Labor Relations

UW – WSNA Negotiations Recap for April 24, 2017


This recap details the 2nd session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WSNA. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.

UWMC Financial Presentation

Maureen Broom, Enterprise Finance Officer for UW Medicine, delivered a presentation reviewing UWMC’s financial situation and summarizing the conditions that have led UWMC to be on track to lose $50 million through fiscal year 2017.

The financial presentation is available online.

Union Presentation SWOT Analysis

The union presented a SWOT analysis of UWMC, detailing some of the union’s perceived strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.  Among the strengths, the union cited the specialized care, magnet status, and high acuity of UWMC.  Among the weaknesses, the union cited location based factors including population growth, increased living expenses, escalating child care costs, and tax hikes.

The union indicated that possible threats to UWMC include increased turnover and training costs, largely due to costs associated with living in the Seattle area.  The union indicated that an increase in salaries to match other area hospitals could lead to increased training opportunities and improved talent acquisition and retention for UWMC and union members.

WSNA – Additional Initial Proposals

Break Relief – WSNA proposed that UWMC provide break relief RNs on all units in numbers to assure that RNs are able to take all of the meal and rest breaks provided for under the collective bargaining agreement.  Break relief RNs would be assigned exclusively to break relief and would not reduce the current RN staff numbers.

Per Diem RNs – WSNA proposed that per diem RNs be covered by the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

UW Initial Proposals

UW presented initial proposals regarding a series of new and existing provisions, including:

Standardizing Language Amongst Union Contracts – UW proposed much needed updates to the legal protections outlined in the contract; for example non-discrimination, FMLA, and Military Leave.  The other two collective bargaining agreements for the hospital have already been updated.

Association Membership & Representatives – UW proposed to move language from the appendix to article five in the contract, related to association membership.

UW proposed language requesting WSNA representatives to check in with public safety upon arrival for union business, and provide information about where they will be, for how long, and to limit access to break rooms and break areas.

Class Specifications – UW proposed to remove class specifications from the contract as they are available on the university’s compensation website.

Licenses/Certifications – UW proposed language to require employees to notify their appointing authority within twenty four hours if their related license and/or certification has expired, or had been restricted, revoked or suspended.

Hours of Work – UW proposed to have a discussion regarding possible options for work week and work period scheduling, to allow for additional flexibility.

UW proposed language to reserve the right to adjust work schedules, including alternative work schedules, in order to maintain an efficient and orderly operation. UW also proposed language to standardize the amount of rest required between shifts regardless of work schedule.

UW proposed language to indicate a missed rest break or meal period would be considered taken if not entered as missed in Kronos and the exception log.

Float Pay – UW proposed language that would make float pay applicable when a RN moves outside the clinical cluster for which they were hired.  Float pay would apply to all hours worked.

Holidays – UW proposed language to move the holiday provisions to a new article, separate from the vacation provisions. The proposal included language to clarify holiday pay rules in preparation for Workday.

Leaves of Absence – UW proposed language to remove portions of the current leaves of absence provision and create separate new provisions for FMLA and parental leave, and disability leave.  This proposal would standardize leave language throughout the hospital for all unions.

Arbitration – UW proposed language to utilize a permanent panel of eight arbitrators for grievances that escalate to arbitration, rather than requesting arbitrators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.  The proposed language would require the union to submit the grievance to arbitration within fourteen days from either the mediator’s impasse report, a written declination by a party to mediate, or the step two response if neither the union nor the employer requested mediation.

Layoff and Displacement Options – UW proposed changes to the layoff list to prioritize access to funded vacant positions before bumps.

Trial Service – UW proposed language stating that union members who transfer, promote, or voluntarily demote within the bargaining unit would serve a trial service period in which the employees would have preemptive rights to their former position for the first two months.  After the first two months, but during the remainder of the trial period, employees who were not staying in the new position would have the option to revert to their former position if it was still vacant or be placed on the rehire list.

Mandatory Subjects – UW proposed language to expedite negotiations related to modifications of existing practices not contained in the collective bargaining agreement but that have a bearing on the quality of working conditions.

Duration – UW proposed a two-year contract duration, to take effect on July 1, 2017 (or upon ratification), and expire on June 30, 2019.

Clinical Clusters – UW proposed to update clinical cluster designations and add additional clusters.

Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)

Standby – UW proposed to remove the standby MOU to allow standby in select areas on an as needed basis.

Workday – UW proposed the addition of a MOU to account for changes to the union roster reporting procedures post implementation of the UW’s new payroll system, Workday, set to go-live mid-2017.

Next Steps

The next UW-WSNA bargaining session is scheduled for April 25th. At the next session, the parties will complete initial proposals and begin counter proposals.