Frank Sims, RN, President
Lifespan Screening/Attestation Policy (posted 4/5)
Personal/Family Resource Guide (posted 3/27/20)
Mandatory (Involuntary) Call Off Tracking Form: Use this form to record the hours you were called off & send to the union office.
- Voluntary Furloughs - As you know, in several low-census areas in the Hospital, some members have been offered a voluntary furlough. The Local has been working hard to ensure that no one was involuntarily furloughed, but if you were forced to go home because of low census in your area or not enough work, and you were not offered the choice to be floated or re-deployed, please contact the Union at one of the numbers below.
- Re-Deployment - The Hospital recently sent out a communication about re-deployment. As this crisis intensifies, many of you are going to be asked to take on roles and work that may have never done before and others will be asked to learn train and learn new skills to help out for the coming wave of patients. While the Union encourages member to temporarily take on new roles and jobs and learn new skills, please make sure you communicate with your manager if you are not comfortable performing any tasks which are asked of you.
In its recent communication, the Hospital indicates that you may be required to changes shifts and/or schedules when being re-deployed. We have urged the Hospital to seek volunteers first. We encourage anyone who was asked by the hospital to change their shift or schedule, and has the flexibility, please do so to help out. If you are forced to change your shift or schedule in violation of the contract, please contact the Union immediately.
Vacation Schedules - the Hospital has delayed the vacation schedule posting. They will be sending out the vacations schedules shortly. However, please be aware that because of the uncertainty of the future and the potential need for staff throughout the summer, the hospital will be reserving the right to re-assess the vacation schedule as the need arises. The Union is working with the Hospital to make sure that no member will lose vacation hours as a result of any disruption, as well as trying to give everyone the opportunity to take vacation.
- Visitation Policy - the Hospital has updated the visitation policy to the hospital several times over the past week. Please click HERE for the most up-to-date version. If you believe that the policy is not being applied as it should be, please contact the Union at the numbers below.
- Employee Screening - The Hospital will be screening employees as they enter for work. It is our understanding that for now, the screening will be similar to the screening that visitors undergo, we will keep you updated as details emerge. To see the new screening/attestation policy, click HERE.
- Supply and Equipment Shortage: We have been in contact with both Lifespan administration, the Governor's office and Senators Reed and Whitehouse concerning the dwindling supplies, including the shortage of N-95s. All entities are working to procure these much needed supplies and UNAP has assisted both the State and the Hospital in trying to track down leads for more supplies. We will provide updates as they occur.
In the meantime, please stay informed and check up on the ever changing Hospital guidelines. CDC Guidelines on 'Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE
- Furloughs: The Union has met with Hospital leadership over the issue of furloughs.
As it stands today, there should not be any "involuntary" furloughs/call-offs. All furloughs/call-offs should be voluntary and offered in order of seniority.
If you voluntarily take a furlough, you may use vacation, holiday, and sick time or take it unpaid. If you choose to be furloughed without pay, you may collect unemployment, even if only for one day (The State Dept. of Labor has waived the 7 day waiting period for unemployment). Remember, if you take an unpaid furlough for one week or longer, your health insurance will continue for the periods you are out of work, though you will be responsible for your share of the insurance (co-share) - Lifespan will send you a bill at some point in time after your return.
If you are involuntarily furloughed/called-off, please contact the Union- see numbers below.
- Re-Deployment: When at all possible - members should be offered the opportunity to be re-deployed, rather than furloughed/called-off, to areas around the Hospital that need additional help. I encourage all of you who are offered re-deployment and do not want to take a call-off, please take the re-deployment. There are areas around the Hospital that need our help, and we need to support those areas.
- Union Support: The Local has increased the number of liaisons and days they are working, so that you will have a union resource available as much as possible. You may contact one of the four numbers below.
- Resource Guide: Lifespan has published a resource guide for all employees- it includes childcare services, sitter exchanges, etc. Take a look here: Personal & Family Resources
- If an employee calls out sick for themselves or to care for a family member for a NON Covid-19 reason- the regular provisions of the contract, law and policies apply i.e. use of sick time, sick/safe, etc
- If an employee calls out and does not state a reason for the call out, it will be assumed to be sick. (same policies apply as #1)
- If an employee calls out for childcare issues or non-health related issues, the time out will be coded as vacation until the employee's vacation bank is down to an amount equal to his/her standard weekly hours. At this point, the employee may use sick time (including Sick Safe leave), continue to use vacation or take unpaid leave.
- If an employee is called off and works in an "open" unit (see Article 22 of the contract for a list of Closed units), the provisions of Article 14.10 shall apply. (the employee may choose to be floated, use vacation/holiday time off or take unpaid time off).
- If an employee tests positive for the Covid-19 as a result of direct contact with a positive Covid-19 tested patient, that employee will receive workers compensation benefits.
- If an employee tests positive for the Covid-19 virus as a result of community exposure, that employee will utilize the sick time (including Sick Safe leave) provisions of the contract.
- If you are out of work due to the Covid-19 virus, either yourself or to care for a family member you may be eligible for TDI or TCI. For more information: DLT Fact Sheet
- If you anticipate being out of work for 5 days or more, whether Covid-19 related or not, please contact the Reed Group in order to start the Leave of Absence (LOA) provision. Reed Group (844) 391-6675
- Employees who have canceled vacations in the near future may give back their vacation time pursuant to Article 29.12 of the contract, with approval of their manager even if within the 60 day period.
- A local news station wrote a fairly comprehensive article about the state benefits and Covid-19. Click on COVID-19, by Ted Nesi, Tim White to read.
- The United Way of RI has put out a one page sheet of resources.
As mentioned, all the above remains in a fluid state and we will continue to provide information as it becomes available, and as always, Local 5098 will continue to fight to minimize the impact on members due to this nationwide crisis.