Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for August 24, 2012

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

Opening Discussion

Contract Term

SEIU 1199 accepted UW/Harborview’s proposal to extend the current contract until October 31, 2012, and noted that it is now willing to hold bargaining sessions on the UW campus in addition to Harborview to increase the availability of meeting spaces.

UW/Harborview reiterated its question of whether the contract currently being bargained is intended to cover the remainder of the current 2011-2013 biennium or the upcoming 2013-2015 biennium.

SEIU 1199 replied that it intends for the contract currently being negotiated to cover the remainder of the current biennium, until June 30, 2013. SEIU 1199 explained that it plans to finish negotiating this current contract and then negotiate the entirety of the 2013-2015 contract, all by the end of October.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

SEIU 1199 Economic Presentation

SEIU 1199 announced having completed its economic proposal, which it introduced by presenting its own analysis of Harborview’s financials.

SEIU 1199 referenced the financial presentation delivered by UW Medicine’s financial planning officer Paul Ishizuka on August 8, 2012, and disagreed with the methodology used to calculate Harborview’s budgetary metrics. SEIU 1199 expressed that revenue was better than expenses in 2012, and that while revenue growth was slow, at less than 1 percent, it was still positive.

SEIU 1199 highlighted Harborview’s capital spending, suggesting that this reflects Harborview’s overall spending capacity. The union admitted that there have been substantial budgetary deficits, but pointed out that Harborview has not gone bankrupt.

Review of Existing SEIU 1199 Proposals

SEIU 1199 again provided a review of all the proposals it has delivered to date.

New SEIU 1199 Proposals
Economic Proposal
SEIU 1199 proposed 4 percent across-the-board wage increases for all employees and increases to existing pay premiums for all employees.
SEIU 1199 also proposed establishing wage increases for steps on certain wage scales that currently do not provide an increase from the previous step, and to add new steps to the wage scales for selected positions.
Airlift Northwest Proposal
SEIU 1199 presented a comprehensive proposal for Airlift Northwest nurses, which included increasing educational support funds for nurses, allowing for overtime accrual at staff meetings, and guaranteeing that the current number of on-call shifts or hours will not be increased.
SEIU 1199 also proposed expansions to what qualifies for preceptor pay and travel mileage reimbursement.
Proposals for Juneau-based nurses included establishing a standard 24-hour shift, increasing the Alaska assignment pay differential from 5 percent to 10 percent, and covering the cost of a round-trip flight to Seattle each year for continuing education purposes, which would be added to the existing Juneau-Seattle flight that is already covered for training.

UW/Harborview Presentation

UW/Harborview Proposals
Leave Due to Childcare Emergencies
UW/Harborview proposed that absences due to a childcare-related emergency be charged to an employee’s vacation leave, sick leave, or leave without pay, with an annual maximum of three days total and 24 hours for each leave type, unless otherwise approved by management.
UW/Harborview explained that this proposal aligns the contract language with the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).
Airlift Northwest

UW/Harborview proposed an additional small table meeting where it will deliver and discuss its proposals specific to Airlift Northwest. The proposal was accepted, and a meeting scheduled for October 4, 2012.

UW/Harborview indicated that its proposal will acknowledge and reflect the operational and organizational uniqueness of Airlift Northwest.

UW/Harborview Comprehensive Proposal

UW/Harborview committed to offering a comprehensive package of its proposals and counter proposals at the next large table meeting.

UW/Harborview explained that because SEIU 1199 has now delivered its economic proposal, it can finally cost out the union’s overall package proposal and formulate realistic counter proposals.

Further Dialogue

SEIU 1199 asserted that it will not agree to any UW/Harborview proposals that it perceives as a “takeaway,” noting that its membership feels strongly about coming away from these contract negotiations with only gains.

Next Steps

The next bargaining session will be focused on Airlift Northwest, and is scheduled for October 4.