May 2020 Letter from Union to Providence hospitals

The letter below was sent to Providence St. Joseph’s and Providence Tarzana on May 15, 2020:

Please provide the following information on safety, health risks, financial condition/outlook, and working conditions: 

  1. Is the hospital currently treating cases of COVID-19?
    1. How many COVID-19 patients (either positive test or presumptive) are currently in the facility?
    2. Which departments, units, or areas are currently dedicated to treating COVID-19 patients?
      1. What is the capacity of each?
      2. Are COVID-19 cases treated in any other units or areas, and if so which?
  • How many negative pressure rooms are available and what steps have been taken to ensure that negative-pressure airborne infection isolation rooms are available and functioning correctly and are appropriately monitored for airflow and exhaust handling?
  1. Which departments, units, or areas would COVID-19 cases should the current ones reach capacity?
  1. Are all RNs expected to be ready and able to treat COVID-19 cases? If not, which are and are not?
    1. What training has been provided for RNs who do not typically work in critical care?
  2. Has the hospital applied for any program flexibilities from CDPH or other state agencies so far in 2020? If so, please provide copies of application and response.
  3. What is the facility’s contingency plans if the demand for PPE or other supplies exceeds supply? What is the current supply level?
    1. In what situations are RNs expected to use N95 respirators or PAPRs?
    2. What is the hospital’s policy on reusing N95 respirators? Does the hospital have a sterilization program? If so, please provide documentation.
    3. Are RNs permitted to use masks or other PPE they have obtained from sources other than the hospital? In what situations?
    4. About how many days of N95 respirators does the hospital have (not including reuse)?
  4. What are the hospital’s policies & procedures for laboratory submission of specimens for COVID-19 testing?
    1. Which tests currently run in the hospital?
    2. For rapid tests, when are they used? What are the re-testing policies and how does the hospital treat patients and/or staff who test negative?
    3. What coordination if any has taken place with nearby testing facilities or those managing such tests?
    4. What is the turnaround for each test, from testing to disclosure of results?
  5. What are the hospital’s current policies on COVID-19 testing for RNs? Please provide documentation of current policies and procedures, including what triggers testing, test used, timing, and instructions while awaiting test results.
  6. What are the hospital’s current policies on notifying employees about exposure or possible exposure?
  7. Is the hospital reporting all positive and presumed COVID-19 cases of both patients and staff, as well as deaths, to CDPH? To County Public Health? In what timeline?
  8. Has there been any change in schedules for bargaining unit members due to the pandemic? Are there plans to do so? If so, please provide details, including any pandemic-related scheduling plans and policies.
  9. Please provide information on all RN float pools currently operating in the hospital, including composition, eligibility requirements, how assignments are determined for a shift, and tracking of who has officially expressed interest (or indicated non-interest) in participating.
  10. We are requesting a list showing the following payroll information, for each member, for each month of 2020:
    1. Base wage
    2. Whether full time, part time, or per diem
    3. Typical scheduled hours per week (pre-pandemic)
    4. Hours worked at straight pay
    5. Hours worked at 1.5x OT
    6. Hours worked at 2.0x OT
    7. Times flexed
    8. Hours flexed (if tracked)
    9. Call-off pay and times paid out
    10. Float pool hours
    11. On call hours
    12. Any hazard/crisis pay or equivalent (reflecting pandemic)
  11. We are requesting an update on the hospital’s current budget status and outlook, including:
    1. Operating and total revenue by month for 2020
    2. Operating and total expenses by month for 2020
    3. Budget outlook for the next few months
    4. Revenues received to date from Federal relief packages in response to pandemic (e.g., CARES Act)
    5. Revenues expected from Federal relief packages
    6. Revenues expected from Medi-Cal and any state sources in response to pandemic
  12. We are requesting any plans the hospital has implemented or plans to implement to address any budget gaps or potential gaps.

We are requesting this information as soon as each piece becomes available, and in digital format (interoperable with excel where appropriate for payroll and budget information).

We ask that you send responses to SEIU 121RN’s Research Analyst, Dan Braun, at braund@seiu121rn.org. You may address any questions to him at that e-mail address or on his cell phone at 213-268-1175.

It would be most appreciated if you would respond to all parts of the request by May 15, 2020, at the latest. If any portion of the requested information cannot be delivered by that date, we ask that you provide us a reason and a fulfillment timeline.

Sincerely,
Rosanna Mendez
Executive Director, SEIU Local 121RN

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