Nurses at Mission Hospital in N.C. make history with first union contract

Mission RNs hold an action for safe staffing in August, 2020.
On a list of what Mission nurses needed for Nurses Week: “Our contract.” This week, they got it!
  • A staffing committee with equal participation of union nurses and management to review hospital staffing levels, with approval by the committee for any changes in staffing patterns. A separate 12-member Professional Practice Committee to review patient care conditions and make recommendations for improvements at the hospital.
  • Guaranteed meal and rest breaks for RNs, and a ban on mandatory overtime, both critical to avoid the fatigue that can lead to medical errors.
  • Requirement that the hospital will provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for nurses that meets the strictest federal, state, and local guidelines, and guaranteed HIV and Covid-19 testing for nurses at no cost following an exposure.
  • A hospital behavioral response team with added security for workplace violence prevention, with additional violence prevention training for nurses.
  • Patient handling lift teams and training to reduce musculoskeletal and other injuries to nurses, a major cause of nurse injuries typically linked to ambulating heavier patients.
  • Limits on unsafe floating — the assignment of nurses to units for which they do not have the clinical expertise or training — and assurance the hospital cannot float nurses from an assignment that leaves short staffing in their home unit.
  • A hospital committee to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on race, gender, age, and sexual orientation in hospital recruitment, retention, promotion, and training.
  • Limits on the ability of the hospital administration to make cuts in health coverage for the nurses.
  • Just cause protections, including grievance procedures for discipline and hospital harassment.
  • Seniority protection for longterm nurses in layoffs, recall, filling of vacancies, and transfers.
  • Additional pay for nurses who work nights, evenings, weekends, overtime, when transporting patients, and when called in for needed additional shifts.
  • Paid time off to vote in elections.

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Bonnie Castillo

Bonnie Castillo

Union Nurse Leader & Medicare For All Activist. Executive Director of @NationalNurses, the Largest U.S. Organization of Registered Nurses. #TIME100