Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for June 22, 2016 (WFSE-specific Session)

This recap summarizes the third session for the renewal of UW’s collective bargaining agreement with WFSE for the 2017-19 contract term. This was the first WFSE-specific session. The previous two sessions were negotiated with SEIU 925 and WFSE as a union coalition.


At the parties’ first bargaining session specific to WFSE matters, the union delivered proposals to bolster employee involvement with the union at the local and state levels, as well as proposals to offset licensure costs and to address parking during suspended operations. UW proposed cleanups and housekeeping updates throughout the contract, as well as language to increase communication around licenses lapsing.

Union Proposals

Stewards in Training – WFSE proposed language to allow for a second steward to attend step two grievance meetings for training purposes, without loss of pay and subject to the operational needs of their department.

WFSE Council Leadership – WFSE proposed language on UW employees who are elected to be the statewide WFSE Council President or Vice President. UW would pay the employee during their term(s) to retain benefits, for which the union would reimburse UW, and afterward the employee could return to their position or job class. Vacation and sick leave accrual would continue during this time, but upon return to regular UW employment these balances would revert back to pre-absence levels.

Licensure and Certification – WFSE proposed that UW pay for the cost of obtaining and maintaining any license/certification that the UW requires employees to obtain after hire or maintain during employment.

Parking during Suspended Operations – WFSE proposed that UW parking be provided for employees designated as essential by their supervisor at each campus for which suspended operations have been declared.

UW Proposals

Language Cleanup – UW proposed cleanups to outdated language in several parts of the contract:

  • Custodian Compensation MOU: UW proposed deleting the MOU’s dated language describing the program’s initial implementation, and instead memorialize this provision in the contract’s section on premiums.
  • Polygraph Testing: UW proposed deleting old language referencing the parties’ commitment to comply with state law on polygraph testing, noting that UW is and will always be required to comply with state law.

UW made clear that it has no intention of changing its practices and legal obligations related to these provisions. Rather, it is an attempt at making the contract more up to date and easier to navigate.

Licensure and Certification – UW proposed a requirement for employees to notify management if their work-related license/certification expires or is restricted, revoked, or suspended. UW proposed that this notice occur within 24 hours of the lapse, or prior to the employee’s next scheduled shift (whichever occurs first).

UW reinforced that this proposal is purely asking employees to inform management of such a lapse given the importance of up-to-date licensure, particularly in a healthcare or professional driver setting.

Job Classifications – UW proposed housekeeping updates to the contract’s list of job classifications and pay table placements in Appendix I.

Next Steps

The next bargaining session will be with SEIU 925 and WFSE as a union coalition, and is scheduled for June 23.