ALL COMMUNICATIONS are listed BELOW the Links:
Hotel Options for Health Care Workers (posted April 17)
Dormitory Housing (Abbott email) (posted April 17)
Lifespan COVID Master Policy 27 pages. (posted 4/8)
PPE Covid Lifespan FAQ Part 1 (posted 4/8)
PPE Covid Lifespan FAQ Part 2. (posted 4/8)
PPE USE for COVID Patient (Dr. Murphy Email April 6) (posted 4/8)
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.
- Preceptors: As I mentioned in a previous communication, many of you are training co-workers to be able to perform jobs requiring different skill levels. If you are being required to train or "up-skill" a co-worker, please keep track of the dates and hours and contact the Union with that information.
- Vacation Cap Increase: RI Hospital is increasing the vacation cap for a couple of months to account for the lack of vacation being taken. Please click on the CAP INCREASE to read the recent communication from the hospital.
- PPE Update: Recently the State of RI began re-processing our used N-95s, allowing us to increase our capacity and allow for a change in the policy.Please click on N-95 Use to read the memo from Drs. Murphy and Mermel.
- Field Hospital/Convention Center: At this point, there is no plan to open the Field Hospital at the Convention Center.
- Employee Health: With so many employees being on quarantine awaiting test results, do not rely upon Employee Health to contact your manager regarding your status in a timely manner. Instead, you should contact your manager anytime there is a change in your status due to a test or awaiting test results.
Kate Bourgoin (401) 640-0728 (Mon/Tues/Wed - AMs only)
- Preceptors: As many of you are aware, there is quite a bit of cross-training and "up-skilling" happening in the Hospital. Many of you are training co-workers to be able to perform jobs requiring different skill sets. While the Hospital calls this "shadowing", the Union believes this may actually be precepting. If this is determined to be precepting, members who are training would be entitled to $1.25/hour preceptor pay as in the contract. Therefore, we are asking any of you who are training to please keep a record of the date, time and number of hours you were training/precepting a co-worker. Submit this information to the union office by email - Eileen@unap.org or fax 831-3677.
- Lifespan's Finances: Recently Lifespan reported huge operating losses as a result of the coronavirus and preparation. We understand the coronavirus shutdown has negatively impacted everyone in the State financially and we will be working with the Governor's office, the General Assembly and RI's federal delegation to see that RI Hospital gets the financial aid it needs. However, as I mentioned publically, Local 5098 members are literally and willingly risking their lives to protect the public, and we will vehemently oppose any staff reduction as a result of the impact of Covid-19. Click HERE to see news coverage on Channel 10.
- PPE Update: As the State of Rhode Island recently received a substantial shipment of surgical masks, the Hospital should be moving towards a "one mask per day" burn rate. (click on MASK to read the hospital's latest guidelines).While the number of N-95 masks is not where it needs to be, the State did receive re-processing equipment which should allow the N-95s to be re-processed in a greater quantity and rate than is currently being utilized. As it stands today, RIH has sufficient ventilators with the capacity for many more.
- Field Hospital/Convention Center: There had been plans to officially open the Convention Center Hospital with some Covid-19 patients readying to be discharged, however, for now those plans are on hold. Instead, some units will be deployed to the Convention Center to orient to the surroundings, should the need to open it becomes necessary.
- Lifespan Employee Covid Relief Fund- Click on DETAILS for more information and on APPLICATION to apply.
- Furloughs- the Union has worked hard to ensure that any furlough of a UNAP member was on a voluntary basis, and that unemployment compensation would be available to each member. If you have been involuntarily furloughed, or are having issues receiving unemployment compensation, please contact the Union at one of the numbers below.
- Surge Preparation- the Union is working closely with the Hospital to make sure that we are all ready for the seemingly inevitable surge in Covid-19 patients. We are trying to ensure that as people "up-skill" to handle different types of patients or situations, that the proper skill mix and resources are available to everyone. If you have concerns, please contact one of the numbers below.
- Vacations Schedules- the Hospital is putting out the vacation schedule for the rest of the year with "normal" vacation hour allocations. Please notify the Union if this is not the case.
- Hotels/Housing- the Hospital has negotiated with several area hotels for discounted rates for those who do not want to return home to their families. Additionally, many professional associations have negotiated discounted hotel fares for their members. Click here for details. The Hospital has also secured free housing at Brown University- click here for details.
- Tele-Town Hall with Rhode Island's Federal Delegation- Tomorrow, On Saturday April 18 at 1 pm, UNAP will be hosting a conference call with Senators Reed and Whitehouse, and Representatives Langevin and Cicilline. We will hear from the delegation on various subjects such as the federal stimulus packages, a federal Hazard Pay bill and PPE supplies. If you would like to participate, call 202-228-0808 , and input conference ID# 8870127# (include #).
- Critical Care Surge Preparation: Members of the Local's Executive Board have participated in round table discussions with Lifespan leadership about how best to prepare for the surge. As I am sure you know, the situation is very fluid as the Hospital tries to prepare for the influx of Covid-19 patients. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Union at the numbers below and we will direct your question accordingly.
- PPE Use: There are many questions about PPE use and Lifespan has sent out many communications about PPE use and supplies. Below is NOT a complete list of Lifespan communications, but a few of the more recent communications and policies. Please consult the Lifespan intranet for a complete list.
The following links are listed on the UNAP website -RIH-UNAP Covid-19
3. Vacation Schedules: The Union is still working with Lifespan to have them publish the vacation schedule in these uncertain times. Since the Hospital has not yet issued the vacation schedule in a timely manner, the Union will take steps to protect the members' interests. Specifically, the Union will try and ensure that no one is denied a vacation or loses vacation time due to the vacation cap in the contract. We will provide updates as they occur.
- 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.