Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for August 13, 2012

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

Opening Discussion

Bargaining Dates and Delays

UW/Harborview acknowledged having received a petition from the SEIU 1199 bargaining team written to the UW Medicine administration, promoting its desire for more bargaining dates.

UW/Harborview referenced the University’s response letter and supporting documentation. The letter confirmed UW/Harborview’s earlier assertion that SEIU 1199 did not officially request to bargain until May, and that most of SEIU 1199’s package proposal for the first two bargaining sessions were simply placeholders for future proposals.

SEIU 1199 admitted that the number of placeholders had increased from the first bargaining session to the second, but reasoned that the parties have not bargained together in four years.

UW/Harborview committed to exploring possible bargaining dates in October.

UW/Harborview Presentation

UW/Harborview Proposals
Leave Policies
UW/Harborview offered a counter proposal to SEIU 1199’s proposed integration of Washington state leave policies for military reasons or victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking into the contract.
UW/Harborview proposed that the contract articles simply refer employees to the current UW and state policies on each, which are detailed on the UW Human Resources website.
Rest Between Shifts
Align rest between shifts policies with community standards, such that eligible employees receiving less than 10 hours off between shifts would be paid for the time worked within their 10-hour rest period at a rate of time and one-half.
Representation During Corrective Action
Entitle employees to have a representative during the corrective action process at a “Step B” or higher counseling. UW/Harborview would also notify all such employees of their right to union representation.
UW/Harborview pointed out that SEIU 1199 is the only contract that allows for union representatives to be present at “Step A” counseling sessions.
Responses to SEIU 1199 Proposals
Personnel Files
UW/Harborview voiced its intent to maintain the existing contract language on the timeline for removing documents from employees’ personnel files.
Tentative Agreements
Health Care Specialist Labor-Management Meetings
UW/Harborview tentatively agreed to SEIU 1199’s proposal to memorialize both parties’ commitment to participate in joint labor-management meetings on health care specialist issues as often as once a month.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

Review of Past SEIU 1199 Proposals

SEIU 1199 revisited its proposed memoranda of understanding on meal and rest breaks, commitment to staff, and break relief nurses, which it had presented in detail at the July 20 bargaining session, and provided thorough recaps of its arguments for each.

New SEIU 1199 Proposals
KRONOS for Health Care Specialists
Provide health care specialists with three options for how they record and account for their time worked, adding options to log in once daily or once weekly, while maintaining all options for overtime and compensatory time.
Health Care Specialist Bargaining Team
Make health care specialists eligible for a “preceptor” pay premium for working with new hires and students, create a minimum one-day preceptor training program, and double the number of health care specialists on the joint labor-management committee.
SEIU 1199 also proposed establishing a hire-in rates practice for health care specialists, whereby incoming health care specialists with past applicable experience could get hired on at a higher pay rate.
Representation at Investigatory Meetings
Allow employees to bring representatives to investigatory meetings that may lead to a “Step A” counseling session.

Further Dialogue

SEIU 1199 voiced frustration over having not received more responses from UW/Harborview, and suggested that the Harborview administration’s budgetary concerns detract from the quality of patient care its employees are able to provide.

UW/Harborview explained that the budgetary concerns are not only an issue for Harborview administration, but rather are an issue for all the parties, with implications for Harborview’s administration as well as its employees and the unions representing them.

UW/Harborview noted that it is a jointly shared responsibility to be mindful of the institution’s financial realities.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for August 24.