Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for July 24, 2012

This recap details the first session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 925.


SEIU 925 described having a demoralized membership in recent years, citing hiring freezes, a new performance evaluation form, and restrictive dress codes. SEIU 925 noted that it will be presenting many different proposals over the course of bargaining.

UW acknowledged the economic difficulties that all state employees have experienced, and expressed that supporting its employees financially is in the best interest of all parties. UW pointed out that Washington’s economic outlook will be unclear until middle-to-late September, when the state’s financial forecast is to be released.

UW stressed the importance of the University eventually emerging from the recession in a strategic way.

SEIU 925 Presentation

Memoranda and Side Letters

SEIU 925 proposed incorporating several already agreed-upon “memoranda of understanding” into the contract, as well as updating certain side letters.

These included a letter delineating a random-chance method for determining who to lay off in situations where multiple employees have identical seniority, as well as a memorandum establishing that camera or audio recordings in the UW Transportation Services Office will not be used to monitor employees.

UW Response

UW agreed to incorporate both the memoranda concerning layoff procedures and camera/audio recording in the contract, and the parties signed tentative agreements for both.

Key Points of SEIU 925’s Proposal
Joint Labor-Management Meetings
Broaden the scope of topics covered at labor-management meetings beyond staffing issues, to include any departmental subject.
Matching Pay Provisions
Align the wage scales or salaries of several SEIU 925-represented positions with those of positions outside of SEIU 925 that the union deems similar in scope, including certain healthcare technologists, drivers, and dispatchers.
Job Classifications
Reorganize certain healthcare-related positions into what SEIU 925 considers more appropriate classifications.
SEIU 925 also proposed language that would empower an external hearing officer to make binding determinations on how work should be classified.

UW Presentation

Key Points of UW’s Proposal
Joint Labor-Management Meetings
UW offered an amendment to SEIU 925’s proposal on labor-management meetings, adding language to establish that the commitment of time and personnel involved with holding these meetings may not adversely impact business operations.
Union Membership and Dues Deduction
Update the existing contract language surrounding union membership materials and dues deduction to better reflect current practices.
Contract Consolidation and Distribution
Consolidate the nearly identical contracts for each of the five SEIU 925 bargaining units into one master contract, with appendices for any unique provisions.
UW also proposed that the parties stop printing paper contracts, and instead rely on the online electronic version.

Next Steps

The next UW/SEIU 925 bargaining session is scheduled for July 30.