Virginia Mason Medical Center

Negotiation Update

We met for our first negotiation session on November 8, 2019.

We came prepared with a comprehensive and competitive proposal including fair and equitable wage and premium increases, better nurse staffing, and protection for nurses against violence in the workplace.

Management came with not a single proposal, which was incredibly disappointing, considering that they have had months and months to prepare for this day. After we gave them our proposal, they did not have a response for us.

Maintain your union power and stay strong together. Help us fight for a fair and equitable contract. The employer is working hard to weaken the union which gives you less power at the negotiation table. If you are not a member, join today! Don’t let management drive a wedge into the blood, sweat and tears that went into bargaining by the nurses that came before you. For decades we have fought to gain better wages, hours and working conditions for nurses at VMMC.

Our next two scheduled dates are December 6 and 13. Stay connected and talk to us, your WSNA negotiating team. We are here for you.

In solidarity from your WSNA negotiating team,
Natasza Lorentz, Sam Asencio, Kari Benning, Janelle Coy, Jane Hill-Littlejohn, Sue Dunn, and Suzanne Baek

For questions please contact Terri Williams or Hanna Welander, interim WSNA Nurse Reps /

WSNA/VMMC negotiations are starting!

Our WSNA negotiating team will be meeting with VMMC’s management team next week, Nov. 8, 2019, for our first negotiation session.

WSNA has worked hard over many years to promote professional nursing practice in Washington State. During the 2018 and 2019 Legislative Session, our work was instrumental in getting laws passed that protect nurses, including Breaks and Overtime Protections and Workplace Violence Prevention. These new laws require significant measures that will hold hospitals accountable for keeping nurses and patients safe. We are proud of our work. It is a direct reflection of what we hear nurses need to provide safe and effective care.

To learn more about these new bills please consider attending the following:

We Won! Now What? (Kirkland)
Implementing the new breaks/overtime protections
and workplace violence prevention laws

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Wilde Rover Irish Pub (Gaelic Room)
111 Central Way
Kirkland, WA 98033

1.5 CNE contact hours available

Thanks to all of you who completed the negotiation survey, attended local unit meetings, and provided feedback to us! Your input has been crucial to in making proposed revisions to the collective bargaining agreement (contract). We have considered your input, as well as the issues we have had with management under the current contract. You want improved working conditions, fair compensation, a voice in practice, and a respectful and safe working environment that supports your professional responsibility to deliver quality nursing care. Our proposals to management in our upcoming negotiations reflect your voice.

We will provide updates to you throughout negotiations and will continue to seek your input and participation!

In Solidarity,

Your WSNA Officers and Negotiating Team

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O'Donnel at or 206-575-7979, ext. 3045.

Join us for a local unit meeting

Drop in Tuesday, Aug. 20, for pizza and discussion

We need to hear what you are thinking before we start negotiations!

11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. in Lindeman 1st Floor rooms C & D
5:30 - 7 p.m. in Correa A

In Solidarity – Your Executive Team
Suzanna E. Avery, Natasza Lorentz, Susan L. Dunn,
Suzanne I. Baek, Samuel E. Asencio

Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O’Donnell, MSN, RN at 206-575-7979, ext. 3045.

Negotiation survey reopened

The negotiation survey has been reopened until August 19!

If you did not get the chance to take the negotiation survey in July - you have a second chance now!

Please take a few minutes to reply to the survey. We need all of our VMMC RNs to give us their input!

The survey will remain open until August 19 at 5 p.m.


In Solidarity – Your Executive Team

Suzanna E. Avery, BSN, RN
Jones 11

Natasza Lorentz, BSN, RN
Emergency Department

Suzanne I. Baek, MSN, RN CNOR

Susan L. Dunn, RN
Grievance Officer

Samuel E. Asencio, RN
Membership Officer

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O’Donnell, MSN, RN 206-575-7979, ext. 3045.

VMMC 2019 Negotiation Survey

The current contract between WSNA and your local unit expires November 15, 2019. WSNA will begin negotiations with VMMC Administration this year. This survey is our first step in our preparation for contract negotiations. Your input is critical to determining our priorities as we head to the bargaining table. It is vital that we know your issues and concerns prior to the start of the negotiations.

The survey will be available from now until Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 5 p.m.

Take a moment to complete this survey now. The power of representation comes from the willingness of registered nurses to unite; our strength is in unity! Remember, in order for WSNA to be an effective, strong, influential voice for you at the negotiation table, we need your membership and involvement.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O'Donnell at or 206-575-7979, ext. 3045.

MOA approved!

On March 29, WSNA represented nurses at Virginia Mason voted to approve the WSNA/VM Memorandum of Agreement bringing Buck Pavilion Interventional Radiology nurses into the Jones Tower IR department, and granting those nurses WSNA seniority for their years of service at VM. Buck nurses will receive departmental seniority at hire and full seniority within the bargaining unit after one year.

We are pleased with this result and look forward to welcoming Buck Nurses into the Jones Tower and our bargaining unit!

Sincere thanks to all of you who voted.

In solidarity:

Chair: Suzanna Avery, BSN, RN; (Jones 11) -
Grievance Officer: Sue Dunn, MSN, RN (Hyperbaric) -
Secretary/Treasurer: Suzanne Baek, RN (OR) -
Membership Officer: Sam Asencio, RN (OR) -
Membership/Grievance Officer: Natasza Lorentz -
WSNA Nurse Representative:
Sue O’Donnell, MSN, RN -

Come vote!

Virginia Mason is planning to integrate Interventional Radiology services. Their proposal may bring non-represented nurses from Bucks Pavilion into the Jones Tower IR department and grant those nurses WSNA seniority for their years of service at VM. Bucks nurses would receive departmental seniority at hire and full seniority within the bargaining unit after one year.

WSNA and VM have agreed to similar assimilations in the past following a vote of approval by WSNA represented VM nurses.


Friday, March 29, 2019

  • 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. in Correa Conference Room B (off of cafeteria)
  • 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Correa Conference Room A (off of cafeteria)
  • 5 – 8 p.m. in Correa Conference Room A (off of cafeteria)

Questions? Contact Sue O’Donnell WSNA Nurse Representative at 206-575-7979, ext. 3045 or Suzanna E. Avery, BSN, RN, WSNA VM Chair

Announcing changes in WSNA nurse representative

Please welcome WSNA Nurse Representative Sue O’Donnell, RN. Beginning Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, Sue will be taking over all new issues as they arise at Virginia Mason Medical Center. I will finish up most of the outstanding matters to their conclusion and assist Sue in the coming months, as needed.

Sue can be reached at or 206-575-7979, ext. 3045.

It has been a pleasure working with all of the VMMC RNs for the past three and a half years. I am continuing my work here at WSNA as a nurse representative with a few new assignments. I will miss the VMMC nurses but know you will be in good hands with Sue.

All my best to you,

Terri Williams, MS, RN
WSNA Nurse Rep
206-575-7979, ext. 3058

Congratulations to your newly appointed Local Unit (Interim) Chair!

We extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to our out-going Officer, Pat Callow-Borgeson, RN for her many years of time, hard work and efforts representing the Bargaining Unit.

The current Local Unit Officers have appointed Suzanna Avery, RN as acting Chair. Our next official elections will be in 2019 after the Contract Negotiations are completed. The Contract ends in March 2019.

Suzanna is also a Co-Chair on the hospital Staffing Committee!

Please welcome Suzanna as our new Officer!

Chair: Suzanna Avery, BSN, RN; (Jones 11)

Grievance Officer: Sue Dunn, MSN, RN (Hyperbaric)
Secretary/Treasurer: Suzanne Baek, RN (OR)
Membership Officer: Sam Asencio, RN (OR)
and WSNA Nurse Rep; Terri Williams, MS, RN

Update: Memorandum of Understanding - staffing issues

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) can be found on pages 43-46 of the current collective bargaining agreement. The primary objective of this MOU is to address staffing issues immediately as they occur.

If patient safety is an issue, the “RN Staffing Concern Process” diagram (p. 44-45) calls for a PSA to be completed. If the patient safety issue continues, the RN should escalate the issue to the Nursing Flow Supervisor. In the past, the PSA has not been used regularly for “staffing issues.”

In addition to the PSA, WSNA strongly suggests that nurses continue to complete the Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) form regarding these issues. These are utilized for real-time tracking efforts, in addition to discussing them with management at both the Conference Committee and the Staffing Committee. The PSA forms are not shared with WSNA, only a “recap” of the PSA is shared with us.

The PSA remains confidential and, in the event of an adverse outcome with a patient for which you write a PSA, that PSA would not be admissible in court (to demonstrate your Nursing Judgment was a catalyst for completing the form). An ADO IS admissible in court. Therefore, this form is designed to help you cover your license!

RNs are very busy and patient care is our priority. If you have an issue that requires you to complete an ADO, nd feel it’s just “one more thing” to add to your list, now the PSA is a another! The PSAs have not been utilized by the Staffing Committee in the past to track Staffing Issues, the ADOs were!

Management is now wanting to have you fill out PSAs, too. They cite the updated law (House Bill 1714) regarding Nurse Staffing Plans and patient safety as their catalyst. The new language states the RN must have a way to report staffing issues to the Staffing Committee and to make complaints to the committee.

It was originally agreed (in 20170 that the ADOs would continue to be the manner in which nurses report their staffing issues. The Employer now wants to utilize this MOU language, having nurses complete the PSA, in addition to the ADOs. We strongly suggest you continue reporting these STAFFING issues on the ADO, as well!!! Remember, you can CALL in your PSAs rather than fill out PSA form, which will save you time!

If you do not have ADO forms on your unit, let us know. We will be sure you receive a new supply. You can also print these ADO forms from your computer – at work! Click this link to find the ADO form online. Print and fill out the ADO form, give a copy to your Charge Nurse or Manager; keep a copy for yourself and scan or fax a copy to Terri Williams, MS, RN; WSNA Nurse Rep.

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this.

In Solidarity!

Your Local Unit Officers:

Suzanne I. Baek, MSN, RN CNOR; Secretary/Treasurer; OR

Susan L. Dunn, MS, RN; Grievance Officer & Acting Chair; Hyperbaric

Samuel E. Asencio, RN; Membership Officer; OR

And, Terri Williams, MS, RN; WSNA Nurse Rep;; Fax: 206-575-1908

Grievance update

Your Local Bargaining Unit Officers, WSNA Representative and Hospital Management have worked collaboratively throughout the Grievance Process to ensure the language of the Contract surrounding Annual Leave and Sick Leave is followed correctly.

The outcome of the Grievance is as follows:
VMMC will allow bargaining unit members to choose whether to use accrued, unused annual leave or unpaid leave to cover missed scheduled hours after exhausting their accrued sick leave.

For questions, please contact one of your Officers or Terri Williams, MS, RN; WSNA Nurse Representative.

WSNA is acutely aware of the importance of nurses advocating for the rights and benefits provided in your Contract. Thank you to those who came forward regarding this issue.

In Solidarity!

Your Local Unit Officers:
Chair: Pat Callow-Borgeson, RN (Jones 18)
Secretary/Treasurer: Suzanne Baek, RN (OR)
Grievance Officer: Sue Dunn, MSN, RN (Hyperbaric)
Membership Officer: Sam Asencio, RN (OR)
Nurse Representative: Terri Williams, MS, RN (WSNA)