Labor Relations

UW – WFSE Negotiations Recap June 26 & June 28, 2018


This recap details portions of the third and fourth sessions for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE, set to expire on June 30, 2019. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.

Employer Initial Proposals

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

Non-Discrimination & Reasonable Accommodation of Employees with Disabilities – UW proposed to update the relevant articles to comply with University policy edits related to applicable law changes.

Grievance Procedure – UW proposed to extend the length of time the Employer has to respond in writing following a step two grievance from fifteen to thirty calendar days.

UW proposed language that would prohibit formal counseling from being grieved beyond step two.

Work Schedules – UW proposed to eliminate language stating that temporary shift changes within the work week shall not be employed to avoid the accrual of overtime, as this language was relevant before overtime was defined as work in excess of the daily shift.

UW proposed that adjustments to the hours of daily work shifts during the same work week would not constitute a temporary schedule change, and the employer would be able to adjust an overtime-eligible employee’s daily start and/or end time by two hours.

UW proposed to eliminate language stating that when the Employer develops a new alternative work schedule or teleworking/commuting schedule that affects two or more employees, it would be done with the approval of a majority of the affected employees, or the Union would be notified.

Overtime – UW proposed to calculate overtime based only on paid holidays and time worked.  UW proposed to redefine overtime for part-time employees as work in excess of forty hours in one work week.

Fixed Duration Appointments (FDAs) – UW proposed to eliminate language stating that FDAs may only be used to fill leave of absences and/or temporary projects, to allow for more flexibility in the use of FDAs.

Trial Service Period – Currently employees who promote or move laterally serve a six-month trial service period and employees who transfer serve a six-week trial service period.  UW proposed to increase the trial service period for transfers to six months to align with the other appointment types.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – The Employer proposed to eliminate the provision stating the Employer cannot require the use of paid leave such that it would result in the employee having fewer than eighty hours of accrued vacation or sick time off upon return to work.

Shared Leave & Leave Related to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking – UW proposed to update the relevant articles to comply with University policy edits related to applicable law changes.

Suspended Operations – UW proposed to eliminate the option of makeup time to count for hours not worked during suspended operations.

Uniforms – UW proposed language stating that when uniforms and/or footwear are required, the Employer would determine and provide them or an equivalent clothing allowance.  The Employer would require that issued uniforms and/or footwear be returned upon separation or the Employer could deduct the depreciated value of the items from the employee’s final pay.

Tools and Equipment – UW proposed new language stating that the Employer could determine and provide necessary tools, tool allowance, equipment and foul weather gear.  The Employer would repair or replace the provided tools and equipment if damaged or worn out in the normal course of business.  Employees would be accountable for items assigned to them and required to return them upon separation.  Employees who misused, vandalized, lost, or damaged their tools or equipment could be subject to disciplinary action.

Performance Evaluations – UW proposed to eliminate language prescribing the content of evaluation forms to allow for more flexibility in the ways the Employer could conduct evaluations.  The Employer also proposed language to align with current practice in which medical centers are doing performance evaluations in Workday.

Mandatory Subject/Demands to Bargain – UW proposed language that would require a demand to bargain to include at least three available dates and times the Union could meet, in order to be valid.  The Employer proposed to eliminate language stating that the thirty-day clock to bargain after a demand is filed would not be suspended while a related information request is being filled.

Currently the Employer shall approve paid release time for up to four employee representatives during eligible meetings or negotiations and UW proposed to reduce that to two employees.  Holiday credit was added as an additional leave type that could be used if additional representatives were approved to attend.

Use of State Resources – UW proposed new language stating that delegates and WFSE members may use state owned/operated equipment to communicate with the Union and Employer for administering the collective bargaining agreement, and not in a manner prohibited by the Executive Ethics Board.

Information Requests – UW proposed new language regarding information requests detailing the process for submittal and review.  The proposed language states that if a Union submitted a request for information that the Employer believed was unclear or unreasonable, the parties would discuss relevance, necessity, and associated costs.

Salary Overpayment Recovery – UW proposed new language detailing the process for salary overpayment recovery in accordance with relevant state law.

Trades Apprenticeship Committee – UW proposed to eliminate language that established a trades apprenticeship committee as it has met several times without the parties reaching agreement on a path forward.  Additionally, the committee has not met for over a year and neither party has requested a meeting.

Contract Publication – UW proposed to eliminate language that requires each department or unit to maintain a paper copy of the contract available to all employees and to provide a link to the web contract.  The contract is widely known to be available on both the Union and the Labor Relations respective websites.

MOU Expedited Arbitration Pilot – UW proposed to extend the related MOU allowing the parties to utilize an expedited arbitration format upon mutual agreement.

Scholarship Fund for Medical Center Employees – UW proposed to extend the related MOU that established two scholarship committees, one for $50k at HMC and one for $50k at UWMC, for SEIU 925 and WFSE members to obtain scholarship funds toward a degree or certification required for employment in a healthcare field within the hospital.

Hospital Central Services Technicians – UW proposed to extend the related MOU detailing the current $1.00 per hour certification premium for the technicians who obtain the Certified Registered Central Service Tech certification through the designated association.

Leave of Absence WFSE President – UW proposed to extend the related MOU that would allow for an employee accepting a position as a Union Officer to be granted leave without pay for up to thirty-six months.

Public Record Requests and Privacy – UW proposed to extend the related MOU that requires Labor Relations to notify the Union of public records requests for information that directly concern and encompass all WFSE’s members.

Tentative Agreements

On June 28, the parties signed tentative agreements to close the following provisions:

  • Preamble (current contract language)
  • Article 1 – Union Recognition (current contract language)
  • Article 25 – Leave Due to Family Care Emergencies
    • The parties agreed upon the Employer’s initial proposal which modified the article from child care to family care in accordance with the relevant laws.
  • New MOU – Vacation Time Off Calendar
    • The parties agreed upon the Employer’s counter proposal stating that if a department maintains a vacation time off calendar indicating days taken and/or available for vacation time off, it would be made available to employees to facilitate the supplemental vacation time off process.

Next Steps

The next UW-WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for July 26.