Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for February 2, 2016

This recap summarizes the seventh session between the UW and SEIU 925 to incorporate UWMC physical therapists into the SEIU 925-UW collective bargaining agreement.

UW Proposals

Pay Range Placements – UW maintained its proposal to move physical therapists to SEIU 925 pay tables at the following pay range placements:

  • Physical Therapist 1: BG 91.

  • Physical Therapist 2: BG 98.

  • Physical Therapist 3: BH 5.

  • Physical Therapist Specialist: BH 12.

Transitioning physical therapists to the SEIU 925 pay tables in this way would automatically trigger a 1-3 percent wage increase, and would put physical therapist wages at roughly 95 percent of the market.

Per Diem Employees – UW proposed memorializing that compensation and other conditions for per diem/hourly employees represented by the union be covered by the contract’s Regular Temporary Employees appendix.

Scheduling Weekend Work – UW proposed a patterned schedule composed of both fixed schedules (requiring a regular weekend shift) and rotating schedules dictated by staffing levels.

  • Assigning Fixed Schedules: The fixed weekend schedules would first be offered to volunteers, following which, those remaining would be assigned according to departmental seniority.

  • Bidding Cycles: Physical therapists would bid for fixed/rotating schedules once every six months, to avoid employees getting locked into the same schedule repeatedly, and nobody would be required to work a fixed schedule in consecutive rotations.

  • Trial Period: UW’s proposed schedule would be in place for at least two years, after which it would remain if it met operational and staffing needs. If such needs were not met, UW would create a new schedule in accordance with the parties’ contract, and the union would have the right to bargain the impacts of the change.

Certification Premium – UW maintained its proposed certification pay premium of $1 per hour for every hour worked by physical therapists who have submitted documentation of qualifying certifications (each employee could receive pay for a maximum of one certification), with which the union previously indicated agreement.

Weekend Differential – UW maintained its proposal for physical therapists to be paid $1.50 per hour for all hours worked on the weekend, as defined in the existing UW-SEIU 925 contract.

Float Pool Differential – UW maintained its proposed premium of $1.50 per hour for all permanent Physical Therapists assigned to the PT Float Pool. The union previously indicated agreement with this proposal.

Education Support – UW proposed funding and paid leave for physical therapists to attend training that is related to their area of clinical practice, provided it would not create undue hardship in the department, as follows:

  • Education Support Funds: UW proposed a guaranteed minimum of $250 per year per physical therapist for education and training expenses (prorated per full-time equivalent). UW could approve reimbursement above $250 for specific clinical needs or required training, and in certain years UW could guarantee more than $250 per person. UW would notify the union of the amount that is available to each physical therapist at the start of the year.

  • Paid Education Leave: UW maintained its proposal for physical therapists to qualify for three days of paid educational leave per year. Physical therapists who attend approved educational opportunities on a day they are not scheduled to work would receive the equivalent of a day of pay or a day of accrued leave.

Job Class Review – UW proposed to streamline the reclassification process between the Physical Therapist 1, 2, and 3 job classifications in accordance with the essential functions listed in the classification specifications.

Parental Leave – UW proposed that physical therapists be eligible to take up to four months of Parental Leave in accordance with the parties’ existing contract, and extensions beyond four months could be approved by UW.

Vacation – UW proposed language to require management to provide notice of approval/denial of a vacation request within 14 calendar days of the request. All other aspects of requesting and granting vacation leave would follow the language in the parties’ existing contract.

Fixed Duration Employees – UW maintained its proposal to align the terms of fixed duration physical therapist assignments with those of fixed duration employees covered by the SEIU 925 contract. The union previously indicated agreement with this proposal.

Layoff Language – UW maintained its proposal to incorporate physical therapists into the SEIU 925 contract provision regarding process in the event of a reduction in force.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 925 bargaining session is scheduled for February 23.