Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for September 16, 2015

This recap details the 21st 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 ninth session to be facilitated by State-appointed mediators.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

Per Diem Proposals

  • Per Diem Wage Differential – SEIU 1199 proposed to increase the per diem nurse wage differential to 9 percent.

  • 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. SEIU 1199 added language to allow the union to grieve the ending of a per diem nurse’s employment under certain circumstances.

  • Per Diem Step Increases – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for per diem nurses to receive annual step increases upon reaching 1,872 hours. The union added a proposal for these hours to be tracked by the employer and made available to the union on January 1st of every year.

  • 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.

  • Applicable Contract Provisions – SEIU 1199 maintained its several proposed additions to the list of regular contract provisions that apply to per diem nurses.

UW Proposals

UW Package Proposal

UW put forth a package proposal in which all provisions would need to be accepted in their entirety. As a condition of this package, the union would withdraw all of its economic proposals. Provisions included:

  • General Wage Increases – UW increased its proposed general wage increases to 2.5 percent effective the first available pay period after ratification, and 2 percent effective July 1, 2016.

  • Call Back and Prescheduled Standby Assignments – UW proposed that the parties withdraw their outstanding proposals and revert to current contract language.

  • Break Relief Nurse – In the context of this package, UW proposed to maintain the existing break relief nurse model on 6EH and 7EH at Harborview and to assess the other acute care units to determine the most effective care delivery model for day shift break relief by June 1, 2017.

  • New Top Step – UW maintained its proposal to create an additional salary step for all SEIU 1199-represented job classifications, such that non-nurse employees who have been at the top step for more than five years (and nurses at the top step for more than six years) as of July 1, 2016, would advance to the new top step on their periodic increment date.

  • Hall Health Nurse Salary Step Analysis – UW maintained its proposal to evaluate the experience and placement of Hall Health Nurses who the union believes are placed on a salary step that does not appropriately reflect their years of experience.

    Any nurses deemed by UW to be on an improper salary step would receive an additional step increase for their next periodic increment date, and the union may request an explanation of UW’s determination.

  • END Technologist Job Descriptions – UW maintained its proposal for the UW Compensation Office to undertake the union’s proposed review of the Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologist series job descriptions, and provide a response within 60 days of the contract’s ratification.

Other UW Proposals

Harborview Scholarships – UW increased its proposal to grant scholarships of up to $14,000 each to up to 11 Harborview nurses accepted into the UW Bothell RN-to-BSN degree program offered on-site at Harborview. In addition to the UW Bothell program, UW would provide up to $10,000 per year (total) for Harborview nurses to attend a program to complete their BSN, MSN, or other advanced nursing practice degrees, and up to a total of $5,000 per year for non-nurses pursuing a nursing degree.

Research/Hall Health Addendum – UW provided a comprehensive counter to the union’s September 10 proposal, including several updates to reflect provisions on which the parties have reached tentative agreements.

Per Diem Nurse Compensation – UW supplemented its last proposal with language memorializing that it will continue its current practices related to per diem compensation and premium pay.

Social Worker and Healthcare Specialist Consolidation Discussions

UW Package Proposal

UW put forth the following package proposal, in which all provisions would need to be accepted in their entirety:

  • Social Work Consolidation – After initiating further discussion with the union, UW proposed consolidating the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classes, which would provide wage increases of roughly 8 percent to employees in the current Social Worker 1 job class, effective July 1, 2016. UW also proposed that social workers with qualifying licenses be eligible for certification pay of $1 per hour effective July 1, 2016.

    The parties would meet at least three times before June 30, 2016, and upon consolidation, UW would conduct a market based salary study and provide the results to the union within 90 days.

  • Healthcare Specialist Consolidation – UW would agree to the union’s proposal to merge inpatient and outpatient healthcare specialist pay ranges such that affected employees would be placed at the same salary step on the new pay range, effective July 1, 2016. This would result in increases of roughly 5 percent for outpatient healthcare specialists.

Union Proposals

  • Healthcare Specialist Consolidation – SEIU 1199 proposed the consolidation of inpatient and outpatient healthcare specialists step for step, with payment retroactive to July 1, 2015.

  • Social Work Consolidation – SEIU 1199 proposed that the parties form a committee to explore the consolidation of the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classifications, and that effective July 1, 2015, employees in the Social Worker 1 job class be moved to the Social Worker 2 pay range.

    The union proposed an 8 percent hourly premium pay for all licensed social workers, and that employees in the Social Worker Assistant 2 job class receive an 8 percent wage increase, both effective July 1, 2015.

UW Response

UW expressed disappointment with the union’s lack of movement in its counter-proposals after the parties’ extensive discussion over these two issues, including several small table meetings focused specifically on these matters.

UW formally withdrew its proposals relating to the consolidation of the inpatient and outpatient Healthcare Specialist job classifications and of the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classifications.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for September 28. 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.