We heard some good stories and some bad stories about the storm last Tuesday. A few examples:
- A patient critical department that figured out in advance the minimum number of staff needed to safely cover their assignments, got enough volunteers (with a little arm-twisting), and let everyone else stay home
- A department with a role that does not affect direct patient care asking early on Monday who planned to stay home Tuesday
- An employee without kids who lives close to the hospital taking a shift for an employee with kids who does not
- Camaraderie between people who slept over so that they could be at work the next day
- An employee who worked a double shift on Tuesday who did not know when they would be released to go home
- Employees working near each other who were treated differently – some sent home with pay and others having to use their own time
- An employee in a patient critical department who came to work, but was pulled over by the police and given a warning for being on the road Tuesday
- Employees who were told that their department would be closed Tuesday, who did not know that they could volunteer to work somewhere else so they wouldn’t have to use their time, and employees who could not get a clear answer on Monday about what they were supposed to do on Tuesday
There are many, many more stories. Congratulations to the departments that worked it out. And a big thank you to those who stayed over, came in, and worked extra to take care of the patients who didn’t have a choice about being in the hospital!
Most of the bad stories we heard involved delayed information, lack of information, or contradictory information. With that in mind, and since there will be more storms in the future, we have posted some information from the SHARE contract for your information.
So, what should SHARE members know about working during a State of Emergency or other big weather event?
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I find out what I am supposed to do if there is a state of emergency or other severe weather?
- What if my department is closed?
- What if I don’t want to use my own time?
- Can’t they just send me home and pay me without having to use my time?
- How am I supposed to get to work if there is a travel ban?
- If I don’t come in during a storm, will it be held against me?
To see the full contract language about Severe Weather, p. 103-104, and about TOWOP, (being sent home by your department), p. 103, click here. (There are two parts to the contract: the 2007-2011 contract and the changes from our last negotiations, that continue the old contract through September 30, 2016, and add to it. Severe Weather and TOWOP can both be found in the old contract.)