Skip to main content


Report from the Staffing Committee

February 29, 2012

Our Union received Assignment Despite Objection forms from RNs on the dates listed below. This is a just a sample of staffing complaints heard around the hospital. If one were to look closely, they would see that units were not in compliance with the hospital’s staffing plan many nights during this 30-day period. Charge RNs had patient loads, we lacked sitters, CNAs, monitor techs and unit secretaries. Remote Telemetry is still being staffed at 5:1 although mandatory ratios call for 4:1.

We have been busy. We are thankful for the meals the hospital provides, yet morale and patient care and satisfaction would improve if the hospital staffed the units appropriately. The Hospital has asked us to do more with less.  Moreover, we feel that if the hospital enforced its own hospital staffing plan as it enforces RNs meeting core measures, our staffing would be a priority.

Jan. 20 – ICU, Burn, 6W Jan. 22 – COU Jan. 25 – 6W Jan 27 – Burn Jan 28 – COU, Burn Jan 29 – COU, Med Surg, DOU Jan 30 – DOU, 6W, COU Jan 31 – 6W Feb. 1 – DOU, Burn, COU Feb. 2 – ER Feb. 3 – Burn Feb. 4 – COU, DOU, Med Surg, Burn Feb. 5 – COU, DOU, Med Surg Feb. 6 – COU Feb. 7 – Med Surg Feb. 8 – COU Feb. 9 – Med Surg, COU, DOU, 6W Feb. 10 – COU, Med Surg Feb. 11 – COU, DOU Feb. 14 – COU, 6W Feb. 21 – COU Feb. 22 – Med Surg, COU, 6W Feb. 24 – 6W Feb. 25 – COU Feb. 26 – COU Feb. 27 – COU

Our staffing concerns have been raised in many different ways, such as at the Staffing Issues Committee and through filing grievances. Below are grievances that have been filed:

Handicap Parking

On Feb. 24, the hospital Moxed us a memo regarding parking. This memo created confusion for employees who have state-issued handicap placards. After much discussion, the hospital clarified that they are not limiting parking for employees with legal handicap placards. These employees may continue to park in designated handicap spaces.

Good to know! It would be helpful if the hospital policy and the memo we received on Feb. 24 was updated to reflect current hospital policy and the law.

ER Holding Area

Float Pool nurses, spearheaded by Cate Canava, filed a grievance about Float Pool assignments when working in the ER holding area. We met with hospital representatives at the first step of the grievance procedure and discussed concerns about health and safety issues concerning our patients and our licenses. Specifically, we were asked to work out of ratio when we were holding ICU patients.

Cate says, “We are looking forward to a resolution and trying to stay positive. We are eager to work with management to resolve our concerns.”

Floating — Know Your Rights

Several RNs in ICU were floated to the floors and Agency and Travelers were allowed to stay on the unit. Employees grieved this and worked out a resolution.

Remember the floating order according to our contract is as follows:

  1. 1. Float Pool
  2. 2. Solicited Volunteers
  3. 3. Agency and Travelers
  4. 4. Per Diem
  5. 5. All other employees on a rotational basis

Agency and Travelers float before a West Hills staff RN. Our contract language is clear and unambiguous. If this happens to you, make sure you let the House Supervisor, Manager and Steward know. If your assignment is not changed, have your steward grieve it for you.

There are two committees that 121RN members serve on at West Hills: Labor Management (Elley Langsam, L&D, Monique Johnson, ICU, Kathleen Burke, ER) and Staffing Issues, (Susan Schneider Farrell, Outpatient Surgery, and Sandy Gill, Med Surg). The next Staffing Issues meeting will be on March 21. If you would like to bring a concern to one of these meetings, talk with a committee member.

Click here to view and/or print complete flyer.