Labor Relations

UW – WFSE Negotiations Recap July 31 & August 1, 2018


This recap details portions of the seventh and eighth 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.

Tentative Agreements

The parties signed tentative agreements to close the following provisions:

  • Article 6 – Grievance Procedure
    • Modified language stating that the Union has forty-five days from the date of occurrence (formerly sixty), to file a grievance involving only the contracting out article
    • Added language stating that either party can elect to skip step one and move to step two for a group grievance (defined as five or more grievants)
    • Added language to increase the amount of time the University has to respond after a step two hearing, from fifteen to thirty days
  • Article 38 – Seniority, Layoff, Rehire
    • Maintained current contract language

Union Proposals

Holidays – WFSE integrated the Employer’s proposal stating Employees must be in pay status for at least four (4) hours on the last scheduled work shift preceding the holiday in order to be paid for a holiday not worked.  The added language would memorialize current practice, but the Union also proposed new language stating that time spent on temporary layoff would be considered time in pay status.

Vacation – In response to the Employer’s proposal, WFSE integrated language stating either the Union or employees could suggest new departmental procedures or changes to the existing vacation request process, as an appropriate JLM agenda item.

Civil/Jury Duty Leave – WFSE maintained its proposal that employees would not be expected to work the night shift before or after they are to report jury duty, and would be paid for both shifts.

Bereavement Leave – WFSE withdrew its proposal to increase the amount of bereavement leave granted for each death of a family member from three to five days.  The Union proposed language stating that the Employer would approve leave requests for up to a total of five days per year in the event of the death of an aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, first cousin, and/or corresponding relatives of the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (not covered by the definition of family member).

Work Related Injury Leave – Both parties integrated the Employer’s proposed language stating that UW would follow the applicable laws and University policies related to worker’s compensation and the return-to-work program.  The Union proposed that the Employer would attempt to find modified duty opportunities in lieu of and/or after disability leave.  Upon request, the Employer would be required to provide the modified duty options that were considered and the reasons for any request denials.

Mandatory Subjects – WFSE maintained its proposal to retain current contract language regarding the amount of time the Union has to request negotiations over a change after receiving written notice.  The Employer proposed twenty-one calendar days, and the current contract says thirty.

Steward Representational Duties – WFSE maintained its proposal that would allow Union stewards to receive paid time off work to conduct independent investigations of issues brought by Union members.

In response to the Employer’s proposal to leave jurisdiction language as is, WFSE maintained its proposal that areas of jurisdiction would be determined and assigned by the Union.

The Union maintained its proposal to require the Employer to release members of the Union’s bargaining team for all bargaining sessions.

Joint Union/Management Committees – WFSE modified its proposal from holding departmental JLMs at least twice annually, to no less than quarterly in Facilities Services, Housing and Food Services, UWMC, and Harborview Medical Center.  Committee meetings for the Bothell and Tacoma campuses would be scheduled as needed, upon mutual agreement.  The new language would allow for ad hoc committee meetings to address specific workplace issues, but the Union proposed those could be scheduled by either party rather than mutual agreement, as proposed by the Employer.

Privacy – In response to the Employer’s counter to retain the privacy article and corresponding MOU, WFSE proposed new language to the MOU stating when documents in an employee’s files are the subject of a public disclosure request, the Employer would provide a copy of the request at least seven days before the intended release date and redact social security numbers when applicable.

Temporary Employees – WFSE proposed to extend all aspects of the corrective action/dismissal article to temporary employees.

Part-Time Employees – WFSE proposed a new MOU stating that the parties would meet and discuss possible amendments to the collective bargaining agreement after civil service rules are amended following the passing of a recent House Bill that removed the exemption of part-time employees from state civil service rules.

UW Proposals

Hours of Work – UW withdrew its proposal that stated adjustments to the hours of daily work shifts during the same work week would not constitute a temporary schedule change, and overtime-eligible employee’s daily start and/or end time could be adjusted by two hours.

In response to the Union’s proposal, the Employer proposed that employees would be allowed to bid on vacant shifts by department seniority in accordance with departmental policy/procedure.  Bids would be restricted to the employee’s work unit.

Work During the Cyclic Leave of Absence – UW proposed to memorialize current practice stating that employees working during a cyclic leave of absence accrue paid time off prorated based on regular hours worked, and paid time off used in a month.

Fixed Duration Appointments (FDAs) – UW maintained its proposal 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 – UW maintained its proposal to increase the trial service period for transfers to six months, in order to create a uniform length for all appointment types (including promotion and lateral movement).

Suspended Operations – The Employer modified its proposal to require use of paid leave for suspended operations in a specified order, or an employee could use leave without pay if no accrued leave was available.  If leave without pay was used, only then would the employee have the option of makeup time.

Performance Evaluations – In response to the Union’s proposal, the Employer reverted to current contract language stating evaluations shall be performed annually, and a supervisor’s failure to complete an evaluation will be construed to mean the employee has performed satisfactorily.  UW maintained its proposal to eliminate language prescribing the content of evaluation forms to allow for more flexibility in the ways the Employer could conduct evaluations.

The Employer rejected WFSE’s proposal to introduce a 360-degree feedback method for evaluations.

Alternative Work Schedules for Building Services (UW Seattle Campus) – In response to the Union’s proposal to allow four ten-hour shifts per week, UW proposed that upon request, the parties would meet at a JLM to discuss the possible implementation of an alternative work schedule pilot.  The discussion may also include, but not be limited to, crews and classifications, workload, team cleaning, open run assignments, zone assignments, work locations, shift start and end times, and holiday coverage.

Next Steps

The next UW-WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for August 6.