Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for April 29, 2015

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

Sheet

UW again delivered a sign-in sheet for both bargaining teams to sign, in order to help facilitate payment of release time to employees. For the second consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize the sign-in sheet.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

Per Diem Employees – SEIU 1199 proposed language establishing that per diem employees are not to be regularly used in lieu of regular full- and part-time positions. The union proposed that per diem nurses be paid a 15 percent wage differential, and that they be eligible for longevity steps, educational benefits, and numerous premiums and differentials given to regular Harborview nurses.

The union also proposed that all hours previously worked in per diem status apply to a nurse’s probationary period.

Union Delegates – SEIU 1199 proposed allowing for per diem nurses to act as union delegates, as well as increasing the number of union delegates in other units as follows:

  • Social Work: Increase from four to six union delegates.
  • Respiratory Therapy: Increase from two to three union delegates.
  • Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologists: Increase from one to two union delegates.
  • Airlift Northwest Nurses: Increase from one to two union delegates.

Delegate Training Hours – SEIU 1199 proposed increases to the number of employees eligible for 8-hour allotments of paid release time to participate in union-sponsored delegate training as follows:

  • Nurses: Increase from six to eight nurses at eight hours each.
  • Social Workers: Increase from two to four social workers at eight hours each.
  • END Technologists: Increase from one to two END Technologists at eight hours each.

Job Classifications – SEIU 1199 proposed consolidating the four healthcare specialist job classifications into two.

Certification Pay – SEIU 1199 proposed expanding eligibility for certification premium pay to include healthcare specialists as well as cardiac and vascular sonographers.

Shift Rotation – SEIU 1199 proposed language discouraging routine shift rotation except in emergency situations, and that an employee who rotates shifts receive an additional four dollars per hour for each hour worked.

Work in Advance of Shift – SEIU 1199 proposed language to allow for payment of overtime rates more favorable than time and one-half in cases where an employee reports to work in advance of their shift at the request of management and continues to work through their scheduled shift.

Rest Between Shifts – SEIU 1199 proposed expanding eligibility for rest period premium pay to include imaging technologists and sonographers, as well as respiratory care and anesthesiology technicians.

Skills Day – SEIU 1199 proposed the implementation of an annual paid skills day for every bargaining unit.

Educational and Professional Leave – SEIU 1199 proposed expanding the maximum potential educational and professional leave allotment for social workers from 40 hours per year to 80.

Education Support Funds – SEIU 1199 proposed increases to the annual education support funds available to each full-time equivalent (FTE) as follows:

  • Healthcare Specialists: Increase from $1,800 per FTE to $3,000 per FTE.
  • Airlift Northwest: Increase from $500 per FTE to $800 per FTE.

Pay Table Adjustments – SEIU 1199 proposed that the UW Research Nurse 1 and 2 job classes be placed on the same pay table and pay ranges as Harborview Registered Nurse 2 and 3, respectively. The union also proposed pay range increases for vascular lead sonographers.

Hire-in Rates – SEIU 1199 proposed that hire-in rates for social workers be based on year-for-year credit for applicable experience, to be developed through the joint labor-management process.

Callback Relief – SEIU 1199 proposed that employees who have worked on-call within eight hours of their next scheduled shift may call out sick citing fatigue, to which they could apply annual leave, sick leave, or leave without pay. If a staffing need persists after the employee has been off-duty for 12 hours, management could require the employee to work the balance of their shift.

Personnel File – SEIU 1199 proposed enabling employees to request the removal of documents in their personnel file after 12 months, rather than the current timeline of three years.

Faith/Conscience Days – SEIU 1199 proposed new language based on recently enacted legislation, whereby leave without pay be granted for up to two workdays per year for reason of faith or conscience.

Vacation Leave – SEIU 1199 proposed adjusting vacation leave accruals such that each year provides for the accrual of one more vacation day than the year prior. The maximum accrual would be 23 days per year for employees with 12 or more years of service, rather than the current 22 days per year for employees of 16 or more years.

Corrective Action – SEIU 1199 proposed that the performance problem step only be determined after an investigation meeting occurs, and that UW provide written notice to the employee of the investigation subject when notified of the meeting. The union proposed that UW inform the employee of the investigation meeting’s outcome within 14 days of its occurrence.

Job Posting – SEIU 1199 proposed that priority for job openings go to existing employees, particularly those within the bargaining unit in which the opening occurs, and seniority would determine who fills the vacancy provided that skill, ability, and experience are equal.

The union proposed that when a position is not filled by permanent employees in that department, per diem employees be considered before employees from outside the department.

Transfers – SEIU 1199 proposed that for nurses, professional/technical employees, healthcare specialists, and social workers, seniority be the determining factor on a transfer to a different shift or section, provided that skill, ability, and experience are equal.

Social Work Layoff Units – SEIU 1199 proposed consolidating Harborview Mental Health Services (HMHS) and Mental Health Integration Program (MHIP) into the same layoff unit as Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress (HCSATS) and Children’s Response Center (CRC).

Meal and Rest Breaks – SEIU 1199 proposed language to guarantee uninterrupted meal and rest breaks, and that any exceptions result in employees being paid at a rate of time and one-half.

UW would collect data and report quarterly to the labor-management committee on meal and rest breaks that are not taken in each department and shift, utilized to determine mechanisms under which employees are able to take breaks.

Break Relief Nurse – SEIU 1199 proposed the creation of break relief nurses on all nursing units to relieve nurses with permanent patient assignments for meal and rest breaks.

Quality Improvement Project – SEIU 1199 proposed that the union and UW jointly sponsor a project whereby the labor-management committee would track patients from the emergency room to discharge, and would measure and evaluate reasons for any slowdowns of patient flow.

The union proposed the formation of a “Labor/Management Improvement Projects” subcommittee, on which all time worked would be paid, and for which participants would be trained centrally at a two-day retreat planned by the parties.

Negotiations for a Successor Contract – SEIU 1199 proposed that UW provide paid release time for 2 percent of all 1,859 employees represented by the union for negotiations for a successor contract, as well as for statewide healthcare negotiations.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for May 5.