9.1     The standard work week for nurses occupying full-time positions consists of forty (40) hours unless otherwise specified by the Board of Supervisors.  The appointing authority shall fix the hours of work with due regard for the convenience of the public and the laws of the state and the County.  Nurses occupying part-time positions shall work such hours and schedules as the Board and the appointing authority shall prescribe.

9.2     Scheduled Days Off

The County will continue its present practice regarding scheduling nurses at San Mateo Medical Center or the County Jail an average of every other weekend off duty.  Patient care requirements and equitable staff scheduling shall be considered.

9.3     Work Schedules

In areas where there is not a regular schedule, tentative work schedules shall be posted six (6) weeks prior to the week the schedule becomes effective. The schedule shall be made final no later than ten (10) days prior to the effective date of the schedule.  Affected nurses shall be notified before any changes are made in the final schedule.  Schedules for Outpatient Clinics shall be posted at least ten (2) weeks prior to the week the schedule becomes effective.

9.4      Work Shifts

Nurses covered by this MOU who are required to work or “stand by” within the facility during their thirty (30) minute meal period shall receive payment at the rate of one and one-half times their base rate of pay for time worked within the meal period.

For nurses working straight shifts:

  1. Breaks are two 15-minute periods and must be taken on the nursing unit.
  2. Breaks will be predicated on workload and may be combined at the discretion of the Charge Nurse or Unit Manager. The time of the breaks will be determined by the Charge Nurse or Unit Manager.

9.5     Alternative Work Week Options

The County may on a department by department, division by division or unit by unit basis offer alternative work week options.  Such options may include but are not limited to a 4/10 workweek, 9/80 scheduling, flexible schedules and 12-hour shifts (see Exhibit B for specifics).  The purpose of providing for Alternative Work Week Options is to offer incentives for the recruitment and retention of nurses covered by this Agreement. In addition to these goals, having Alternative Work Week Options:

  1. Will result in no diminution of service to patients or clients, for support staff, availability to other department staff, or the timely and effective processing of work and meeting of deadlines.
  2. Will cause no additional or disproportionate share of work for employees choosing to not participate in an Alternative Work Week Option.

Should a department or division agree to enter into an alternative work week agreement, the department except in cases of emergency as provided below, also agrees to meet with the Association as soon as any problems with the alternative schedules are identified.  Except in cases of emergency, alternative schedules shall not be discontinued without such a meeting taking place.  In all decisions regarding alternative work schedules, the department head’s decision is final.  Nurses who request an alternative schedule under this section shall not bump another nurse out of a previously approved schedule.

In cases of emergency when the foregoing procedure is not practical or in the best public interest, the County may adopt or put into practice immediately such measures as required, for the duration of the emergency. At the earliest practicable date thereafter, the Association shall be provided with the notice described in the preceding paragraph and be given an opportunity to meet with the appropriate management representative(s).

9.6     Voluntary Time Off Program

Full-time, permanent employees may request a reduction in their work hours through the Voluntary Time Off (VTO) Program as described in the County’s Voluntary Time Off Policy as summarized herein.  Employees may apply for the VTO Program at any time during the year, with the understanding that the granting of employees’ VTO requests are at the department’s discretion.  Application forms shall be made available through payroll clerks and the Benefits Office.  Approved applications for enrollment received after April 1st of each year will be effective the first pay period in July of that year.  Approved applications received prior to April 1st will be effective the pay period following receipt of approved applications in Human Resources Department.

Participating employees shall be considered to be in a full-time pay status and the voluntary reduction in work hours will not affect the following benefits:

– Health Insurance Coverage

– Dental Insurance Coverage

– Basic Life Insurance

– Short Term Disability

– Pay for Work-Out-Of-Class

– Step Increases

– Probationary Period

– Seniority

– Supplemental Life Insurance

There will be no effect on accrual of vacation, sick leave and holidays; however, all regular or normal time taken off during the program for vacation, sick leave, holiday, or compensatory time will be compensated at the reduced hourly rate.

The following benefit areas may be impacted by VTO under the following circumstances:

          Overtime:  Overtime compensation will not begin until after forty (40) hours have been worked during any one workweek, and voluntary time off shall not be considered as time worked when determining eligibility for overtime compensation.

          Long Term Disability:  Because the Long Term Disability Plan is based on the worker’s salary, the reduced work hours and the corresponding reduced salary may lower the premiums and the benefits derived.

All applications are subject to approval by the applicant’s department head, who shall balance VTO requests against the department’s needs and against other submitted VTO requests.  VTO requests submitted within a work unit should be considered on a seniority basis if all other considerations are equal and there are no other mitigating circumstances. Applications which are disapproved by the department head, or which are approved for a lesser amount of time than requested will be reviewed by the County Manager and the Human Resources Department Director whose decision is final.

9.7     Rest Periods

Each institutional nurse shall have an unbroken rest period of at least twelve (12) hours between shifts, and of at least fifty-five (55) hours between shifts when the nurse is off duty on the weekend or two (2) consecutive days off duty, and of at least thirty-one (31) hours between shifts when the nurse is off-duty on a holiday or for a single day.  All hours worked within the above rest periods shall be paid at the rate of one and one-half times the nurse’s straight-time rate of pay.  This provision may be waived on the request of the individual nurse and with the agreement of the supervisor.  Nurses shall not be eligible for this rest period compensation for hours for which they are paid overtime compensation in accordance with Section 10 of this MOU.

9.8     Attendance at Educational Courses

The County will endeavor to schedule required hours of work for nurses so as to permit them to attend educational courses directly related to the nursing profession, provided that such scheduling shall not interfere with normal operation of the unit or department.

9.9     Mandatory Attendance at Trainings or Meetings

An employee shall be paid a minimum two (2) hours straight-time of the employee’s base pay for mandatory attendance at training classes or staff/unit meeting if the employee is required to report to the training/meeting on a non-work day.

9.10    Mandatory Violence Prevention and Crisis Prevention/De-escalation Training

A. Mandatory Violence Prevention Training: The County will provide annual, mandatory violence prevention training for all nurses in the bargaining unit.

B. Crisis Prevention/De-escalation Training: County-provided crisis prevention/de-escalation training opportunities will be made available to all RN’s effective January 1, 2019.  The parties acknowledge that the type of training and curriculum provided may vary by classification and/or assignment.

RN’s assigned to units where County-provided crisis prevention/ de-escalation training is required will be given priority for available training spots.  The “hand-on” portion of crisis prevention/ de-escalation training will be restricted to RN’s whose units require it.

RN’s will not be required to use education leave to attend crisis prevention/de-escalation training.

C. Safety Committees: As part of the Countywide Safety Committee, the County agrees to establish a violence prevention sub-committee in which one C.N.A. represented nurse, selected by the union, will participate on this sub-committee.

Additionally, one C.N.A. represented nurse, selected by the union, will participate on the San Mateo Medical Center Safety Committee.