Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for June 22, 2016

This recap summarizes the 14th session between the UW and SEIU 925 to incorporate UWMC physical therapists into the SEIU 925-UW collective bargaining agreement. This was the third session to be facilitated by a State-appointed mediator.


UW floated a hypothetical “what-if” proposal, trying a different approach to weekend scheduling with the goal of creating a pathway to agreement. UW’s proposal would create three seniority-based tiers that staff would move through, in a system that rewards seniority while protecting those least senior from getting stuck working numerous back-to-back weekends. The union rejected this notion.

UW Weekend Staffing Proposal

UW experimented with a new approach in a hypothetical “what-if” proposal on scheduling weekend work. UW proposed this scheduling model to more equitably spread the weekend workload across staff, and as an alternative to having new and recent hires work consecutive weekends.

Determining Weekend Work – Physical therapists would be divided into three groups based on seniority and be scheduled to work weekends as follows:

  • Least Senior Group: One out of every two weekends. Currently this would be roughly seven physical therapists.

  • Second-most Senior Group: One out of every three weekends. Currently this would be roughly 28 physical therapists.

  • Most Senior Group: One out of every four weekends. Currently this would be roughly nine physical therapists.

Newly-hired physical therapists would join the least senior group, moving the relative seniority of the rest of the physical therapists proportionally.

Volunteering for Fixed Schedules – Physical therapists could volunteer to work fixed weekend schedules, and the weekend shifts that they cover would be removed from the above calculation, allowing some physical therapists in the least senior group to ascend into the next scheduling tier.

Union Reaction – SEIU 925 declined UW’s proposal.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 925 bargaining session is currently being determined by parties.