Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for July 9, 2014

This recap details the fourth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE for the 2015-17 contract term.

Contracting Out Discussion

WFSE Contract Language

WFSE contended that language in this article that simply codifies existing law is redundant and unnecessary. WFSE also reiterated its belief that certain justifications for contracting work under this article violate the union’s statutory rights, and suggested the parties rely more heavily on in-house employee business units (EBUs).

UW maintained its position that the contract language does not violate the law, and expressed openness to the idea of exploring a pilot EBU scenario.

Harborview Contract

UW raised further concern regarding recent presentations to the King County Council by WFSE’s executive director and staff urging the Council to reconsider UW’s contract to administer Harborview, which expires within a year. UW noted that it takes this lobbying very seriously in the context of the parties’ current bargaining, pointing out that nonrenewal of the Harborview agreement could have tangible implications for employee status, layoff, bumping rights, and other provisions contemplated in the current contract. UW voiced its belief that the parties share a mutual interest in working together to preserve a healthy dynamic.

WFSE Counter-proposals

Employee Rights – WFSE maintained its previous proposal, which includes paid release time for union stewards to investigate a grievance, as well as a requirement that management provide a letter before any investigatory meeting explaining any allegations of misconduct or work rule violations.

Union Activities – WFSE maintained its previous proposal from May 20, while agreeing in concept to provide the University with a current list of shop stewards once per month. The parties agreed to remove unused language surrounding shop steward elections.

Performance Evaluation – WFSE declined UW’s proposal, and instead proposed allowing employees to provide a rebuttal to their performance evaluation at any time.

Personnel Files – WFSE proposed that the contract’s language on the removal of documents from an employee’s personnel file apply to records of any corrective action, not just formal counseling.

Corrective Action – WFSE withdrew its proposal to add suspensions and temporary reductions in pay to the corrective action process, and maintained its proposal to allow formal counseling to be taken to arbitration. WFSE maintained its proposal to duplicate its Employee Rights language in the Corrective Action article, which would require management to provide a letter before any investigatory meeting explaining any allegations of misconduct or work rule violations.

Next Steps

The next UW-WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for July 21.