Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for July 28, 2015

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

Status of Negotiations

WSNA solicited additional proposals from the UW management team. UW reinforced that it has delivered a last, best, and final proposal, which provides significant gains for UWMC nurses. UW pointed out that WSNA had expressed the potential for further flexibility in its positions, and encouraged the union to share what that might entail.

Mandatory Union Membership Discussion

WSNA presented a signed petition, conveying it as a demonstration of support for the union’s proposal to require all newly-hired UWMC nurses to pay union dues without the possibility of opting out. WSNA presented this as a major outstanding issue.

UW expressed its support for each nurses’ ability to choose whether or not they want to pay union dues, noting that the unique working conditions and professional autonomy at UWMC play an important role in nurse satisfaction. Furthermore, UW contended that the existing system has been highly successful and it does not believe that major changes are needed or warranted at this time.

Next Steps

The parties will meet again to continue negotiations at a later date that is still being determined. The parties agreed to continue negotiations in the presence of a mediator from the State Public Employment Relations Commission.

Since the contract has expired, the previous contract will remain in effect until the parties negotiate a successor agreement. Similar to the approach used across the University and in prior contract negotiations, UW has stated that it does not intend for wage increases to be applied retroactively, meaning wage increases would not begin before the new contract goes into effect.