Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for October 1, 2012

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

UW/Harborview Presentation

Cost Analysis – SEIU 1199 Proposal

UW/Harborview calculated the cost of SEIU 1199’s proposals to date for the 2012-2013 contract year, and explained that implementing the union’s proposals, including marginal benefit cost, would cost Harborview roughly $7.9 million.

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

UW/Harborview pointed out that overall, most pay for positions in UW’s health care system is closely aligned with the market 50th percentile. UW/Harborview explained that collaborative efforts between the UW and several unions toward targeted recruitment and retention adjustments have helped produce substantial results, despite the economic climate.

UW/Harborview noted that wages for non-health care UW jobs, while still within what is considered a “normal” range of the market average, show more room for improvement relative to the market. UW/Harborview explained that this information demonstrates where great need still remains, and reinforces the value of emerging from the recession in a way that helps employees across the institution.

SEIU 1199 Response

SEIU 1199 questioned why the UW and Harborview would strive to align with the market average instead of paying their employees at the top of the market.

UW/Harborview explained the importance of recognizing that both institutions are stewards of state funds, and therefore must strike a responsible balance in their allocation of resources. UW/Harborview also pointed out that using the market 50th percentile as a benchmark for setting competitive wages is a common practice for many employers.

SEIU 1199 announced its intent to propose across-the-board wage increases of 4 percent per year for the term of the 2013-2015 contract.

Key Points of UW/Harborview’s Proposals
Hours of Work and Overtime
Establish that for health care specialists and social workers, an overtime premium of time and one-half would be paid for time worked beyond 80 hours in their scheduled 14-day work period. Sick leave used would not count toward the calculation of overtime.
Float Premium
Registered nurses would be compensated with a $3.75 per hour float premium when assigned to work outside their clinical group for a defined shift of at least four hours.
UW/Harborview Counter-Proposals
Preceptor Pay
UW/Harborview accepted SEIU 1199’s proposal to extend preceptor eligibility to Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, and proposed language memorializing the expectation that staff will assist in preceptor activities.
The language also explained that a preceptor may be assigned to a student when considered appropriate by Harborview, and when no instructor is on site.
Just Culture Surrounding Medical Errors
UW/Harborview proposed language memorializing the importance of addressing medical errors, and recognizing that investigations of such events will consider system issues as well as staff actions and patterns.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

Key Points of SEIU 1199 Proposals
Employees Injured due to Workplace Injury or Assault
UW/Harborview would compensate such employees for loss of pay for hours deducted by the Department of Labor & Industries, and would provide them access to “light duty” work.
Market Adjustments
The parties would commit to meeting at least quarterly to address wage issues, including issues based on market adjustments and matters of recruitment and retention.
SEIU 1199 Counter-Proposals
Personnel File
In response to UW/Harborview’s counter-proposal to maintain current contract language, SEIU 1199 proposed that employees be able to request the removal of documents in their personnel file after two years instead of three.
Layoff Notice
SEIU 1199 proposed that in the event of a layoff, the number of full-time equivalents being reduced be sent to the union along with material regarding the employees identified for layoff.
Leaves: Military and Domestic Violence
SEIU 1199 changed its original proposal on leave for victims of domestic violence and leave for military spouses, instead proposing that the contract utilize the same language found in the Washington State Nurses Association contract to memorialize current State policies on such leaves.
Corrective Action Process
SEIU 1199 proposed integrating elements of its original proposals on the corrective action process and written action plans throughout Article 21 of the contract.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for October 4.