Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for July 25, 2012

This recap details the fourth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199.

Contract Duration

UW/Harborview responded to SEIU 1199’s proposed three-year contract duration, after consulting the Attorney General’s office. UW/Harborview reported that the laws governing the SEIU 1199 contract do not allow for a contract exceeding one fiscal biennium.

UW/Harborview explained that the parties can bargain both the current year and the 2013-2015 biennium now, or just bargain the 2013-2015 biennium. In the latter case, UW/Harborview pointed out that the existing contract will automatically roll over for one year anyway if an agreement is not reached by the August 31, 2012, contract expiration.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

SEIU 1199 Proposals
Parental Leave
Allow fathers of newly born or adopted children to apply sick leave toward time spent bonding with their child.
Integrating State Leave Policies
Add new contract articles that paraphrase current state law on employee leave for military reasons, as well as for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
UW Response

UW explained that it is already obligated to adhere to state law, and that state laws such as these have been subject to frequent change. UW suggested adding to the contract a reference to direct employees to the relevant laws, instead of writing the law into the contract, which could require regular updates.

SEIU 1199 Small Table Proposals: Discipline
Discipline/Corrective Action Process
Prescribe a universal process for administering corrective action, which includes starting all discipline at the lowest possible level and encouraging union involvement.
Written Action Plans
Remove any formality surrounding “Step A” discipline, and make the creation of action plans a joint effort between employees and management.
Personnel Files
Enable employees to request the removal of documents from their personnel file only one year after the incident in question, instead of three years.
SEIU 1199 Small Table Proposals: Professional/Technical and Respiratory Therapist/Anesthesiology Technician Bargaining Units
Rest Between Shifts
Apply the minimum hours of rest between shifts that nurses receive to employees in the Professional/Technical and Respiratory Therapist/Anesthesiology Technician bargaining units, making them eligible to receive premium pay for time worked within their guaranteed rest period.
Layoff Protocol
In cases where layoffs are necessary, UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199 would discuss and decide which employees to lay off at joint labor-management meetings.

UW/Harborview Proposals

Contract Distribution
Eliminate printing and distribution of paper contracts in favor of accessing and utilizing the collective bargaining agreement online.

Further Dialogue

Responses to Proposals

SEIU 1199 expressed frustration over UW/Harborview having not responded to more of its proposals. SEIU 1199 reviewed a list of 15 items from its overall proposal that it feels do not have a significant monetary cost to implement.

UW/Harborview pointed out that the majority of SEIU 1199’s overall proposal has consisted of placeholders for future proposals, and none of its financial proposals have been delivered.

UW/Harborview explained that it cannot provide a definitive response to proposals that contain any economic value without weighing them in the context of all of SEIU 1199’s economic proposals, reiterating the need for a more tangible grasp on the details of SEIU 1199’s overall package proposal.

Harborview Culture Change

SEIU 1199 expressed concern that in recent years the culture at Harborview has changed to become more fearful and more punitive.

UW/Harborview acknowledged that change has occurred recently, but with the intention of improving the overall environment at Harborview. UW/Harborview presented a chart showing patient satisfaction survey scores from 2007 to 2012, indicating that in recent years patient satisfaction has actually significantly increased.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for August 8.