Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for September 5, 2014

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

UW Market Wage Data Presentation

A compensation expert from Milliman delivered a presentation to the parties explaining the compensation survey process, and detailing current data on how base pay at UW compares to that of the organizations that comprise UW’s labor market. The analysis only compares base wages, and does not factor in the variety of benefits and premiums provided to UW employees.

Key Takeaways

Purpose of a Survey – An organization participates in a compensation survey to see how its compensation compares to that of its market. This information helps an organization to remain competitive, identify problems, and effectively carry out its compensation philosophy.

Conducting a Quality Survey – A quality compensation survey must be administered by an independent third party and must use consistent criteria in determining peers. The data must be current, with clear compilation practices, and it must be aggregated rather than individually reported.

Defining the “Market” – An organization’s market is the group of employers with which it competes for labor. Geography, industry, function, and size are critical factors in determining which organizations constitute an appropriate market.

UW’s Philosophy – UW’s compensation philosophy is to ensure that its pay is closely aligned with the middle of its market – the point at which half of its comparators pay more and half pay less (known as the market median, or the market 50th percentile). Pay falling between 80 and 120 percent of the market median is considered to be within a “normal,” acceptable range.

Summary of Findings – Actual pay for UW’s non-healthcare jobs falls generally within the “normal” range between 80 and 120 percent of the market median, with some jobs falling below 80 percent. Actual pay for most of UW’s healthcare jobs falls within the “normal” range of the market median.

Scope of Negotiations

Neither party delivered new proposals. UW informed WFSE that it had just received the compensation data, and that an economic proposal would be forthcoming. WFSE concluded bargaining abruptly, leaving the premises unannounced.

Next Steps

The next UW-WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for September 11.