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What's Happening at West Hills

September 9, 2011

September 9, 2011 -- We welcomed two new stewards – Kathleen Burke in the ER and Laura Keith in COU.

The Hospital is supposed to meet with our Union to discuss implementing a Clinical Ladder.  If you would like to serve on the committee that will develop our Clinical Ladder, contact Judith Serlin, SEIU Local 121RN at (213) 247-4584 or

During the past few months, our Union has been busy representing employee interests at Staffing Issues Committee meetings, Labor Management meetings and handling grievances.


We won a contract; now we must make sure our managers respect and adhere to the contract.

Missed Breaks and Lunch

RNs who work 12 hours should receive three 15-minute breaks and one 30-minute uninterrupted lunch. Over the past year, RNs throughout the hospital have filed multiple grievances over the hospital’s refusal to pay for missed breaks or lunch. The hospital is now paying RNs who miss their rest or meal period, but we continue to grieve this issue. For instance, when the House Supervisor or a Director won’t sign the missed break/meal period form, a grievance should be filed. If you miss a rest or meal break, fax a copy of your missed break or meal form to the Union office at (818) 760-8039.

In many units, the hospital has required the House Supervisor to sign off on the “no break / no lunch” form. If RNs do not have time to take a break or lunch, they certainly do not have time to track down a house supervisor. Our Union has brought this concern to HR for clarification and we are waiting for a response.

Paycheck Errors

The RN management team agreed to follow our contract and pay employees (when the hospital makes a mistake on the pay check) within three work days. Management has acknowledged that they should be following the contract.

Call Off

The hospital failed to follow the call off order in the contract, calling off a full-time RN before a per diem. The manager agreed that she had called off the RN in the incorrect order but only agreed to pay the RN after a grievance was filed.

Distribution of Shifts

If you believe you should be awarded the shift, it pays to check it out and then to grieve incorrect shift assignments. A number of RNs have raised the issue and it has paid off for them. If you are signed up to work an available shift and are not selected to work the shift when you believe you should have been, talk with a steward.

Staffing Issues Committee

At Staffing Issues Committee, RN representatives Sandra Gill, Med/Surg, and Susan Schneider, Ambulatory Infusion, have addressed staffing concerns in Med/Surg and COU. According to the acuity system, the hospital is supposed to provide the Med/Surg unit with a set number of CNAs regardless of the number of admits. Our Union has asked that the hospital consider admits when it schedules CNAs. Still waiting for an answer.

The hospital introduced a pilot program in which COU RNs were required to work in ER in the Chest Pain Center. We were told that the hospital was reviewing the program to determine whether to adopt it permanently.  In the meantime, we made a number of suggestions based on comments we heard from COU RNs.

If you have an issue you would like addressed at the Staffing Issues Committee, talk to Sandra or Susan.

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