Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for July 27, 2015

This recap details the 18th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199, which expired as of July 1, 2015. This was the sixth session to be facilitated by State-appointed mediators.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

SEIU 1199 delivered a series of proposals at the end of the parties’ July 27 bargaining session, including:

Education and Tuition Support

  • Training Fund – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for Harborview to pay an amount equaling 0.5 percent of all nurses’ gross pay as a contribution to the SEIU 1199NW Multi-Employer Training and Education Fund (“Training Fund”).

    The union maintained its rejection of UW’s proposal to grant scholarships of up to $10,000 each to up to 11 Harborview nurses for the UW Bothell RN-to-BSN degree program, as well as UW’s proposal to contribute up to an additional $10,000 per year for Harborview nurses to attend other programs to complete their BSN, MSN, or other advanced nursing practice degrees.

  • 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.

Wages and Pay Provisions

  • General Wage Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed general wage increases of 4 percent on July 1, 2015, and another 4 percent on July 1, 2016.
  • New Top Steps – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for two new steps to be added at the top of all applicable pay tables, each one 3 percent greater than the step prior.
  • Filler Steps – SEIU 1199 proposed pay step increases from the previous step at steps I and N, applicable to all job classifications except nurses.
  • Standby Pay – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to increase the premium for time spent on call to $6 per hour for all eligible employees.

Targeted Wage and Class Adjustments

  • Targeted Wage Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed the following wage adjustments specific to individual job class series:
    • Anesthesiology Technician Series: 4 percent wage increase.
    • END Technologist Series: 8 percent wage increase.
    • Social Work Series: 8 percent wage increase.
    • Vascular and Cardiac Lead Sonographers: Move from pay range 96 to range 99.
  • Healthcare Specialist Compensation – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to merge inpatient and outpatient healthcare specialist pay ranges effective July 1, 2015, such that affected employees would be placed at the same letter step on the new pay range, rather than UW’s proposal for placement on the step that is closest to their current pay without a pay reduction.
  • Healthcare Specialist Certification Pay – SEIU 1199 proposed that certification requirements and criteria for certification pay for healthcare specialists be addressed through the joint labor-management process, to be completed within six months of contract ratification.
  • Healthcare Specialist Education Support Funds – If UW accepted SEIU 1199’s proposals regarding healthcare specialist pay range placement and certification pay, the union would withdraw its proposal to increase the annual education support funds for healthcare specialists from $1,800 to $2,500 per FTE.
  • Social Work 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 Nurses

  • 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 maintained its proposal to establish 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.

Airlift Northwest

  • Flight Nurse Premium – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for a flight nurse premium of $5 per hour.
  • Juneau-based Flight Nurses – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposed 10 percent wage increase for flight nurses based in Juneau.

Charge Nurses and Staffing Concerns

  • Short Staffing Forms: SEIU 1199 proposed that within six months of ratification, the parties use the joint labor-management process to develop a process for the review of the current process for utilizing short staffing forms.
  • Adjusting Resources: SEIU 1199 supplemented UW’s proposal to allow charge nurses to adjust resources per patient and unit needs in conjunction with unit management/supervision, proposing strategies such as the delay of elective admissions and surgeries, the solicitation of volunteers for overtime shifts, and the use of per diem staff, managers, and nursing supervisors.
  • Committees and Process: SEIU 1199 proposed a requirement that trends related to census, acuity, and unit activity that continue for six months be addressed at the nurse staffing committee.

Pre-scheduling Overtime Shifts for Nurses – SEIU 1199 accepted elements of UW’s proposed language to allow (rather than mandate) Harborview to offer pre-scheduled overtime after the initial schedule bid is posted and once Harborview has sent out notice for employees interested in taking additional shifts at straight time.

SEIU 1199 maintained that notification of absence would be required at least two hours before the beginning of a shift, and proposed that failure to attempt to notify staff of shift cancellation at least two hours in advance (rather than UW’s proposal of “within the appropriate time limits”) would result in the employee being assigned to a unit for two hours.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for August 17. Since the contract has expired, the previous contract will remain in effect until the parties negotiate a successor agreement.