Negotiations Recap for June 30, 2015
This recap details the 14th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199.
Charge Nurses and Staffing Concerns – UW proposed a memorandum of understanding whereby the parties would discuss a process for charge nurses to escalate staffing concerns at a joint labor-management meeting in 2015.
Pre-scheduling Overtime Shifts for Nurses – UW proposed a memorandum of understanding whereby Harborview could offer pre-scheduled overtime to be paid (at the appropriate rate of pay) after the initial schedule bid is posted and once Harborview has sent out notice for employees interested in taking additional shifts at straight time.
Trial Service Period – UW’s proposal accepted 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. Reversion of employees who are unsuccessful during their trial service period would not be subject to grievance. UW also accepted the union’s proposal whereby if an employee’s prior position has been filled with a permanent employee, the employee would be placed on the rehire list.
Per Diem Probationary Period – UW proposed to enable union-represented per diem nurses to request a meeting to review the determination of hours of credit received for the purposes of calculating probationary period. UW maintained its proposal for up to six months of service as a union-represented per diem nurse to count toward a nurse’s probationary period in the event they are hired into a permanent position in the same job class without a break in service, as determined by management.
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.
Payroll Errors – UW withdrew its proposed language updates regarding the correction of payroll errors to reflect limitations of the payroll system.
Layoff – UW maintained its proposed language updates to establish a clear process in the event of a layoff, spelling out an ordered list of distinct employment options for employees subject to layoff.
UW Fifth Package Proposal
UW put forth a package proposal in which all provisions would need to be accepted in their entirety. Provisions included:
Meal and Break Relief
- Meal and Rest Breaks – UW maintained its proposal to memorialize the parties’ joint goal of ensuring that nurses at Harborview receive uninterrupted meal and rest breaks, including the responsibility of Harborview to create an environment that allows and encourages uninterrupted breaks, and the responsibility of nurses to take such breaks. UW accepted SEIU 1199’s 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 – UW proposed the creation of break relief nurses on the day shift of all acute care units to relieve nurses with permanent patient assignments for meal and rest breaks. UW proposed a phase-in schedule whereby Harborview would provide break relief nurses on the day shift to five acute care units by June 30, 2016, and to all acute care units by June 30, 2017.
Education and Tuition Support
- Harborview Scholarships – Harborview would grant scholarships of up to $10,000 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.
- General Wage Increases – UW proposed a 2 percent general wage increase effective July 1, 2015, and a 1 percent general wage increase effective July 1, 2016. As part of this package, SEIU 1199 would withdraw its other economic proposals, including those for several individualized and general adjustments to wage scales and pay premiums.
- New Top Step – UW proposed the creation of an additional salary step for all non-nurse job classifications, effective July 1, 2016. Upon implementation, employees who have been at the top step for more than five years would immediately advance to this new top step.
Targeted Wage and Class Adjustments
- Social Work Wage Increases and Consolidation – In response to the union’s concerns, UW withdrew its proposal to consolidate the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classes and provide wage increase of roughly 8 percent to employees in the current Social Worker 1 job class.
- Healthcare Specialist Consolidation – UW maintained its proposal to merge 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.
- Healthcare Specialist Compensation – UW proposed that SEIU 1199 withdraw its outstanding proposals related to healthcare specialist compensation, including its proposal to add new steps to the top of the pay scale and to build in increases between “flat” steps.
SEIU 1199 Proposals
General Wage Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed general wage increases of 5 percent on July 1, 2015, and another 4.75 percent on July 1, 2016.
New Top Steps – SEIU 1199 proposed the creation of two new steps at the top of all applicable pay tables, each one 3 percent greater than the step prior. One step would be added on July 1, 2015, and the next would be added July 1, 2016.
Targeted Wage Increases – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposals for 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.
- Vascular and Cardiac Lead Sonographers: Move from pay range 96 to range 99.
- Juneau-based Flight Nurses: 15 percent wage increase for flight nurses based in Juneau.
Social Work Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed a separate provision whereby the Social Work Assistant 2, the Social Worker 1, and Social Worker 2 job classifications would receive an 8 percent wage increase effective July 1, 2015. The parties would establish a committee to explore the matter of consolidating the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classifications.
Standby Pay – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to increase the premium for time spent on call to $6 per hour for all eligible employees.
Certification Pay – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to expand eligibility for certification premium pay to include healthcare specialists as well as cardiac and vascular sonographers.
Filler Steps – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for 1 percent pay step adjustments from the previous step for steps that currently do not result in a pay increase, applicable to all SEIU 1199-represented job titles.
Flight Nurse Premium – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for a flight nurse premium of $5 per hour.
Training Fund – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for UW to pay an amount equaling 1 percent of all nurses’ gross pay as a contribution to the SEIU 1199NW Multi-Employer Training and Education Fund (“Training Fund”).
BSN Premium – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposed pay premium for nurses holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree premium as an “all-or-nothing” package with the Training Fund.
Hire-in Rates – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for social work hire-in rates to be based on year-for-year credit for applicable experience, to be developed through the joint labor-management process.
Research/Hall Health Nurse Pay Tables – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for the Research Nurse 1 job class to be placed on the BW pay table such that it aligns with the Hall Health Nurse 2 job class. The union proposed establishing a 6 percent pay differential between the Research Nurse 1 and Research Nurse 2 job classes.
Credit for Past Experience – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for UW to adjust wage rates for the entire Research/Hall Health Nurse bargaining unit to reflect year-for-year credit within 30 days of contract ratification.
Skills Day – In response to UW’s proposal for an annual paid skills day for respiratory therapists, SEIU 1199 proposed removing UW’s language establishing that hours in attendance would be paid at straight time.
Layoff – SEIU 1199 accepted elements of UW’s proposed language updates to establish an ordered list of distinct employment options for employees subject to layoff. The union proposed requiring that the first option, a funded vacant posted position within the layoff/seniority unit, be deemed mutually acceptable to the employee and employer, and that after a two-month trial period the employee could opt to be placed on the rehire list.
Per Diem Probationary Period – SEIU 1199 proposed that up to six months of service as a represented per diem nurse count toward a nurse’s probationary period in the event they are hired into a permanent position in the same job class without a break in service, rejecting UW’s proposal for such a decision to be at management’s discretion.
Tentative Agreements – New Contract Language
The parties tentatively agreed to the following new or altered provisions:
Article 21: Corrective Action – The parties tentatively agreed to several changes to the corrective action article, including:
- Informal Counseling: The parties will cease the practice of using the jointly-developed general template when conducting Step A meetings. A supervisor may follow up in writing, including an action plan, which will not be placed in an employee’s file.
- Corrective Action: New language outlines employee rights to representation during the corrective action process, and memorializes that UW will make clear the step of the process being conducted. UW will determine the step at which corrective action begins based on the nature and severity of the problem. Formal counseling (Step B) may be grieved through Step Three (mediation) of the grievance procedure, and final counseling and dismissal may be grieved through every step, beginning at Step Two.
- Dismissal: New language spells out an employee’s right to a pre-determination meeting prior to dismissal, in which they could make their case with the union present.
- Investigations: 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 investigations lasting longer than 60 days, the union may request an update on the investigation status, next steps, and approximate timeframe for completion.
Article 23: Job Posting and Transfer – The parties tentatively agreed that before referring candidates to a vacant position or shift, UW will provide seven calendar days’ notice to employees within the unit seeking a different shift regardless of FTE (full-time equivalent). Employees must submit requests in writing, and must have permanent status in the job class and work in same unit. To be eligible, an employee must have no final counseling in their file for the past 12 months, and must have the skills and abilities necessary for the vacant shift.
Seniority would act as a tiebreaker if two or more comparably-qualified employees requested the same shift. A formal layoff option could be offered prior to granting such a transfer request, and this process is not subject to the grievance procedure.
Article 28: Mandatory Subject – The parties tentatively agreed to replace outdated language regarding collective bargaining obligations in Article 28 with language memorializing current collective bargaining law.
Appendix XII: Layoff Units – The parties tentatively agreed on several updates to outdated language in the layoff units detailed in Appendix XII.
Tentative Agreements – Current Contract Language
The parties tentatively agreed to maintain existing contract language on the following provisions:
- Article 11: Tuition Exemption Program
- Article 16: Sick Leave
- Appendix II: Nonassociation Fee Process
Airlift Northwest Tentative Agreements
The parties tentatively agreed to the following provision specific to Airlift Northwest:
Union Delegates – The parties tentatively agreed that the Seattle base will have two union delegates, and each other Airlift Northwest base will have one.
Delegate Training – The parties tentatively agreed to clarify that the 16 hours of paid delegate training hours for the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit will be allocated as eight hours each for two nurses.
Part-Time Employees – The parties tentatively agreed to maintain current contract language regarding the threshold of hours worked to be considered a “part-time employee.”
Education Support Funds – The parties tentatively agreed to maintain current contract language on the annual education support funds available to each full-time equivalent (FTE) Airlift Northwest flight nurse.
Premium Pay – The parties tentatively agreed to maintain current contract language regarding pay premiums applicable to the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit.
Bereavement Leave – The parties tentatively agreed that Airlift Northwest flight nurses will be granted paid leave for two shifts (up to 48 hours) within a seven day period for each death of a family member.
Job Posting and Transfer – The parties tentatively agreed that departmental seniority will be the determining factor on a transfer to a different shift or section provided that skill, competence, ability, and experience are considered equivalent.
The parties tentatively agreed to allow 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.
Mileage – The parties tentatively agreed that mileage will 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. Mileage will also be paid for travel required for clinical work or education that is not provided at a flight nurse’s official duty station.
Aircraft out of Service – The parties tentatively agreed to maintain current contract language.
Official Duty Station – The parties tentatively agreed that flight nurses will be scheduled into the base at which they are hired, and that Airlift Northwest may open or change bases depending on community needs. Any changes in working conditions and base changes will go to a joint labor-management meeting.
Flight nurses attending training more than 100 miles from their official duty station will receive payment of lodging and food per diem. For trainings on consecutive days, flight nurses more than 80 miles from their official duty station will receive payment of lodging and food per diem.
Airlift Northwest Work Day – The parties tentatively agreed to language establishing that except in emergent medical situations, a good faith effort will be made to end duty shifts on time.
Kronos Language Updates – The parties tentatively agreed to updates to outdated language surrounding Kronos.
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 14th consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize a sign-in sheet.
The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for July 2.