Negotiations Recap for September 10, 2015
This recap details the 20th 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 eighth session to be facilitated by State-appointed mediators.
Healthcare Specialist Certification Pay – Based on the union’s proposed notion of discussing certification pay for healthcare specialists through the joint labor-management process, UW proposed language that would commit the parties to hold at least two joint labor-management meetings to discuss the application of certification pay for healthcare specialists.
UW made clear that this proposal is contingent upon the union’s acceptance of UW’s most recent proposals on articles 6 and 8, where the parties still differed on matters including per diem probationary periods and healthcare specialist education funds, respectively.
Charge Nurses and Staffing Concerns – UW moved further toward the union’s position in the discussion to enable charge nurses to adjust resources per patient and unit needs, accepting the union’s proposed strategies such as the use of per diem, agency, and travelers, and assigning managers to be charge nurses to enable charge nurses to take patient loads.
UW Per Diem Proposals
- Per Diem Wage Differential – UW is proposing no change to the per diem nurse wage differential.
- Per Diem Wage Increases – UW proposed language establishing that per diem nurses may request a salary increase as frequently as once every 12 months, provided they have worked at least 1,872 hours as a per diem nurse since their last increment or since beginning their current appointment (applicable to hours worked since January 1, 2013).
- Per Diem Hours and Employment – UW proposed revised language memorializing that assignment of hours and continuation of employment for per diem employees are at the employer’s discretion and are not subject to grievance. UW also proposed that upon employee request, a meeting to explain such an action will be held with a representative of the employer.
- Joint Labor-Management Committee – UW proposed language recognizing that the contract’s language establishing and outlining the nurse joint labor-management committee is applicable to per diem nurses as well.
SEIU 1199 Proposals
Call Back and Prescheduled Standby Assignments
- No Mandatory Call – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to add language about no mandatory call for nurses, and to prohibit such call except in cases where the government declares an emergency or if the medical center activates its disaster plan. SEIU 1199 proposed prohibiting the hospital from introducing mandatory call anywhere without first reaching full agreement with the union.
- Call Committee – SEIU 1199 proposed the creation of a multi-bargaining unit joint labor-management committee specific to call, to include physicians, management, and unit staff.
- Premium Pay – SEIU 1199 proposed that on-call employees who are called back and work more than 12 hours be paid double their normal rate of pay for hours worked beyond 12.
- Callback Relief – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to allow employees who have worked on-call within eight hours of their next scheduled shift to call out sick citing fatigue, to which they could apply annual leave, sick leave, or leave without pay.
Break Relief Nurses – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for the parties to determine the details of the phase-in of a Harborview break relief nurse program through the joint labor-management process.
Research/Hall Health RN Addendum – SEIU 1199 delivered a response to UW’s June 9 proposal, which included:
- Hours of Work and Overtime – SEIU 1199 proposed memorializing in the Research/Hall Health addendum several provisions from the main contract’s hours of work and overtime article, including compensatory time off, scheduling and premium pay relating to weekend work, and rest between shifts premium pay.
- Credit for Past Experience – SEIU 1199 proposed incorporating existing guidelines, such that the contract would speak to the résumé screening process and the responsibilities of job applicants, and would prescribe what constitutes applicable education and experience and how it would apply in determining wage steps.
- Standby Assignments – SEIU 1199 proposed a prohibition on mandatory standby assignments for Hall Health nurses.
- Grievance Procedure – SEIU 1199 proposed that steps B, C, and D of the corrective action process be subject to every step of the grievance procedure, and that all employees be entitled to have a representative present during all steps.
SEIU 1199 Per Diem Proposals
- Per Diem Wage Differential – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for the per diem nurse wage differential to be increased to 10 percent.
- Per Diem Step Increases – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for per diem nurses to receive annual step increases upon reaching 1,872 hours.
- Per Diem Float Premium – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for per diem nurses to receive float pay.
- Per Diem Hire-in Rates – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for hire-in rates for per diem nurses to be based on year-for-year credit for applicable experience.
- Ending Employment – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to require that prior to ending employment for any per diem employee, Harborview must meet with the employee and union delegate for discussion.
- Applicable Contract Provisions – SEIU 1199 maintained its several proposed additions to the list of regular contract provisions that apply to per diem nurses.
Article 6: Bargaining Unit Classes/Definitions – The parties tentatively agreed to memorialize a six month trial service period for permanent employees who accept a position in a job class for which they previously have not attained permanent status. Employees could voluntarily revert to their former permanent position within six weeks of the appointment as long as the position had not already been filled or offered, and if an employee’s prior position has been filled with a permanent employee, the employee would be placed on the rehire list. Reversion of employees who are unsuccessful during their trial service period would not be subject to grievance.
An employee who voluntarily moves from one bargaining unit position to another within the same job class will have a trial service period of six weeks, during which time the employee or the employer could elect for the employee to return to their previous position.
Article 8: Educational and Professional Development – The parties tentatively agreed to language memorializing that cardiac and vascular sonographers with their license in good standing will receive 24 to 40 hours per fiscal year of elective educational and professional leave upon request. UW will provide for $500 per year in education support funds for cardiac and vascular sonographers, to be based on departmental reimbursement policy and prorated per FTE (full-time equivalent).
MOU: Healthcare Specialist Certification Pay JLM – The parties tentatively agreed to hold at least two joint labor-management meetings to discuss the application of certification pay for healthcare specialists.
MOU: Charge Nurses and Staffing Concerns – The parties tentatively agreed to develop a process for charge nurses to escalate staffing concerns at a joint labor-management meeting within six months of contract ratification. New language recognizes charge nurses’ ability to adjust resources per patient and unit needs, in conjunction with unit management and/or the nursing supervisor. Strategies for adjusting resources may include solicitation of volunteers for overtime shifts, calling in per diems, utilizing float nurses, and assigning managers to be charge nurses to enable charge nurses to take patient loads.
MOU: Meal Breaks, Rest Breaks, Missed Break Reporting – The parties tentatively agreed to memorialize employees’ rights to meal and rest breaks, as well as a requirement that employees report any missed breaks. The language also reinforces UW’s ongoing commitment to not engage in any kind of intimidation or retaliation against employees who report missed breaks.
UW will collect data via KRONOS on meal and rest breaks that are not taken in each department/unit and shift. This data will be provided to the union biannually at the joint labor-management meeting.
The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for September 16. 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.