Northern Nevada Regional Hospital

Elko, NV
Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital web site

Vice President:

Chief Stewards:

  • Karla Dittrich (Chief Steward – NNRH Nursing)
  • Edna Morris (Chief Steward – NNRH Ancillary)

Stewards:

  • Sherry Boluna
  • Jessica Borkman
  • Oleta Carlson
  • Lorinda Frehner-Dull
  • Lanette Holmes
  • Louisa Quintero
  • Stefanie (Stef) Reeves

Governor Signs Groundbreaking Patient Protection Bill, SB 362!

SEIU Nevada unites healthcare workers in our commitment to provide the safest and highest quality of care for our patients and the public we serve. Our history in defending our bedside staff and protecting our patients has been at the very principal of our organizing the healthcare systems throughout the state. As well, we have built a Healthcare Committee that not only brings together nurses but all the ancillary staff throughout the hospitals and from around the Silver State.

We conducted Statewide Healthcare Summits to address the current healthcare crisis in our state.  Last year, in our Healthcare Workers 2012 Summit, we reviewed our universal frustration with staffing levels within our facilities and our lack of enforcement power. We put forward a staffing bill that we felt would address both issues.  We renewed our efforts to implement state-wide minimum staffing ratios to address the staffing level and the protection of our patients.  We kicked things off by collecting hundreds of Assignment Despite Objection forms which supported our cause for a great need for legislative change.

Senate Bill 362

In our efforts to ensure patients receive quality care, we sought sponsorship and support for a Minimum Nurse Staffing Ratios Bill. Staffing Ratios has been a long standing battle between SEIU Nurses and hospital administrations not only in Nevada but throughout the country. A Safe Staffing Bill would  have required hospitals to create an acuity system and annual staffing plan, including minimum nurse-to-patient ratios, and provide for penalties if such ratios are not met. In Nevada, we have submitted Staffing Bills in 2003, 2007 and in 2009.

We still believe staffing is the right solution. Although we were able to make tremendous gains and secure groundbreaking legislation, unfortunately, we did not win Senate Bill 362 in its original format. However, after a long drawn out debate, Senator Spearman found a common interest with all parties to increased protection of the patients and the staff who cares for them.

SB 362 Will:

·         Establish the power within the Staffing Committees for health care workers to set the matrixes for all the units in order to provide quality patient care.

·         Develop the necessary policies to ensure the hospitals adhere to the established matrixes.

·         Identify how Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants ARE PROTECTED from retaliation if they exercise their right to refuse an assignment.

·         Reiterates provisions already in Nevada Administrative Code NAC 632 that authorizes RNs and CNAs the right to refuse an assignment.

·         Establishes investigations, penalties and fines for medical facilities that do not develop and implement staffing plans.

·         SB 362 authorizes the Health Division to oversee at the Staffing committees, policies, and patient ratios as part of the medical facilities licensing process.

·         Note RNs and CNAs who are in labor unions already have additional provisions in their negotiated contract to utilize Acceptance Despite Objection Forms – Now SB 362 gives that right to everyone whether they are in a Union or not!

•           Under SB 362, we will have a neutral entity, the Nevada Division of Health, overseeing and logging the complaints.  We increased our powers within our Staffing Committees, hospitals will have to develop appropriate matrixes  and nursing care requirements for each unit and tie these provisions to the licensing processes of our facilities in Clark and Washoe County.

A big thank you to our President Al Martinez and the many RN and healthcare leaders and professionals who advocated on behalf of this bill. We are pleased the Governor has signed this groundbreaking legislation and look forward to being part of the implementation and part of the solution!

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Important Safe Staffing & Patient Protection Legislative Update

SEIU members have shown strong support for Senate Bill 362, SEIU’s Patient Protection and Safe Staffing Bill. Members testified speaking directly of the challenges they encounter when they are forced to treat too many patients at once. We provided testimony about hospital readmissions and how our hospitals will continue to be penalized for providing poor quality care. We spoke from the heart and from our profession to get lawmakers to understand just how critical having patient protections in place is. We submitted a petition with over 1,400 supporters. We submitted studies and research and stats.

OUR HARD WORK IS PAYING OFF! With the help and dedication of Senator Spearman, we passed Senate Bill 362 out of the Senate Finance Committee.  We expect by the end of the week for the bill to pass the Senate floor. The next hurdle will be a hearing in the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee. Though the bill does not contain specific ratio, groundbreaking additions have been made that will significantly strengthen current statute and add statute that applies to both to RNs and CNAs.

  • SB 362 requires our facilities to provide detailed staffing plans including the number, skill mix, and classification of the RNs and CNAs per unit to be determined by Staffing Committee, which must consist of bed-side staff and administrators, jointly.
  • CNAs will be officially recognized by being added to the State mandated Staffing Committees by having representatives added to the hospital Staffing Committees for the work they contribute to the nursing team.
  • Via Staffing Committees, an official written policy must be enacted for refusing a work assignment. this  includes facilities without union contracts.
  • This legislation lays out the process to file an official complaint with the Nevada Health Division, who will also log all complaints, including violations of staffing plans. Additionally, it empowers the Nevada Health Division to move an investigation and if need be penalize the facility.

Call to Action! Call or email your State Legislators. Let them know this legislation is a crucial step towards better Staffing Levels  and not only good for bedside hospital staff but for our entire community. Send an email.  Go to http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/77th2013/legislators/  to find email addresses of your representatives.  Be sure to include the bill number, SB 362, or topic of your comments in the subject line.  Be brief and be clear about what you like or don’t like. Or call,  Northern Nevada:  1-775-684-6800 OR 1-775-684-6789  – Southern Nevada:  1-702-486-2626

Toll Free : 1-800-978-2878 OR 1-800-995-9080 OR 1-800-992-0973

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Tentative Contract Reached!

We’re thrilled to report that today we reached a tentative agreement with Northern Nevada Regional Hospital for a three-year contract for our ancillary/support staff.

This is welcome news as we work to negotiate a contract for our nurses there, too.

We need all support staff to come ratify the contract Thursday Dec. 6. We’ll be in the Education Classroom near the Cafeteria from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to answer your questions. Questions? Contact Chief Negotiator Cheryl Nolan Bunch at cbunch@seiunv.org

 

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NNRH Bargaining Starts

NNRH SEIU members had their first bargaining session Friday, March 16 with the Hospital for the Ancillary contract. Our Bargaining Team put proposals across at this opening session and we are in the very early stages of this process.

Get Involved & Stay Informed

We want membership involvement and participation throughout bargaining. We will be meeting again for bargaining Wednesday, April 4 and Thursday April 5.

In Other News…

The national news media has turned its eye once again toward Elko. NBC News published a story titled, “Nevada’s modern-day gold rush creates new mining jobs”. We posted a link to the story on our Facebook page, facebook.com/SEIUNevada.

For more information, please contact Don Barnett 775-685-0624 or by e-mail at dbarnett@seiunv.org

Next Bargaining Dates:
Wednesday, April 4 & Thursday, April 5

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