Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for May 13, 2015

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

SEIU 1199 Joint Employer Training and Education Fund

Training Fund Presentation

SEIU 1199 facilitated a presentation in support of Harborview joining the SEIU 1199NW Multi-Employer Training and Education Fund (“Training Fund”). The Training Fund was formed in 2008 between SEIU 1199 and various local hospitals, and currently represents nearly 10,000 employees. The Training Fund is comprised of three main areas:

  • Tuition Assistance: Tuition assistance is the Training Fund’s primary focus. Full-time nurses are eligible for to up to $5,250 (pro-rated for part-time). Beginning in 2013, the Training Fund could no longer fulfill all tuition assistance requests, and there is now a wait-list for tuition assistance.
  • Educational Support: Educational support includes paper-writing assistance, international transcript evaluation, and access to
  • Professional Development: Qualifying nurses would be eligible for up to $300 per year for specialty certification exam reimbursement.

As of July 1, 2015, the Training Fund will double its fees charged at each participating organization to 1 percent of employee gross pay.

SEIU 1199 Training Fund Proposals

Training Fund – SEIU 1199 proposed that UW pay an amount equaling 1 percent of all nurses’ gross pay as a contribution to the Training Fund. The union proposed that UW provide the Training Fund with employee records in order to determine eligibility to participate.

BSN Premium – SEIU 1199 proposed a pay premium for nurses holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree premium as an “all-or-nothing” package with the Training Fund. The union expressed that it would not accept the BSN premium unless UW agrees to participate in the Training Fund.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

General Wage Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed general wage increases of 5 percent on July 1, 2015 and another 5 percent on July 1, 2016.

New Top Steps – SEIU 1199 proposed the creation of three new steps at the top of all applicable pay tables, each one 3 percent greater than the step prior. The union proposed that any employee who has been at a top step for more than four years be placed on the newly proposed top step, and employees with more than three years at a top step be placed on the penultimate of the newly proposed steps.

Targeted Wage Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed the following wage adjustments specific to individual job class series:

  • Anesthesiology Technician Series: 5 percent wage increase.
  • Social Work Series: 10 percent wage increase.
  • Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologist Series: 15 percent wage increase.

Standby Pay – SEIU 1199 proposed increasing the premium for time spent on call to $6 per hour for all eligible employees.

Healthcare Specialist Compensation – SEIU 1199 proposed merging and expanding the inpatient and outpatient healthcare specialist pay ranges. The union proposed adding four new steps to the top of the pay scale, and building in 1.5 percent increases between pay steps that currently do not provide for an increase from the prior step.

Filler Steps – SEIU 1199 proposed a 1 percent pay step adjustments from the previous step for steps that currently do not result in a pay increase. This proposal was for all SEIU 1199-represented job titles.

END Technologist Job Descriptions – SEIU 1199 proposed rewriting the END technologist 1, 2, and 3 job classification specifications.

Airlift Northwest Proposals

Flight Nurse Premium – SEIU 1199 proposed a flight nurse premium of $5 per hour for flight nurses at Airlift Northwest to recognize their unique work environment.

Juneau-based Flight Nurses – SEIU 1199 proposed a 15 percent wage increase for flight nurses based in Juneau.

Float Pay – SEIU 1199 proposed that flight nurses receive float pay for time assigned to work outside their official duty station.

Mileage – SEIU 1199 proposed that when a flight nurse reports to work at a station other than their official duty station, all mileage to and from the reporting station be paid. The union also proposed that mileage be paid for any travel required for clinical work or education that is not provided at a flight nurse’s official duty station.

Aircraft out of Service – SEIU 1199 proposed removing management’s ability to require a flight nurse to work at another Airlift Northwest facility in cases where the aircraft at their official duty station is out of service.

The union also proposed allowing flight nurses to be paid at an overtime rate for time spent driving back to their official duty station from a different facility in cases where they must begin their return trip after their shift was scheduled to end.

Scheduling – SEIU 1199 proposed that any changes to schedule practices at any base go through the joint labor-management process.

Job Posting and Transfer – SEIU 1199 proposed that flight nurses who do not fulfill a two year commitment at the Juneau base be allowed to repay a prorated amount of the moving cost incentive paid to them, rather than the whole thing.

SEIU 1199 accepted UW’s proposal for management to specify the location of the base and the FTE (full-time equivalent) needed when notifying flight nurses of open Airlift Northwest bargaining unit positions.

Official Duty Station – SEIU 1199 rejected UW’s proposed language to memorialize that Airlift Northwest may open or change bases depending on community needs. Instead, the union proposed language to require that any changes in working conditions and base changes go through joint labor-management meetings for discussion.

The union also proposed payment of lodging and food per diem for flight nurses attending training more than 60 miles from their official duty station, and that Juneau-based flight nurses be paid for airfare and car rental as well.

Aircraft Staffing – SEIU 1199 proposed language requiring that every aircraft be staffed with flight nurses for every hour that it is staffed with pilots.

Overtime – SEIU 1199 proposed that sick leave count toward the calculation of overtime except in the case of prescheduled overtime during a 40 hour work week. The union also proposed to allow flight nurses to earn compensatory time at a double-time rate.

Filling Shifts – SEIU 1199 proposed that uncovered shifts or sick calls be offered to flight nurses at the official duty station at which they occur prior to being offered to nurses stationed elsewhere.

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 fourth consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize a sign-in sheet.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for May 19.