Labor Relations

UW – SEIU 925 Negotiations Recap of Union Initial Proposals


This recap details SEIU 925’s proposals as presented over the first five sessions for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 925, set to expire on June 30, 2019. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.

Union Initial Proposals

SEIU 925 presented initial proposals regarding a series of new and existing provisions, including:

Nondiscrimination – SEIU 925 proposed that the Employer form a University-wide committee to end discrimination.  The Union proposed that the committee would track and make determinations on the validity of discrimination complaints after review of investigation reports done separately by the Employer and SEIU 925.  The Union’s proposal prescribed related process timelines, notification rules, and suggested actions based on committee findings.

Workplace Behavior – SEIU 925 proposed to expand the current contract provision on workplace behavior to include specific anti-bullying language.  Additionally, the Union proposed that grievances alleging a violation of the workplace behavior could be taken further in the grievance process from mediation (current contract), to arbitration (new proposal).

Overtime – SEIU 925 proposed that all members would be overtime eligible, including those currently overtime exempt.  The Union proposed to expand the definition of overtime to include work in excess of twelve hours in any one shift.

Temporary Appointments – SEIU 925 proposed language that would require the Employer to apply months of service in a temporary appointment toward an employee’s probationary period for a permanent position, as long as the movement was to the same position in the unit.

Fixed Duration Appointments (FDA) – SEIU 925 proposed that the Employer would provide the Union a list of each newly assigned or extended FDA and/or temporary appointment, including a justification for each position, on a monthly basis.

Vacation – SEIU 925 proposed to change the vacation accrual schedule to match the Employer’s professional staff program.  The proposal maintained the maximum accrual at twenty-five days per year but with an accelerated schedule that would begin at a higher accrual rate and max out after eleven years of service.

The Union proposed language that would require reimbursement to employees for documented financial loss if an approved vacation was later cancelled by the Employer.

Corrective Action – SEIU 925 proposed to redefine coaching as a conversation between the employee and their immediate supervisor to review goals and expectations, along with offering suggestions and additional training as needed.

The Union proposed to add informal counseling as a new first step in the corrective action process, defined as an informal discussion or instruction between an employee and their supervisor that would be followed up in writing and could include an action plan.

Steward Training – Currently the Union may request that a second steward be present for training purposes at a Step Two hearing.  SEIU 925 proposed that a second steward could be present for any stewarding activity, with no limitation on how often the same steward could attend an activity in a training capacity.

Rest Between Shifts – SEIU 925 proposed a rest between shifts premium of one and one half times an employee’s regular rate of pay for eight hours.  The proposal included premium pay for the following scenarios:

  • Employees working twelve hour shifts who did not receive a rest of at least ten and one-half hours between regularly scheduled shifts
  • Employees working eight or ten hour shifts who did not receive a rest of at least twelve hours between regularly scheduled shifts
  • Employees called back to work, whether or not on standby, if that work did not provide the appropriate rest length before the next scheduled shift, as described above

Layoff Seniority Units – SEIU 925 proposed to consolidate the current list of 94 layoff seniority units down to four.  The proposed layoff units are University of Washington – Seattle, University of Washington Medical System, University of Washington – Bothell, and University of Washington – Tacoma.

Contact Center – Currently, performance metrics not met by at least 75% of employees for a given three-month period will not automatically trigger corrective action for those who fail to meet the standard for that period, but may lead to corrective action if it meets the requirements of just cause.  SEIU 925 proposed that failing to meet a metric not met by at least 75% of employees could never trigger or lead to corrective action.

Tuition Exemption – SEIU 925 proposed to expand the programs toward which eligible employees can utilize tuition exemptions to include fee based and distance learning programs.

Dress Code for Lab Medicine – SEIU 925 proposed that employees working a full day in the Laboratory Medicine Departments and Anatomic Pathology be able to wear denim blue jeans in good condition.  If there were to be a scheduled tour or while employees were out in clinics, they would be expected to abide by the UW Medicine professional dress code policy.

Telework – SEIU 925 proposed a new article outlining provisions around voluntary and mandatory teleworking arrangements.  The Union proposed that denials of teleworking arrangements would not be made on an individual basis, but rather by job class.

Diversity and Inclusion – SEIU 925 proposed that the Employer would commit $200 million from the Be Boundless campaign to recruiting, retaining, and promoting underrepresented minority staff and faculty across the University.

The Union proposed that the Employer establish a timeline by September 2019 for reaching a goal of 100% participation in cultural responsiveness or cultural competency for all University employees.  By that same date, the Union proposed that employees involved in hiring processes would be trained in implicit bias, equity, and cultural responsiveness.

SEIU 925 proposed to expand the role of the University’s Bias Incident Advisory Committee to track reports of discrimination, harassment, and retribution, as reported to UCIRO, SafeCampus, Title IX, and any other body where incidents may be reported.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 925 bargaining session is scheduled for July 30.