Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for September 28, 2011

WSNA Presentation

The importance of nurse staffing and the importance of nurses in achieving UWMC’s Patients First pillar goals.

UWMC Response to the Presentation:
  • UWMC recognizes and respects the contributions of all of its employees. It would not be possible to attain UWMC’s level of success without the high level of professionalism by the nurses.
  • UWMC is reinvesting in the future for all employees. As the hospital expands with the addition of 35-40 inpatient beds in 2012, an initial jump in expenses for staff, facilities, and equipment is anticipated.
  • To remain an exceptional institution, UWMC must expand to meet the needs of the community. These long-term investments are intended to benefit everyone for years to come.

Proposals & Counter Proposals

In response to WSNA’s July 2011 proposal to raise nurses’ salaries 9% to 50% in a period of three years, UWMC proposed nurse salary increases be deferred for another year in light of continuing economic uncertainty with the state budget, for the University as a whole, and the medical center in particular. In making this counter-proposal, the UWMC Negotiations Team shared the following research findings:

  • UWMC nurse pay rates remain competitive with the largest hospitals in the Puget Sound as found by the Milliman 2011 Northwest Health Care Salary Survey.
  • Nurses covered by the WSNA contract have been protected from salary erosion, unlike other UW and hospital staff. Since 2008, nurses working under the WSNA contract have been among the few groups to receive across-the-board wage increases at UWMC.
  • UWMC nurse salaries have increased significantly in recent years. A new graduate nurse who was hired in September 2008 has seen an 18% increase in base salary as of March 2011. Experienced nurses have seen raises of 12% in the same time period.

UWMC withdrew the “low census” proposal in response to WSNA complaints. UWMC understands that its nurses are crucial to maintaining its outstanding reputation. To maintain its competitive edge over the vast majority of area hospitals, UWMC has agreed not to use “low census” days in scheduling.

UWMC proposed standardizing the advanced notice required for sick leave so that two hours’ notice is required for both day and night shifts. The union is considering the proposal.

WSNA proposed “incentive shifts” to provide a monetary incentive for nurses who are willing to sign up for extra shifts as designated by management.


UWMC informed WSNA that there has been a delay in the Kronos implementation date. New target date is February 1, 2012.

The next UW/WSNA bargaining session is scheduled for October 19, 2011.