Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for April 5, 2016

This recap summarizes the 11th session between the UW and SEIU 925 to incorporate UWMC physical therapists into the SEIU 925-UW collective bargaining agreement.


The parties discussed hypothetical packages for much of the day, in an effort to identify pathways to a final resolution. SEIU 925 proposed an alternative method for how a fixed weekend schedule could be worked, but did not address UW’s concern over new-hires getting stuck working indefinite stretches on fixed weekend schedules, and the recruitment challenges that this poses. SEIU 925 proposed allowing the union to appoint members to UW’s hiring process, as well as allowing for negotiations on wages, scheduling, and premium pay to be reopened mid-contract if either party decides that any of these subjects are impeding hiring.

SEIU 925 Package Proposal

SEIU 925 delivered the following proposals as a package, in which all provisions would need to be accepted in their entirety.

Pay Range Placements – SEIU 925 maintained its proposed pay table placements for physical therapists:

  • Physical Therapist 1: BG 93.

  • Physical Therapist 2: BH 4.

  • Physical Therapist 3: BH 8.

  • Physical Therapist Specialist: BH 15.

Scheduling Weekend Work – SEIU 925 maintained its proposal for UW Medical Center to schedule physical therapists such that 30 rotate and work every fourth weekend, and 14 work a fixed weekend schedule, establishing a staffing ratio of at least 2.2:1 for rotating to fixed shifts.

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

  • Consecutive Rotations: The union introduced an alternative fixed weekend schedule option: physical therapists hired after March 1, 2016, would be hired into a fixed weekend schedule where they work one weekend day every week, or both weekend days every other weekend, and in either case would bid based on seniority.

  • Variable Shift Lengths: Four physical therapists in two pairs working weekend schedules could choose to work nine-hour shift schedules, and four employees in two pairs would have the option of a 10-hour shift schedule and working every other weekend. The 10-hour shift program would be a pilot that would last for one year.

  • Bidding Cycles: Physical therapists would bid for fixed/rotating schedules once every six months.

  • Trial Period: This 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, the union proposed that the parties return to bargaining to develop an alternative solution.

Hiring Process – SEIU 925 added a proposal to allow the union to appoint two members to participate in UW’s hiring process for physical therapists as well as in discussions of hiring terms.

Reopener Language – SEIU 925 added a proposal that would allow for negotiations to be reopened mid-contract regarding wages, scheduling, and premium pay if either party decided that any of these subjects represent an impediment to hiring.

Weekend Differential – SEIU 925 maintained its proposal for a weekend pay differential of $4.00 per hour for physical therapists on a fixed weekend schedule, and $3.50 per hour for those on a rotating schedule.

Movement to Physical Therapist 3 – SEIU 925 maintained its proposal for employees to be automatically moved to the Physical Therapist 3 job class after working for one year in the Physical Therapist 2 job class.

Movement to Physical Therapist 2 – SEIU 925 maintained its proposal to memorialize that movement from Physical Therapist 1 to the Physical Therapist 2 job class is based on obtaining licensure.

Education Support – SEIU 925 maintained its proposed funding and paid leave for physical therapists as follows:

  • UWMC Physical Therapists: At least $500 per year per FTE, and at least three days of paid educational leave per year.

  • Ambulatory/Specialty Clinic Physical Therapists: At least $1,500 per year per FTE, and at least two days of paid educational leave per year.

Joint Labor-Management – SEIU 925 maintained its proposal for the parties to hold union-management meetings every month to monitor scheduling, staffing, productivity, and other issues of concern, and to allow for cancellation of these meetings in the absence of agenda items.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 925 bargaining session is currently being determined by the parties. UW proposed that the parties enlist a third-party mediator to help facilitate a successful resolution.