Update-- I sent the following letter to WSNA:
I am trying to find out more information on the pending bills restricting mandatory OT. I have gone through your website and that of the WA State legislature and have been unable to find much. I was finally able to get THIS:
Washington State Nurses Association said today it was planning to gather nurses and nursing students in Olympia, WA, at a committee hearing on legislation to limit mandatory overtime. HB 2601 and SB 6675 would prohibit hospitals from requiring overtime in excess of an agreed upon, predetermined, regularly scheduled shift not to exceed 12 hours in a 24-hour period or 80 hours in a 14-day period, the union reported. The legislation would also bar employers from using refusal to work overtime as grounds for discipline or discharge, and includes an exception for unforeseen declared emergencies. The union says use of mandatory overtime drives nurses away from the profession and exacerbates the state's nursing shortage.
--from 2 online acquaintances from other states who are active in ANA at the local and state levels. When each of them went to your website to look for
themselves, they were surprised to see that the legislative info had not been updated for quite some time. I'm sorry to say that I found much more info regarding these bills on the website for WSHA which, of course, opposes the legislation.
I would appreciate your forwarding me or directing me to more info about these bills so I can write to the appropriate legislators urging their support. I would also like to suggest respecfully that your website is the best and fastest tool Washington State nurses have to learn about these issues and become involved, but it is hard work to rally people when crucial information is absent or just extremely difficult to find. If not for a brief mention on KOMO TV News 4, I would not be aware of this legislation at
Thank you for your efforts to improve the working conditions of Washington State nurses.
Here is the reply I got today:
Thank you very much for writing. We are in the process of updating our website and will soon have information on our mandatory overtime legislation and other updates.
You can find the text of our mandatory overtime legislation (HB 2601/SB 6675) at www.leg.wa.gov
I've also attached a summary sheet of the legislation that you may find helpful. I very much encourage you to contact your legislators on this issue. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.
Anne Tan Piazza
Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs and Media Relations
Washington State Nurses Association
The attachment she referred to contains WSNA's arguments against mandatory OT and this summary of the proposed legislation:
This legislation would:
$ Prohibit health care facilities from requiring an employee who provides direct patient care or clinical services to work overtime in excess of an agreed upon, predetermined, regularly scheduled shift not to exceed 12 hours in a 24 hour period or 80 hours in a 14 day period.
$ Provide protection to nurses who refuse overtime by prohibiting employers from using the refusal as grounds for discrimination, dismissal, discharge, threat of reports for discipline or any other penalty.
$ Include an exception in the case of any unforeseen declared emergencies, when a health care facility's disaster plan is activated, or any other disaster/catastrophic event which increases the need for health care services.
Well, at least they know now that some of us do notice that the info isn't getting disseminated to all nurses or the general public. I'm afraid WSNA doesn't have anyone to blame but itself if the legislation doesn't pass.
Off to compose a letter to my legislators now. Thanks again, -jt and NRSKaren.