Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for April 27, 2012

This recap details the seventh session for renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW.

UW Management Accounting and Analysis Presentation

To begin, UW Management Accounting and Analysis presented a detailed overview of how payroll load rates are calculated, explaining that they are based on benefit and salary cost estimates for the upcoming year.

At the end of each fiscal year, UW Management Accounting and Analysis compares the estimated costs against the actual costs. The difference, known as a true-up, is then incorporated in subsequent years’ rate calculations.

UAW asked for clarification on how true-ups are calculated and applied, and asked whether the same load rate was used for all budget lines.

UW Management Accounting and Analysis explained that true-ups are based on actual expenditures versus what the UW collected throughout the load process. The difference is determined at the end of the year, and applied in a future year.

UW Management Accounting and Analysis noted that load rates are established based on employee type, and applied accordingly to each group. The federal Department of Health and Human Services annually reviews and negotiates these rates with the UW.

UW Proposal

UW presented its proposal for a new multi-year contract ending on April 30, 2016.

Key Leadership Initiative
UW put forth an innovative competitive wage clause based upon UAW’s earlier wage proposal, which would bring the average base salary of ASEs at the UW into alignment with that of its peer institutions in the Global Challenge States.
The UW and UAW would engage and work collaboratively with a third party to establish a market median value for ASE base salaries in the Global Challenge States. Following this, ASEs would receive annual wage increases beginning in 2013 that would align with this market median by 2015.

UW Response

Next, UW replied to UAW’s primary proposals.

Article 5 – Childcare
UW proposed maintaining the existing program as it is currently configured and funded, and declined the additional proposed changes.
Article 7 – Fee and Tuition Waivers
UW committed to maintaining the current levels of tuition waivers, absorbing any tuition increases, instead of expanding access to waivers. UW declined the proposed waiver of mandatory fees.
Article 12 – Insurance Programs
UW pledged to preserve the current GAIP plan for the coming year, absorbing the rising cost of premiums, and to extend this coverage for each subsequent year of the agreement, provided that inflation does not exceed six percent annually.
In light of the cost to maintain GAIP, UW declined any expansions to coverage.
Article 16 – Leaves of Absence
UW agreed to maintain the existing paid leave plan allowing for seven (four-hour) days, and declined expanding the paid leave allowance to 12 (20-hour) weeks.
Article 32 – Wages
UW explained that the Key Leadership Initiative represents its comprehensive response to UAW’s wage proposal.
“Academic Excellence”
UW recognized the vast importance of ASEs, but declined to commit to preserving overall funding levels for ASE instructional services.

Further Dialogue

UAW requested clarification on UW’s response to the “Academic Excellence” provision.

UW explained that it must reserve the freedom to allocate funds as necessary in order to best serve the University’s academic and instructional needs where and when they arise. As such, UW is not interested in binding the University to a predetermined threshold.

UAW voiced concern regarding the omission of fee waivers from UW’s response.

UW noted that mandatory fees for ASEs are not uncommon, including among peer institutions. UW explained that the proposed wage increases represent a significant counterbalance to any fees.

UAW committed to reviewing UW’s proposal and responses at length, and will provide a reply promptly.

The next UW/UAW bargaining session is scheduled for April 30, 2012.