Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for June 24, 2015

This recap details the 13th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199.

UW Proposals

Personnel File – UW proposed enabling employees to request the removal of formal counseling documents from their personnel file after two years, and the removal of final counseling documents after three years. UW could retain information in a legal defense file in accordance with Washington State law.

Staffing – UW maintained its previous proposal for the consolidation and incorporation of nurse staffing policy as well as the contract’s existing appendix regarding nurse staffing into the body of the contract.

Mandatory Subjects – In response to the union’s concern over deleting outdated language regarding collective bargaining obligations in Article 28, UW proposed language to memorialize current collective bargaining law.

Corrective Action – UW altered elements of its last proposal to move closer to the union’s position, including:

  • Informal Counseling: Per the union’s most recent position, UW proposed that the parties cease the practice of using the jointly-established template when conducting Step A meetings.
  • Corrective Action: UW would make clear when formal or final counseling is being conducted and inform employees of their representation rights. UW would determine the step at which corrective action begins based on the nature and severity of problem, and formal counseling (Step B) could only be grieved through Step Three (mediation) of the grievance procedure.
  • Dismissal: UW reasserted language spelling out an employee’s right to a pre-determination meeting prior to dismissal, in which they could make their case with the union present.
  • Administrative Leave: UW proposed that if management elects not to take corrective action after an investigation involving an employee on administrative leave, the employee will be notified that the investigation is complete and no corrective action will be imposed. For administrative leaves lasting longer than 60 days, the union could request an update on the investigation status, next steps, and approximate timeframe for completion.

UW Package Proposals

UW put forth two separate package proposals applicable to the main contract and one specific to Airlift Northwest matters, each of which conditional upon all provisions within being accepted in their entirety.

UW Third Package Proposal

General Wage Increases – UW proposed a 1.25 percent general wage increase effective July 1, 2015, and a 1 percent general wage increase effective July 1, 2016. UW declined SEIU 1199’s proposals for several individualized and general adjustments to wage scales and pay premiums.

Social Work Wage Increases and Consolidation – UW maintained its proposal to wrap the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classes into a single job class, thereby providing wage increase of roughly 8 percent for the current Social Worker 1 job class. However, to address union concerns over the intent and possible impacts of such a change, UW would delay implementation for one year, to July 1, 2016, and would meet and confer with the union at least twice between November 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016.

Healthcare Specialist Consolidation – UW would agree to the union’s proposed notion of merging the job classes and pay ranges of outpatient and inpatient healthcare specialists, effective July 1, 2016, which would provide for an average wage increase for outpatient healthcare specialists of roughly 2 percent.

Trial Service Period – UW would accept SEIU 1199’s proposed six month trial service period for permanent employees who transfer into a job class for which they previously have not attained permanent status, as well as the union’s proposal to allow employees to revert to their former position within six weeks, provided that the position had not already been filled or offered.

UW maintained its proposal to allow a trial service period to be extended on a day-for-day basis for any days that the employee is on leave without pay or shared leave, except in cases of military service.

Negotiations for a Successor Contract – UW proposed 1,200 hours of paid release time for union designated bargaining team members for negotiations for the 2017-2019 contract. UW would provide paid release time for one bargaining team member to attend statewide Healthcare Coalition bargaining.

UW Fourth Package Proposal

Harborview Scholarships – Harborview would grant scholarships of up to $4,000 each to up to 11 Harborview nurses accepted into the UW Bothell RN-to-BSN degree program offered on-site at Harborview. To be eligible, nurses would have worked at Harborview for at least one year, and nurses completing the program would commit three years to Harborview.

Training Fund and BSN Premium – UW proposed that SEIU 1199 withdraw its proposal for UW to pay into the SEIU 1199NW Multi-Employer Training and Education Fund (“Training Fund”), including the union’s proposed pay premium for nurses holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

Education Support Funds – UW proposed that SEIU 1199 withdraw its proposed increases to the annual education support funds available to Healthcare Specialists and Airlift Northwest nurses.

Airlift Northwest Package Proposal

Union Delegates – UW accepted SEIU 1199’s proposal for the Seattle base to have two union delegates, and for each other Airlift Northwest base to have one.

Part-Time Employees – UW accepted SEIU 1199’s proposal to maintain current contract language regarding the threshold of hours worked to be considered a “part-time employee.”

Flight Nurse Float Pay – UW proposed that the parties maintain current contract language regarding Airlift Northwest premiums, which included declining SEIU 1199’s proposal for flight nurses to receive float pay for time assigned to work outside their official duty station.

Bereavement Leave – UW proposed that paid leave for two shifts (up to 48 hours) within a one week period (Sunday – Saturday) be granted for each death of a family member.

Mileage – UW accepted the union’s clarifications to its proposal for mileage to be paid to and from a flight nurse’s home rather than to and from their official duty station in the event their home is closer to their reporting station than their official duty station is.

Aircraft out of Service – UW declined SEIU 1199’s proposed language surrounding staffing needs and 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 declined the union’s proposal to allow 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.

Job Posting and Transfer – UW proposed allowing for flight nurses who do not fulfill a two year commitment at the Juneau base to repay a prorated amount of the moving cost incentive paid to them, provided they have completed at least 18 months of their commitment.

Official Duty Station – UW maintained its proposal for payment of lodging and food per diem for flight nurses attending training more than 100 miles from their official duty station, rather than SEIU 1199’s proposal for 80 miles.

Airlift Northwest Work Day – In response to the union’s proposed language establishing the expectation that flight nurses will end duty shifts on time, UW proposed that except in emergent medical situations, a good faith effort will be made to end duty shifts on time.

Kronos Language Updates – UW proposed updates to outdated language surrounding Kronos.

Meal and Rest Breaks Discussion

The parties held a small-table discussion focused on meal and rest breaks, and agreed in concept that utilization of break relief nurses on acute care units should be a joint goal.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

Meal and Rest Breaks – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to expand UW’s meal and rest break proposal for Harborview nurses to apply to SEIU-1199 employees across UW, as well as its proposed language committing employees and managers to attend joint training concerning the importance of taking breaks, how to record missed breaks, and non-retaliation policies.

Break Relief Nurses – SEIU 1199 proposed a phase-in schedule whereby Harborview would provide break relief nurses on the day shift to four acute care units by September 1, 2015, and to all acute care units by September 1, 2016.

UW Response

UW expressed willingness to explore a schedule by which break relief nurses on day shift for all acute care units would be phased in over the life of the 2015-2017 contract. Given the significant cost this would entail, UW made it clear that if such a proposal was possible it would need to be made in exchange for the union making movement and concessions on several of its outstanding proposals with economic value.

Tentative Agreements

New Contract Language

The parties tentatively agreed to the following new or altered provisions:

Article 5: Union Representative Dues Deduction Activities

  • Union Delegates: The parties tentatively agreed to increase the number of Social Work bargaining unit delegates from four to five, and to increase the number of Respiratory Therapist/Anesthesiology Technician/Electroneurdiagnostic Technologist bargaining unit delegates from four to five.
  • Delegate Training Hours: The parties tentatively agreed to allow the union to determine how the four slots for Respiratory, Anesthesiology, and Electroneurodiagnostic employees should be allocated, rather than the contract prescribing a number for each group.
  • Union Shop: The parties tentatively agreed to delete language about the employer distributing the application for union membership and union contract.

MOU: Contract Printing and Format

  • Contract Distribution: The parties tentatively agreed to phase out the practice of printing paper contracts. The parties will 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. This provision will expire on June 30, 2017, and language changes to Article 5 clarify that this is the last round of contracts to be printed.
  • Research/Hall Health Addendum: The parties tentatively agreed to create an addendum to the contract that will contain all contract language that applies to the Research/Hall Health Nurse bargaining unit.

Article 7: Hours of Work and Overtime

  • Work Day: The parties tentatively agreed to language memorializing that all employees are to be compensated at the appropriate pay rate for each missed rest period, as well as language establishing that employees are expected to make good faith effort to communicate with the appropriate shift charge or lead to problem solve in order to help facilitate a meal or rest break.
  • Rest Between Shifts: The parties tentatively agreed to expand rest period premium pay eligibility to include respiratory therapists.

Article 17: Committees

  • Cardiac and Vascular Sonographer Committees: The parties tentatively agreed to memorialize that committee membership for cardiac and vascular sonographers consist of one representative from each of the three working areas plus one union representative, as well as up to three management representatives plus one from the Labor Relations office.

Article 27: Grievance Procedure

  • Arbitrator Selection: The parties tentatively agreed to language adopted from other UW contracts, whereby the parties will utilize a permanent panel of 10 arbitrators on a rotating basis.

Article 29: Insurance and Pension

  • Health Insurance and Pension Updates: The parties tentatively agreed to update the health care benefits provision according to what is determined at the Washington State union healthcare coalition.
Current Contract Language

The parties tentatively agreed to maintain existing contract language on the following provisions:

  • Preamble
  • Article 1: Purpose
  • Article 2: Nondiscrimination
  • Article 3: Affirmative Action
  • Article 4: Recognition/Employer
  • Article 18: Employee Facilities
  • Article 19: Classifications
  • Article 20: Reclassification
  • Article 24: Worker’s Compensation Leave
  • Article 25: Management Rights and Responsibilities
  • Article 26: Performance of Duty
  • Article 30: New Employee Orientation
  • Article 31: Health and Safety
  • Article 32: Subordination of Agreement and Saving Clause
  • Article 33: Complete Agreement

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 13th consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize a sign-in sheet.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for June 30.