Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for July 8, 2015

This recap details the ninth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WSNA, which expired as of July 1, 2015.

Status of Negotiations

The parties discussed the status of negotiations and where differences remain. UW expressed interest in engaging in further discussion, but reinforced that it is currently maintaining its last, best, and final proposal delivered at the previous session.

UW reminded WSNA that the University has made substantial movement and withdrawn several proposals at the request of the union, and that its comprehensive proposal provides several meaningful gains for UWMC nurses without takeaways.

Mandatory Union Membership Discussion

WSNA reported that 86 percent of nurses it surveyed support its proposal to make union membership and payment of dues mandatory for UWMC nurses, and suggested that UW’s opposition to this proposal is anti-union.

UW pointed out that roughly less than one-third of UWMC nurses responded to WSNA’s survey, meaning the support cited by the union does not represent a majority. UW team members reported receiving unsolicited feedback from several UWMC nurses emphasizing their opposition to mandatory union membership and dues.

UW acknowledged that WSNA’s latest proposal would only apply to nurses hired prospectively, but expressed that this notion is not universally supported by nurses and is somewhat incompatible with the culture of professionalism and autonomy that the union touts as a priority and a benefit for UWMC nurses.

Next Steps

The parties will meet again to continue negotiations at a later date that is still being determined. Since the contract has expired, the previous contract will remain in effect until the parties negotiate a successor agreement. UW has stated that wage increases will not be applied retroactively.