Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for January 25, 2013

This recap details the 13th bargaining session between the UW and AFT.

UW Counter-Proposals

UW maintained its proposal to not include language detailing employee benefits in the contract. UW explained that because its employee benefits are negotiated at the state level, any language would simply reiterate the University’s existing statutory obligations.
UW Policy Directory
UW withdrew its proposed language to memorialize the University’s right to makes changes to its policy directory.

Further Dialogue

Probationary Period
To address AFT’s concern over not limiting probationary periods to a standard amount of time, UW presented a graphic demonstrating how an employee could exit the probationary period after teaching their 12th course without being unduly delayed.
UW explained that its goal is to ensure that lecturers emerge from the probationary period prepared, acknowledging that while some people require less time, some need all 12 courses to fully demonstrate their abilities and readiness to exit probation.
UW described how relying on a standard timeline could create inconsistencies, as lecturers may teach a different number of courses within the same time period.
Priority for Teaching Hours
AFT requested clarity on the motivation behind UW’s proposal to change the current seniority-based method of assigning IELP teaching contracts to a system that gives preference based on merit.
UW explained that the seniority-based system has driven talented instructors away from IELP, because newer employees are automatically placed at the bottom of a long list in terms of opportunity, regardless of their merits.
AFT expressed that ranking employees by merit would disadvantage employees at the bottom of the list by potentially decreasing their job stability.
UW pointed out that this is what employees at the bottom of the seniority list experience already, and noted that a merit-based system gives all employees a greater degree of control in ascending the list.

Next Steps

The next UW-AFT bargaining session is scheduled for February 8.