National Nurses United of the National Capital Region
Welcome to Washington Hospital Center Nurses
24 hour Unfair Labor Practice Strike Set for December 22
Strike manual available!
Monday 12/22/14 Update
Our picket on Monday December 22 promises to be fun and powerful. Getting there is easy.
In the likely event that MedStar management prevents us from parking in our campus lots, arrangements have been made for FREE parking at 2435 Sherman Ave NW Washington DC. A free NNU shuttle will be running back and forth from the picket to the parking lot all day.
Please arrive early and dress warmly so that we can have a powerful presence right at 7 am. Our strike will proceed regardless of the weather.
We will picket from 7 am to 5 pm in the areas just outside of the Emergency Department entrance. The night shift from Sunday night should walk out and join the group as early as they can, we will be there to welcome everyone with food and warm drinks starting at 6 am. We will have music and free food trucks during the day.
Nurses scheduled to work on Monday December 22 after 5 am should NOT report for duty, MedStar management has told us that striking nurses working on or after 5 am on Monday December 22 should NOT report to their departments.
To make picket signs and provide last minute information, we have planned a Picket Sign making and Information Party on Saturday December 20, 8:30 am to noon, Plymouth Congregational Church 5301 North Capitol Street NE Washington DC. Join the group to craft some picket signs and enjoy some snacks and the company of your fellow strikers. RSVP to Stephen Frum. Stephen Frum RN 4H Chief Shop Steward NNU/MWHC 202 494 8083
A few questions have recently come up:
Q: What about our benefits during this strike or possible lockout?
A: During this strike and any lockout, we remain employees – fully covered by benefits for which we have already paid. Everyone will remain fully covered by health insurance, we will receive the match to the 403(b), etc.
Q: Why are we striking?
A: We want safe staffing and compliance with a staffing plan, cost of living (1.5-2%) pay increases for ALL nurses, and we oppose management's plan that would permit them to cut our health insurance, pension, and PTO at any time.
Q: Is the threat of a 10 day lockout legal?
A: No. Yesterday we filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the threats and coercion that MedStar management has brought into our workplace. The NLRB will be investigating these charges and possibly holding a trial.
Q: I noticed a little more money on my paycheck today. What is this about?
A: On many of our checks this week is a payment entitled “Grievance” – this is a refund of monies that MedStar unlawfully charged us for health insurance in 2014. We won grievances against their illegal deductions and are now receiving repayments.
Keep the questions coming, hope to see you on Saturday, and see you on Monday on the picket line!
12/5/14 : Update on contract, Nurses in DC win!
Earlier this week, following the successful one-day strike, NNU nurses at Providence Hospital settled their first union contract. They won, among other things:
- A professional practice committee of elected RNs.
- Guaranteed Raises for all RNs of 6% to 25% over the life of the contract.
- Charge Nurse Pay- $2.00 per hour.
- Preceptor Pay– $2.00 per hour.
- 8 paid holidays.
- PTO–9.23 hours per pay period.
- Implementation of a Staffing System and Plan.
Our sister NNU nurses at Providence won these gains by standing up and conducting a one-day strike (with no lockout) on November 12. Over months of bargaining, Providence management issued a “last, best, and final offer” on three separate occasions. Nurses stood strong and got a better deal.
Later this month, we at MWHC will likely have to deliver a strike notice to MedStar management because they have refused to return to bargaining. Our resolution and unity, like the nurses at Providence Hospital, will determine what we are able to achieve for each other, the patients, and ourselves.
So, what has brought us to this point?
Management has refused to address staffing, the #1 issue for RNs, in the contract.
Management’s proposal would suppress RN wages in our hospital and the region by keeping new grad rates of pay low (when inflation is taken into account). The new grad rate of pay in 2013 was $28.09/hr. Management wants it to be $28.65/hr in 2018! This wage suppression affects all of us: our rates of pay are pegged to the new grad rate. MedStar management hires more nurses than all other hospitals in DC combined. If they are able to keep wages so low for so long, we will all fall behind.
For years we received across the board increases (ATB) on an annual basis. Here is a review of the ATB increases over the past few years – and a projection of what management wants to do in the future:
|Year||ATB||New Grad Rate|
|2002||3%||New Grad = $19.41/hr|
|2004||range 23.6% - 10 %||New Grad = $24/hr|
|2008||3.5%||New Grad = $27.67/hr|
|2013||1.5%||New Grad = $28.09/hr|
|2018||zero||New Grad = $28.65/hr (an increase of less than $1/hr in 10 years)|
Our step increases are acknowledgement for our increasing experience and skill. If we do not receive ATB increases that keep up with inflation, RN wages actually go down.
Here are some links for more information:
Review our analysis of management’s proposal , and, on the last page, management’s wage proposal (new grads = $28.65 in May 2018).
Review NNU’s last wage proposal (new grads = $29.59 in November 2016).
We are fortunate to work for an employer who is making a profit (more than $44 million last year). They have chosen to richly reward their president (compensation more than $1 million/year), who has been on the job for just over 4 years. We want turnover of RNs in our hospital (still at >300 per year) to decrease. Improving staffing and raising wages and benefits are the way to do this. Let’s stand strong together.
Nurse Bargaining Team's Recommendations
Management's "Final Offer" rejected
Nurses overwhelmingly authorize 1 day strike.
Download the PDF update flyer which includes dues deduction form.
Negotiation update 11/14/14
On Thursday, members of our bargaining team carried negotiations with management to 2 am Friday morning, in hopes of coming to agreement. After 20 sessions of good faith bargaining, and despite significant movement from our side of the table and creative attempts to find common ground, our proposals were ultimately met with stonewalling and stall tactics.
This morning, after 16 hours of intensive and productive bargaining, management surprised the nurse bargaining team with their ‘last and final offer’. This indicates that management is no longer interested in bargaining; it is a ‘take it or leave it offer’. Highlights of management’s final offer are as follows:
- No improvement in staffing
- Potential cuts to benefits
- Expansion of on call to ANY department
- No wage scale increase in first year; minimal increases in November 2015 and 2016
- Clinical Advancement Bonus, at discretion of management
- Lump sum bonus for select nurses
- Differentials: no improvements to current differentials, no floating or preceptor differential, $2/hr resource differential
Come learn the full details of management’s final offer and cast your vote on Sunday and Monday.
Sunday, November 16th
True Auditorium from 0600-2200
Monday, November 17th
East Building, Room 1103 (Occupation health corridor) 0600-1600 and
1600-2100 in room G002
This contract will deeply affect the patients and nurses of the Washington Hospital Center for the coming years. We cannot ratify a contract or a strike without robust participation from nurses! I look forward to seeing you Sunday or Monday.
As you may know, NNU nurses at Providence Hospital in DC conducted a one day strike yesterday. Nurses are back at work today.TV coverage of the picketline:
Fines? Not our union!
On 11/12/14 hospital management sent a mass email to nurses making claims about intimidation and penalties in the lead up to a possible strike. We take such claims very seriously. At the start of the bargaining session the nurse team asked for more information from the management team about these incidents of harassment so that we could address them directly. Our request was met with deflection and avoidance.
Let us be clear: our nurse Union has zero tolerance for harassment or intimidation of any sort – by union representatives or management. If you feel you have been mistreated, by anyone, please contact me directly. I will investigate and take appropriate action.
Regarding allegations that our union will issue fines for those who exercise their right not to strike: NNU has never and has no plans to ever fine nurses. In the past 4 years NNU nurses have carried out more than 122 strikes across the US, including two here in DC, and no nurse has ever been fined.
Negotiations have not ended. On Wednesday we made progress at the table and are looking forward to resuming bargaining Thursday and Friday. At this stage, allegations and rumors of fines may be intended to distract us from the real issues in these negotiations: safe staffing and fair pay and benefits.
We want our nurse union representatives to be doing work we all can be proud of – if you have been mistreated or feel you
are being misled by anyone (union or management), please contact:
Stephen Frum RN 4H
Chief Shop Steward
202 494 8083
WHC Nurses Overpaid? RNs say NO!
In recent days, many of us have been told that MWHC nurses are at the high end of the pay ladder in the area. However, based on data gathered by MWHC management, that characterization is GROSSLY INACCURATE.
This week, managers have been conducting meetings with nurses in attempt to confuse and divide us. They are providing data from a survey that they commissioned and which they hope will allow them to keep wages low in the region.
Do you think you are overpaid? When MWHC made over $44 million in profits last year and paid their president more than $1 million/year (an increase of 86% in two years), don't you think RNs are entitled to pay increases?
Area Base Hourly Rate Analysis
While WHC's salary range may be within the 75th percentile, the data conclusively shows that more than half of WHC nurses fall well below the area average.
|1,091 RNs||52 RNs||731 RNs|
(MWHC data, based on reported wages of 20 area hospitals.)
- Nearly 62% of nurses at MWHC make less than the area average.
- MedStar says the average hourly wage in the region is $34.94 - in our hospital 1,117 RNS make less than the average. That includes nurses up to step 12.
- MedStar says the 25th percentile in the region is $33.83/hr - it takes a MWHC RN 9 years to reach the 25th percentile!
- The "midpoint" of our wage scale is $38.87 - it takes an RN 16 years to get to the midpoint. No wonder only 1/3 of the nurses are at or above that point.
So, when your manager tries to explain that RNs at MWHC are overpaid, ask them who they think is overpaid.
Today your NNU RN bargaining team concluded its 15th bargaining day. Over these weeks, we have made many thoughtful proposals to address staffing, patient safety and RN retention. On October 22nd, the NNU RN bargaining team submitted our 17 page economic proposal. Management did not submit an economic counter proposal or proposal of their own that day, that week, or the following week. As management had brought no economic proposals to discuss, the bargaining team cancelled negotiations on October 30th and instead spent our day talking to RNs in the hospital. After a two week wait for a response to our 17 page proposal, management provided their 7 sentence counter proposal on November 4th.
Despite the fact that more than 300 nurses leave our hospital every year, management has not made any proposals which improve staffing or will work to keep RNs at MWHC.
Today we offered an 18 page comprehensive proposal, highlights below. The management lawyer told us they would respond on Monday.
Next week we will continue to bargain in good faith. In fact, we have offered to extend bargaining next week until Saturday at midnight.
Management will start agreeing to our patient centered proposals when they see that the nurses are willing to take action to stand up for patients. So please wear that union pin, ask the tough questions, tell your manager you want a fair contract, come to the next union meeting, advocate for improvements. We can do this together!
questions or comments:
Stephen Frum RN
202 494 8083
|Issue||RN Proposal||MedStar Proposal|
|Staffing||Mandatory Minimum Nurse to Patient Ratios
Resource nurse without Patient Assignment
|Continue Current staffing patterns|
|Low Census||Limit shift cancelations||Continue current practice of shorting nurse hours|
|Floating||$2/hr floating differential
Increase number of Float Pool RNs
|Continue current floating practice
No differentials for floating
|Wages||Raises for all Nurses
3% raise in 2014
2.5% raise in 2015
2.5% raise in 2016
|Retention bonuses for completing steps 1,2,3
0.5% raise, only in 2016
No raises for Float Pool RNs
No raises for nurses above step 31
|Nights: no raise
Weekends: no raise
No Preceptor or Floating differential
|PTO||Increase accrual rates||Continue current PTO accrual|
|Compensation for time and fees for mandatory competencies||fees for mandatory competencies RNs to complete mandatory competencies on their own time, in their own time.|
Management's non-economic proposals, September 17, 2014
Management’s First Proposal Raises Safety Concerns
Nurses Elect New Bargaining Team for 2014 Negotiations
Management attempts to implement mandatory on-call, nurses fight back!
Federal Government Orders Management to Provide Health and Safety Information to NursesRead the decision (PDF)
WHC Facility Bargaining Council Consent to Serve Form
Nurses deliver patient care report on DC Hospitals to City Council and Mayor.
April 2014 Health Insurance Update
NNU Nurses Win Historic Victory at MedStar Health!
Board of Nursing Magazine article on Staffing Ratios
Read Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan's ruling that MedStar Washington Hospital Center violated federal labor law by refusing to provide information about hospital staffing patterns and patient safety survey information to registered nurses.Download the ruling (PDF)
Judge rules that Medstar Washington Hospital Center broke federal labor law.
Federal Judge Rules For Nurses, Upholds Arbitrator's Ruling on HealthcareDownload the PDF document on the decision
Help DC RNs Win Safe Staffing Ratios - Sign Our Letter!
Nurse to Patient Ratios protect patients without layoffs
Nurse to Patient Ratio Bill information
Nurses win health insurance arbitration. MedStar's changes unlawful
Management Proposal on RN status options
New web page created for the Professional Practice and Patient Safety Council
Visit the Professional Practice and Patient Safety Council page for the new email address, meeting minutes and news.
Final version of the 2011-2014 WHC-NNU Contract available
Review the Public WHC Patient Care Summary Report (PDF)
Important links and announcements:
- Latest ADO form available. Go to Forms and Documents page for download.
See our Historical Nurse Photos
A history of empowerment of nurses