Labor Relations

UW – WSNA Negotiations Recap for June 8, 2017


This recap details the 5th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WSNA. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.

Compensation Discussion

Milliman Study – UW presented an analysis of how compensation for UWMC nurses compares to that of nurses in UWMC’s market of competing organizations, including Swedish, Northwest Hospital, and Virginia Mason Medical Center. The analysis was derived from a classified staff salary study conducted for UW HR by third-party compensation experts at Milliman in fall of 2016.

Philosophy – UW HR’s general compensation philosophy for the broader University is to pay at 80 percent of the market median, in part because UW’s robust benefits package exceeds the market. However, for nurses and other healthcare workers UW targets to pay at 90 percent of the market median. The market median, or “market,” for UW is the point at which half of UW’s comparators pay below UW and half pay above.

Findings – UWMC nurses are paid at 96 percent of the market 50th percentile. UW pointed out that this exceeds the target of paying at 90 percent of the market median, and does not factor in UW’s above-market benefits such as healthcare and retirement.

WSNA Proposals

Hours of Work – In response to UW’s proposal, WSNA rejected the entirety of the employer’s proposals regarding the provision on hours of work to include:

  • UW’s proposal to eliminate work schedules of 160 hours worked in a four-week period
  • UW’s proposal stating a missed meal period or rest break not documented in Kronos would be considered as taken
  • UW’s proposed language to allow for flexibility in staffing to adapt to changing business needs, including low census

MOU: Union Roster Reports – At WSNA’s request, the parties had a discussion to clarify details about the bi-weekly reports that will be issued to all unions post Workday implementation.

UW Proposals

Nondiscrimination – In response to WSNA’s proposal, UW maintained its interest in standardizing this language to the extent possible among hospital contracts.  The parties discussed clarification on the sexual harassment and complaints clauses, and reached verbal tentative agreement on remaining issues in the provision.

Holiday & Vacation Leave – In response to WSNA’s proposal, UW agreed to keep the holiday and vacation provisions together in the contract.  UW rejected the union’s proposals to increase vacation days for those in their 20th and 25th years of employment, in part to maintain consistency amongst vacation benefits for nurses at UWMC and Harborview.

UW withdrew its proposal stating that holiday credit must be used before vacation leave.

Conference Committee – UW maintained its proposal to eliminate language stating that an unresolved group grievance heard by the conference committee may be submitted at Step Two of the grievance procedure.  This proposal was intended to clarify the grievance process, not eliminate the ability for the union to file group grievances.

Appendix Regarding Rest Breaks – In response to WSNA’s proposal to retain the Appendix regarding minimizing rest breaks, UW proposed to include the information still relevant in a side letter or MOU, clarifying that the parties would work together to minimize missed rest breaks in staffing committee and labor management meetings.

Economic Proposal

General Wage Increases – UW proposed general wage increases of 1 percent on January 1, 2018, and another 1 percent on July 1, 2018.

Next Steps

The next UW-WSNA bargaining session is scheduled for June 20.