quality outcomes. Let’s encourage UWHC management to do the right thing. No increase in nurse patient ratios for staff nurses and no patient assignments for CTLS.

 

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Minutes of the May 14th Labor Management Meeting

Union and management representatives met in room E5/492 at 2pm. Four members of the union team and one staff representative were present for the whole meeting. One member of the union team came for the last 90 minutes. Management was represented by 4 labor relations staff and Sue Rees. One member of the union team was absent due to a vacation. Management chose not to bring any of the Nursing Directors to this meeting.

Old Business

 1. Nurse Line Draws – The plan is completed and moving forward live at the West Clinic and U Station. There are 11 nurses trained to the line draws at West and 7 at U Station. East Clinic will go live on July 1st. Management still working on specifics at the CSC outpatient lab. There have been no problems reported at the Oncology Clinic.

 2. Workplace Violence Training – Management is working with security to get the training started while the Academy continues to get its workforce in place.

 3. FAQ on the Rights of Non-Represented Employees – The union believes that management should not be holding captive meetings with our union members. This is interfering with the union’s legal right to represent our employees and enforce the contract. Management should not be meeting with our members without the union present. These meeting are not giving the full picture. There are many rights that the employees will maintain even if non-represented and there are options to utilize the services of our union.

Management asserts that they have a duty to tell the employees about their future as non-represented workers. They claim that they are trying to stick to the facts. When asked why they can’t increase pay to offset the decrease in pension and health insurance benefits Sue Rees stated that census reimbursements are declining and UW wants to remain a viable institution. (more…)

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Improvements Thanks to Labor/Management Meetings

In the last two months, with Sue Rees as the main administrative contact, Labor Management meetings have been more informative and collaborative. We heard about new lab labeling software to be installed in Epic and our mobile med scanners which will hopefully decrease lab-labeling errors. We will continue to file Notice of Risk forms. Often on these forms, we still see that confused patients are frequently mentioned. With this heightened acuity, staff are working over matrix, and with the nursing assistants sitting the confused patients, it leaves the floor understaffed.

Staff who have filled out the Notice of Risk forms point out that these conditions have prevented them from teaching, patient advocacy, charting, and performing at level of job description. Management has replied by opening up student nursing assistant positions. They are reviewing data for upcoming budgets. D45 has hired a nursing assistant for their night shift..

Continue to be proactive on your units and remember the union is following up monthly on your behalf.

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How Committed is Management to Keeping UW’s Status as a World Class Institution?

On April 9th, UW Hospital and Clinics broke ground using gold shovels on a far East-Side location. Prominent community members spoke at this event, praising UW for their expansion. Some even specifically praised the hard work and dedication of the nurses at the UW. Yet the workers who made UW Hospital great — those hardworking healthcare providers — were denied the ample seating inside until late into the event.

It was apparent why the administration was wary to include the nurses they claimed to be so proud of. These healthcare provideers were there in support of “5000 Strong”, a united campaign from various unions that represent UWHC employees, including SEIU. While the administration might have been afraid to discuss the issues of fair union representation with their employees, the union representatives were not. Union leaders were present and happy to stand outside with their members, even in the dreary rain and cold.

President of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin,Dian Palmer, a nurse for over 25 years, and AFSCME council 24 executive director Marty Beil, as well as assistant director Jana Weaver were present at the action. While administration was mostly unwilling or unable to stop and speak to their employees (even when they knew them, personally,) the union leaders happily engaged with the employees of UWHC, asking them about their jobs, their experiences, and why they are choosing to organize in support of representation after July 2014.

Together, the employees of UWHC and union leaders stood in solidarity of what has made UWHC successful- the 5,000 union members and employees that provide the quality patient care that UWHC is known for- and continuing access to a strong workplace voice to provide it.

If you are interested in learning more about the 5000 Strong Campaign, please contact Michael Pionke at  (608) 622-9212 or visit www.5000strong.net

 

 

 

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05/06 – UWHC Union Advocate

The Union Advocate is member-produced publication for and by our members at UW Hospitals & Clinics.

Click here to download a PDF version of the newsletter.

uw What’s Happening at UWHCA: “Notice of Risk”: Union pushing back as patient safety issues increase
Labor Management Meeting Updates:
Minutes from 4/10 Meeting
• Improvements Thanks to Labor/Management Meetings
How Committed is Management to Keeping UW’s Status as a World Class Institution?

Lobby Day Information & Schedule (PDF)

Interested in Attending Labor Management Meetings? Join your peers at the labor management meetings which are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month in the main hospital. For information contact Larry at the union office at 608-277-1199.

 

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Labor Management Meeting Minutes from 4/10

Union and management representatives met in room E5/492at 3pm. Five members of the union team and two staff representatives were present for the entire meeting. One member of the union team came for the last 10 minutes. Management was represented by 4 labor relations staff and Sue Rees. One  member  of the union team was absent due to a medical appointment. Management chose not to bring any of the Nursing Directors to this meeting. (more…)

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“Notice of Risk”: Union pushing back as patient safety issues increase

“Our staff is burning out!”

B4/4: “Very confused and agitated patient receiving blood products, trying to get out of lap restraint-required three people to get into ceiling lift.”

F6/6: “Not enough staff for acuity. Had to place pt with PSA due to safety. Did not have adequate NA’s to work the floor.”

P/5: “Child frequently de-saturating into low 70%. No extra staff.”

F6/6: “Flexed up 4 patients. Sup tried to give us additional patient, but was able to convince them we could not flex up to 5. No breaks, quick lunch and many interruptions.”

“Due to our patient acuity we could fill these out every day.” (more…)

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04/15 – Latest News at UWHC

The Union Advocate is member-produced publication for and by our members at UW Hospitals & Clinics.

Click here to download a PDF version of the newsletter.

uw What’s Happening at UWHCA: Censorship & Bullying — Management Attempts to Break CBA

Labor Management Meeting Updates:
Patient Care Suffers on D4/4
Management Must Respond to Notice of Risk Reports

UWHCA Chapter Steward List (PDF)

Interested in Attending Labor Management Meetings? Join your peers at the labor management meetings which are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month in the main hospital. For information contact Larry at the union office at 277-1199.

 

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Management Must Respond to Notice of Risk Reports

Our union members continue to file Notice of Risk (NOR) to patient care forms when they face unsafe staffing levels on their units. At the March 12th Labor Management Meeting NORs were discussed from D4/4, D4/5, and F6/6.

D4/4: A float nurse who was assigned three other patients was also assigned to care for the abusive patient referenced in the adjoining article. Since one of the two NAs was sitting the abusive patient there was only 1 NA for the other 17 patients. On the NOR the nurse who filed the NOR wrote,” 1 NA on floor overwhelmed, unable to assist at times when needed. Conditions prevented me from teaching, charting, and performing at level of job description.” Of the 5 nurses on the unit three were 2.5 floats and only 2.5 were core. During the course of the shift the Attending, Intern, Psych CNS, Nurse Manager, and CTL attempted to help care for the abusive patient in bed 74. (more…)

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Nurses and NAs Required to Care for Abusive Patient

Patient Care Suffers on D4/4

For 73 days, nurses and NAs on D4/4 provided care for the patient in bed 74. This patient was verbally abusive and would wander throughout the floor, often  requiring staff to limit their care to other patients to ensure that he would not cause a disturbance. NA staff used to sit with this patient and as a result, on multiple occasions, there was only one NA to care for the remaining patients on the unit. In one Notice of Risk (described in another article), there was only one NA for the remaining 17 patients. In describing the work atmosphere on D4/4 a nurse stated “It always looked like the floor was short because we sat our own. We did not feel that supervisors provided the resources that the patient needed.”

Management had no solution to this problem. However, at the Labor Management Meeting, where this concern was discussed, our union nurses offered some simple, reasonable solutions, such as:

  • Look at formulating a plan to provide care to a patient with psychological and behavioral needs.
  • Provide more staff support and a plan to discharge and place the patient in a one room unit that would be safer for both the patient and the staff.

UW Hospital prides itself on providing excellent patient care. Nightly, we are inundated with glossy television commercials that remind us that UW is a prestigious hospital. Nurses on D4/4 and other units are starting to ask the question, ‘Is this the same UW where I work?’

 

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