AK Nurses Assn.
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The mission of the Alaska Nurses Association is to advance and support the profession of nursing in Alaska. We are a voice for and represent over 7,000 nurses across the entire state of Alaska.
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Treat us like a HERO
Don't take our EIB to ZERO

 

FAQ

What is the Extended Illness Benefit?
The EIB is a benefit earned by nurses provided by our AaNA contract. It is under Article 10B. It’s intended to provide paid relief for nurses who cannot work due to our own illness or injury or because we are caring for a family member who is ill or injured. Article 10B.2 provides that if we ourselves are unable to work due to hospitalization, outpatient surgery, or an accident/illness eligible for Worker’s Comp, then we have access to earned pay beginning on the first day absent from work. In the situation where we are caring for an injured or ill family member, then we have access to our earned pay after using 3 days of PTO for 3 consecutive scheduled days off work. This has been a provision in our contract because it addresses a hard truth about a career in nursing: this job takes a toll on our bodies. Many nurses who work in the acute care setting must have surgeries to address knee, hip, and shoulder issues later in our careers, not to mention the risks we are exposed to every day, particularly in the current circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to note EIB is a benefit that nurses worked to earn over the years and it is meant to be a resource in this exact situation.
 
What’s the back story of EIB? We used to accrue two separate banks: vacation and sick time. Now we accrue a single bank for time off under PTO. Starting January 6, 2019, our sick time (with a cap of 180 hours) was converted to EIB and on paper we had 2 years to use it. The sunset date on EIB access is December 31, 2020. Why did this happen? As we have seen, most employers have moved to the PTO system. Providence is no different. Two years seemed like a reasonable amount of time for nurses to plan ahead for any medically related absences and we expanded circumstances under which EIB could be accessed. Under 10B.1, this included federal and state leaves of absences, parental leave, approved short term disability and intermittent leaves. None of us were expecting a global pandemic to be part of those two years and in reality, nurses only had 6 months to access our EIB because Providence wrongfully denied EIB requests.
 
What is Providence wanting to do?
Beginning January 1, 2021, Providence wants to terminate all of our EIB and not engage in further discussion about extending the time nurses will have to access those earned paid hours.
 
What do I need to know about the current EIB discussion with Providence?
The only portion of this provision that is negotiable is how much longer nurses will have access to their EIB. Pursuant to Article 10B.1 of the contract, we reopened negotiations to discuss the sunset date in good faith with Providence. The circumstances under which we agreed to the sunset date were very different. We met with them on November 11 and they refused to extend EIB access for nurses. This is particularly troubling because they are refusing to do so despite the hospital’s not having followed the contract and wrongfully denying nurses access to accrued EIB hours over the past year and a half. So now we need to come together to discuss how we will proceed and urge Providence to reconsider.
 
How does this affect nurses?
Over 700 nurses (that’s over half of us) will lose earned EIB hours. This means that if we are absent due to illness/injury/surgery starting January 1, 2021, we will have to use our PTO.  Potentially, we would then face unpaid leave or partially paid leave when we are most prone to absences as front line workers during a pandemic.
 
What happened with the nurses who were wrongfully denied EIB? 
We filed grievances on behalf of nurses we knew were wrongfully denied and won. The resolution of the grievance was that nurses would be rightfully paid out of their EIB bank and credited back their wrongfully deducted PTO. Moreover, any applicable differentials (ie evening or night) were to be restored. Providence still has not made these corrections for these nurses. We also made sure the grievances were filed on behalf of all similarly affect nurses – so any nurse we are not aware of should have been paid out of their EIB. But we can’t rely on Providence to track or follow up.
 
What’s happening December 15, 2020?
Providence agreed to suspend the grievance timelines on the EIB matter and December 15, 2020 is our last opportunity to raise a wrongful EIB denial claim. After December 15, 2020, Providence will no longer consider the grievance. This is less than one month. So, if you were hired before January 2019 and you check any of the below, contact one of our grievance officers immediately.
 
How do I know if I should be filing a grievance?
If you say yes to two of the below, you should be filing a grievance:

  1. I was hired before January 2019

AND

  1. I was absent between March 12, 2020 -May 31, 2020 for flu-like symptoms that were certified by a provider

OR
I was absent from work after January 6, 2019 due to one of the following circumstances:
            -Hospitalization
            -Outpatient surgery
            -Worker’s comp accident or illness
            -Caring for ill/injured family member beyond 3 scheduled work days off
            -Due to own illness/injury, after using PTO for 3 consecutive scheduled work days off
            -FMLA leave (federal Family Medical Leave Act)
            -PLOA (Personal Leave of Absence)
            -Parental leave
            -Approved short term disability
            -Approved intermittent leave
           
 
How do I contact a grievance officer?

 

 

Grievance Officer 2019-2021
Elected 12/18

Jane Erickson, ADN, RN, CCRN - Intensive Care Unit
Phone: 354-8678
jane@aknurse.org

Grievance Officer 2020-2022
Elected 12/19

 

Brittany Mackey, RN, RNC-OB - Labor and Delivery
Phone: 350-7232
brittany@aknurse.org

Grievance Officer 2019-2021
Elected 12/18

Jennifer Hazen, BSN, RN - Mental Health Unit
Phone: 350-7006
Jennifer@aknurse.org

 

 
How can I help? Come to one of the meetings next week to get up to speed on the discussion with Providence. We will be asking folks to share their stories and help speak up. Learn how each of us can do our part to support our AaNA bargaining team in this effort. It will take all of us to protect this earned benefit.
 
Meeting to Discuss EIB:
Wednesday 11/18/20 - 8:30am
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpduqgrTwtG9yOf-7axvytpq9YTHLmx_KH
 
Thursday 11/19/20 - 4pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIkdOqvrzojGtbF6e_izc5_vDq12IpcxIH2

 


In solidarity,
Your PRN-AaNA Union Officers

 
Alaska Nurses Association  •  3701 E Tudor Road, Suite 208,  Anchorage AK 99507  •  Phone: 907-274-0827 Fax: 907-272-0292  •  Contact Us