Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for May 20, 2015

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

Flight Nurse Reclassification and Wage Adjustments

UW provided additional information regarding its proposals to recognize and compensate flight nurses at Airlift Northwest in accordance with their unique work environment. Proposals included:

Base Pay Increase – UW proposed to increase flight nurse pay by a full pay range , equating to roughly an 8 percent pay increase. UW’s proposal to permanently add several premiums into base pay and pay them at all times accounts for roughly 6 percent of this proposed increase, and the additional 2 percent increase would simply be extra pay.

Consolidating Premiums – UW clarified that the premiums that would be permanently wrapped into base pay would be the second shift premium, the third shift premium, and the premium paid for the nursing certification that is already required as a condition of hire. All other premiums would still be available on top of this new base rate, including weekend premium and the CFRN certification pay proposed by UW, and overtime pay would be calculated based on the higher rate as well.

Flight Nurse Job Classification – UW proposed changing the job classification title for nurses in the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit Flight Nurse (RN2) and Flight Nurse Senior (RN3), in order to recognize the unique work that they do while respecting the union’s desire to retain a similar name to the Harborview RN2 position.

UW Package Offer

To facilitate further compromise, UW explained that it would accept SEIU 1199’s positions on the following provisions provided that the union accepted the above wage and classification adjustments:

  • Overtime – UW would withdraw its proposal to cease payment overtime at a double-time rate for hours worked beyond a flight nurse’s scheduled 12- or 24-hour shift.
  • Filling Shifts – UW would accept the union’s proposal for uncovered shifts or sick calls to be offered to flight nurses at the official duty station at which they occur prior to being offered to nurses stationed elsewhere.

Airlift Northwest Discussion: UW Proposals

UW delivered several additional proposals and counter-proposals specific to the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit.

Float Pay – UW declined SEIU 1199’s proposal for flight nurses to receive float pay for time assigned to work outside their official duty station.

Scheduling – UW accepted SEIU 1199’s proposal for changes to schedule practices at any base to go through the joint labor-management process.

Mileage – In an effort to better capture current practice and applicable State law, UW proposed clarifying language surrounding instances when a flight nurse reports to work at a station other than their official duty station. In the event the employee’s home is closer to their reporting station than their official duty station is, mileage would be paid to and from their home rather than to and from their official duty station.

Aircraft out of Service – UW declined the union’s proposal to remove 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.

UW also declined the union’s proposal to enable overtime payment for drive time under certain circumstances where a flight nurse must return to their official duty station after working at a different facility.

Job Posting and Transfer – UW accepted SEIU 1199’s proposal for departmental seniority to be the determining factor on a transfer to a different shift or section provided that skill, competence, ability, and experience are considered equivalent.

UW declined the union’s proposal to allow flight nurses who do not fulfill their two year commitment at the Juneau base to repay a prorated amount of the moving cost incentive paid to them.

Official Duty Station – UW proposed a compromise, whereby UW would accept SEIU 1199’s proposal to require that any changes in working conditions and base changes go through joint labor-management meetings, if SEIU 1199 accepted UW’s proposed language to memorialize that Airlift Northwest may open or change bases depending on community needs.

UW accepted the union’s proposal for Juneau-based flight nurses to be paid for airfare and car rental. UW proposed payment of lodging and food per diem for flight nurses attending training more than 100 miles from their official duty station, rather than the union’s proposal for 60 miles.

Aircraft Staffing – UW declined SEIU 1199’s proposal to require that every aircraft be staffed with flight nurses for every hour that it is staffed with pilots.

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

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for May 28.