Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for June 16, 2015

This recap details the 11th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199.

UW Proposals

Rest Between Shifts – UW proposed the parties maintain current contract language. UW withdrew its proposal to expand rest between shifts premium pay eligibility to several other groups because SEIU 1199 declined UW’s proposal to standardize the rest between shifts pay practice for nurses.

Contract Distribution – UW proposed that the parties print 900 paper copies of the 2015-2017 contract (roughly half of the number of SEIU 1199-represented UW employees), and share the cost equally. UW would not print future contracts.

Social Work Wage Increases and Consolidation – UW proposed wrapping the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classes into a single job class. Employees in the Social Worker 2 job class would remain on their current pay table at their current pay range, to which employees currently in the Social Worker 1 job class would also be moved. This would result in a wage increase of roughly 8 percent for employees currently in the Social Worker 1 job class.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

Contract Distribution – SEIU 1199 proposed that the parties continue printing paper contracts and sharing the cost thereof, and that UW provide the contract for existing employees while the union provide it for new employees.

Rest Between Shifts – SEIU 1199 proposed expanding eligibility for rest period premium pay to include cardiac and vascular sonographers as well as respiratory therapists.

Skills Day – SEIU 1199 proposed the implementation of an annual paid skills day for respiratory therapists.

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 $2,500 per FTE.
  • Airlift Northwest: Increase from $500 per FTE to $800 per FTE.

Corrective Action – SEIU 1199 proposed language memorializing that coaching is part of the ongoing role of management, and that the corrective action process may be implemented in cases where coaching has not resulted in an employee’s success or where there is a specific behavior issue.

The union maintained its proposals requiring that employees be informed of their right to a union delegate before any informal counseling, and that the supervisor declare that the meeting is a Step A counseling. SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for the union to be notified of the decision on whether or not to terminate an employee prior to the actual employee being notified.

Job Posting and Transfer – SEIU 1199 proposed that before referring candidates to a vacant position or shift, UW would provide seven business days’ notice to employees within the unit seeking a different shift or position. Employees would submit requests in writing, and must have permanent status in the job class and work in same unit. Eligible employees would have no corrective action above Step B in their file for the past 12 months, and would have the skills and abilities necessary for the position. Seniority would act as a tiebreaker if two comparably-qualified employees requested the same vacancy.

The union also proposed that additional hours on a shift or unit would first be offered to current permanent employees within the unit. Existing employees would be notified of job openings immediately, and have priority. Per diem employees would be considered before outside applicants if a regular position was not yet filled by a permanent employee.

Staffing – SEIU 1199 revised elements of UW’s proposed consolidation of nurse staffing policy and contract language into the body of the contract. The union proposed that employee compensation for time spent on the staffing committee include pay differentials and premiums.

The union proposed that trends related to census, acuity, and ratios that continue for three months be used as a basis for changing the staffing matrix. The union maintained its proposals for unit-based staffing committees, and unit-specific patient-to-employee staffing ratios ranging from 1:1 to 4:1.

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

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 11th consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize a sign-in sheet.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for June 18.