Report An Unsafe Assignment
Have you been placed on an unsafe assignment? Here at AaNA, your safety is our number one concern. We are here to aid you in navigating the complex nursing workplace and ensure that all of our nurses are treated fairly and operate in a safe working environment.
If you find yourself in a situation that you believe creates unsafe conditions for patients or for you, we want to know. Please complete this form as soon as possible.
When you complete the form, you make the union and management aware of the problem. This allows us to address the issue. Additionally, you are documenting the incident, which may be helpful for your case.
Types of situations where you should report an unsafe assignment or workplace safety issue:
- Inadequate nurse to patient ratios for patient acuity based on your clinical judgment.
- Charge nurse is unable to perform charge nurse duties due to patient care assignment.
- Insufficient support staff requires you to assume additional duties.
- Insufficient skill mix.
- You are not oriented, trained, or experienced in the area or task assigned.
- Equipment or supplies are missing, broken, unusable, or unavailable.
- System failure (e.g. computers, Pyxis, call system).
- An assignment poses a serious threat to your health and safety.
- An assignment poses a serious threat to the health and safety of a patient under your care.
- Forced / mandatory overtime.
- Missed breaks and/or meal periods.
- You were a victim of workplace violence.
- Other health and safety violations or concerns
Contact Your Grievance Officer
Find Your Contract
Find the latest contract for your bargaining unit here.
Know Your Rights
As an AaNA union nurse, you deserve to know what protections you have under U.S. labor law. There are also many rights won in AaNA union contracts. Knowing and asserting your rights can have a powerful effect on your career. Help the levels of fairness and justice where you work through your rights.
Your Right to Engage in Concerted Activity
- Under the National Labor Relations Act, you have the right to engage in concerted activity for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. For instance, you have the right to:
- Join a union.
- Talk to your co-workers about joining a union or participating in union activities.
- Distribute union flyers and brochures at work on non-work time (such as your lunch) in non-work areas (such as the parking lot, cafeteria, or break room).
- Participate in union meetings with your coworkers.
- Sign a petition and collect signatures from your coworkers during non-work time.
- Wear union buttons or stickers, or otherwise display your union logo.
- File complaints against your employer.
- Pressure management in other ways.
It is important to know that you also have the right to not be retaliated against for exercising these rights. That means management may not harass you, spy on you, fire you, discipline you, or interrogate you for exercising your right to engage in concerted activity. Your employer also cannot interfere with, restrain or coerce you in such a way as to prevent you from exercising your rights. If you believe you have been retaliated against for exercising your union rights, contact an AaNA grievance officer right away.
In addition to the National Labor Relations Act, you have other important rights at work, including under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Your Right to AaNA Representation
Both AaNA contracts and the laws governing employment in a unionized workplace protect your right to representation. AaNA union nurses have the right to be represented during any investigation into their performance or activities as employees. These are known as Weingarten Rights and are only given to workers who are unionized.
Additionally, AaNA union nurses can file a grievance asserting that their employer has violated or is violating their contract. The nurse has the right to representation by AaNA in any discussions with their employer during the grievance process. Each AaNA bargaining unit has elected grievance officers to assist AaNA-represented nurses throughout the grievance process.
Your Weingarten Rights
You have a right to a union representative if you believe you may be disciplined. An employee may have a union representative with them at an investigatory interview with management when the employee reasonably believes that the interview may lead to disciplinary action. You have the right to know the subject of the meeting and the right to consult with your representative prior to the meeting.
Having a representative with you helps protect you. This allows a third party to witness the actions being taken. It also gives you support and guidance if the action taken has violated policy or if you have been disciplined without just cause.
Invoking your Weingarten Rights is YOUR responsibility. Management does not have to inform you of this right, but they must honor your request for representation. You must ask for union representation before or during an interview. You can invoke your rights by stating:
“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative be present at this meeting.”
Do not answer questions without your union representative present. If a union representative is not present, you have the right to not answer any questions. If you proceed in questioning without union representation, you have waived your right to representation, and any statement you make can be used against you. Instead, confirm your willingness to answer questions after your union representative arrives and you’ve had a chance to consult privately with your union representative.
Your Right to be Treated Fairly
AaNA contracts establish parameters that require employers to treat nurses fairly. One of the most important rights won in AaNA contracts is the language that protects nurses from being disciplined or terminated without “just cause.” This requires an employer in all but the most egregious situations to use several progressive levels of discipline in an effort to correct the employee’s behavior before terminating the employee. It also means that your employer must be consistent in how they discipline employees; they cannot allow one employee to engage in a particular behavior or practice while disciplining a different employee for engaging in the same practice.
AaNA union contracts also ensure that employment benefits and practices are fair. These can include wage scales that establish fair pay based on experience, how you are scheduled to work, the benefits you are eligible to receive, on-call procedures and requirements, and more.