Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for September 20, 2012

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

SEIU 925 Presentation


The parties heard testimony from an ophthalmic technician performing ophthalmic imaging work who is advocating for reclassification, and from Medical Assistants promoting higher pay.

SEIU 925 Proposals
Wage Increases
SEIU 925 proposed wage increases for the medical assistant series and moving vascular technologists up on the wage scale.
Ophthalmic Technicians
SEIU 925 proposed the creation of a new, higher-paid job classification into which ophthalmic technicians performing ophthalmic imaging work would be reclassified.
Harborview Public Safety Sergeants
SEIU 925 proposed providing a $1.30 per hour pay premium to public safety sergeants at Harborview Medical Center for performing restraints, which it previously proposed for public safety officers at UW Medical Center.
Articles Withdrawn

SEIU 925 withdrew its proposals on the reclassification appeals process, the removal of disciplinary documents, and creating a joint union-UW training class.

UW Presentation

Cost Analysis – SEIU 925 Economic Proposal

UW presented a cost summary of SEIU 925’s initial economic proposals. SEIU 925’s economic proposals would cost the UW more than $126 million over two years.

UW Market Wage Data

UW presented findings from the new Classified Staff Compensation Study, demonstrating how wages at UW in both health care and non-health care settings compare against market averages.

UW pointed out that overall, most of UW’s pay for positions in health care is closely aligned with the market 50th percentile. UW explained that collaborative efforts between the University and SEIU 925 toward targeted recruitment and retention adjustments have helped yield tangible results, despite the economic climate.

UW noted that wages for non-health care jobs, while still within what is considered a “normal” range of the market average, show room for improvement (LINK). UW explained that this information demonstrates the need and lays the foundation for working to bring UW employee wages across the institution into closer alignment with one another.

UW Economic Proposal

UW declined SEIU 925’s economic proposals, and returned with a comprehensive economic counter-proposal.

UW proposed 2 percent raises each year for both years of the 2013-2015 fiscal biennium to benefit all SEIU 925-represented employees. These across-the-board wage increases would ultimately be subject to final approval and appropriations from the state government.

UW explained that beyond economic provisions negotiated in the contract, it would like to maintain the momentum of both parties in working together to identify and address recruitment and retention issues among SEIU 925-represented employees.

UW expressed that given the current economic and collective bargaining context in Washington State, it believes this offer represents a smart balance between the responsible stewardship of state funds and the beginning of a tangible emergence from the recession for its employees.

SEIU 925 Response

SEIU 925 expressed frustration, pointing out that its bargaining units at Harborview and UW Medical Centers are less reliant on state funding than its other UW bargaining units. SEIU 925 reiterated its desire to bargain a separate deal with larger wage increases for its members working at the hospitals.

UW explained its intention to put any available money into general wage increases, and emphasized that its overriding priority is to do the greatest good for as many employees as possible with its resources.

Tentative Agreements

SEIU 925 agreed to UW’s latest counter-proposals on the SEIU 925/1199NW “Identical Titles” list, and on adjusting the rates of temporary employees within the parameters of UW policy and state law.

Next Steps

The next UW/SEIU 925 bargaining session is scheduled for September 24.