Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for December 14 and 15, 2015

This recap details the parties’ meetings on December 14 and 15, which constituted the 26th and 27th sessions for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199 (which expired as of July 1, 2015). These were the 14th and 15th sessions to be facilitated by State-appointed mediators.

Scope of Negotiations

By the end of these meetings, the parties had reached agreement on nearly all contract provisions, and very few issues remain unresolved. In the interest of reaching final resolution, UW delivered an enhanced proposal that would provide more money for Harborview employees, and requested that the union allow its membership to decide on it through a vote.

The union rejected the notion of allowing its members to vote on this proposal.

UW Proposals

General Wage Increases

  • Upon Ratification: 3 percent across-the-board wage increase (effective February 1, 2016 at the earliest).

  • Effective July 1, 2016: 2 percent across-the-board wage increase.

Ratification Payment – UW proposed lump sum payments to mitigate the lack of employee wage increases since the contract expired. UW proposed the following one-time payments for staff actively employed at the time of ratification and payment:

  • Employees above a 0.6 FTE: $500 payment.

  • Employees at/below a 0.6 FTE: $250 payment.

UW informed the union that if the contract is ratified after December 25, February 10 is the earliest pay date that this lump sum could be processed by the Payroll department.

Top Steps – UW proposed adding a new salary step to the top of all pay tables, effective January 1, 2017, which would provide for an additional 2 percent increase from the step prior. Employees who have been on the existing top step for 1 year or more on the effective date would advance immediately.

Article 12: Premium Pay – UW agreed to the union’s proposal on this article, but the union declined to sign off and finalize this agreement at this session.

Paid Release Time for 2017-2019 Negotiations – UW agreed to the union’s proposal on this article, but the union declined to sign off and finalize this agreement at this session.

Tentative Agreements

Break Relief – The parties tentatively agreed that day shift break relief nurses/resources will be added to three additional acute care units one year from the contract’s ratification, and all acute care units will have day shift break relief resources in place by June 30, 2017.

Individual units may use alternative models for break relief upon review by the staffing committee and approval by the joint labor-management committee. All break relief models will be evaluated for nurse satisfaction one year after implementation.

Harborview Scholarships

  • Harborview/UW Bothell Program: UW will 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.

  • Funds for Non-UW Programs: The parties will create an additional annual pool of up to $100,000 (up to $6,000 per employee) for Harborview nurses to attend a program to complete their BSN, MSN, or other advanced nursing degrees, and for non-nurses to complete a BSN.

  • Masters in Nursing: The parties will memorialize that all nurses who complete their Master in Nursing degree during the life of the agreement receive an additional salary step increase upon completion.

Social Workers

  • Consolidation and Increased Wages: UW will consolidate the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classes, which will provide wage increases of roughly 6 percent to employees in the current Social Worker 1 job class, effective February 1, 2016. The parties will meet prior to consolidation to conduct a salary study.

  • License Pay: State-licensed social workers will qualify for $1.50 per hour certification pay.

  • Union Charges: The union will withdraw its unfair labor practice allegation filed related to this proposal.

Healthcare Specialists

  • Consolidation and Increased Wages: UW will merge the inpatient and outpatient healthcare specialist pay ranges such that affected employees will be placed at the same salary step on the new pay range, effective February 1, 2016. This will result in increases of roughly 5 percent for outpatient healthcare specialists.

  • Union Charges: The union will withdraw its unfair labor practice allegation filed related to this proposal.

END Technologists

  • Job Descriptions: The UW Compensation Office will undertake the union’s proposed review of the END Technologist series job descriptions and provide a response within 60 days of the contract’s ratification.

  • Wage Increase: Upon completion of the above review, END Technologists will receive a wage increase of at least 2 percent.

Research Nurse Meetings – The parties will hold at least two joint labor-management meetings specific to research nurses within six months of the contract’s ratification. Topics will include consolidation of the Research Nurse 1 and 2 job classifications, and market data for the research nurse job classifications.

Hall Health Nurse Salary Step Analysis – UW will 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. The union will provide a list within 30 days of the contract’s ratification, which UW will evaluate within 60 days.

Any nurses deemed by UW to be on an improper salary step will receive an additional step increase for their next two periodic increment dates, unless they have already advanced to the top step.

Per Diem Nurses – The parties reached agreement on an addendum specifically outlining the working conditions and applicable contract language for per diem nurses represented by SEIU 1199. The union agreed that while the policies outlining how floating occurs will apply, a float premium will not.

Article 9: Salaries/Pay Items – The parties will maintain existing contract language.

Article 10: Scholarship Fund – Registered Nurses – The parties will maintain existing contract language.

Article 34: Duration of Agreement – The parties tentatively agreed to a contract term that will expire on June 30, 2017.

Side Letter A – The parties will remove language from Side Letter A regarding negotiations for a successor contract, as well as several instances of outdated language.

Appendix I: Job Classifications – The parties agreed on necessary updates to the contract’s list of job classifications.

Next Steps

UW encouraged the union to present its latest offer to Harborview employees for a vote, which the union declined to do. There is currently no future bargaining session scheduled.

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.