Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for September 18, 2012

This recap details the tenth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE, and the sixth session facilitated by a neutral mediator.

Scope of Negotiations

The parties exchanged several conceptual package proposals throughout the day, making significant progress toward reaching mutual agreement.

UW Proposals

Settlement Offer

UW presented an offer to settle an issue that has been in litigation since 2009, and is currently on appeal to the Superior Court. This issue stemmed from bargaining between UW and WFSE in 2008. In January 2009, UW suspended payment of newly negotiated increased shift differentials and market adjustments to certain WFSE-represented employees, because the contract under which these increases were negotiated was determined financially non-feasible by the Washington State Office of Financial Management.

UW’s proposal would result in back pay with interest to the employees in question, for the period between January 23, 2009, and June 30, 2009, in accordance with the decision rendered by the Public Employment Relations Commission on the matter.

Additionally, on January 1, 2013, UW would reinstate the suspended increases for the remaining period of the current contract, increase shift differentials for Harborview Medical Center Security Officers from $0.50 to $1 per hour as part of the 2011-2013 contract, and seek to continue these increases into the 2013-2015 contract.

WFSE Response

WFSE noted that it would present the settlement offer to its legal counsel.

Tentative Agreements

The parties arrived at tentative agreements on several contract articles.

Current Contract Language

The parties tentatively agreed to withdraw proposals and maintain existing contract language on articles 9 – Union Activities, 17 – Contracting, 20 – Licensure and Certification, 21 – Performance Evaluation, 26 – Health and Safety, and 56 – Mandatory Subjects.

Amended Provisions

The parties tentatively agreed to amendments to the following contract articles, and to the creation of a new memorandum of understanding (MOU):

Article 7: Union Dues Deduction and Union Security
Language surrounding the administration of dues deduction and the reporting of member information was updated to better reflect current processes.
Article 8: Contract Publication
The parties tentatively agreed move away from the publication and distribution of physical copies of the contract, in favor of utilizing the online version.
Article 31: Family Medical Leave and Parental Leave
Specific language about using paid time off while on leave was added, to align with other UW collective bargaining agreements.
MOU: Custodial Infection Control Premium
Effective January 1, 2014, a premium pay of $1 per hour will become available to positions in the custodial series at both Harborview and UW Medical Centers who work in patient care areas. Custodians at the medical centers will be evaluated to demonstrate that they meet all required competencies in order to qualify for the premium. As part of the MOU, UW will also place Custodian Supervisor 1 and 2 employees throughout the UW on higher pay ranges.

The parties also worked out minor revisions to contract articles on overtime, promotions, and classifications.

Next Steps

The UW and WFSE are facing a tight deadline under state law to conclude negotiations and have the agreement ratified by October 1.

The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for September 21.