Labor Relations

UW – Coalition Negotiations Recap August 15 & 16, 2018


This recap details portions of the first two coalition sessions between the UW and SEIU 925, WFSE, and the SEIU 1199NW Research/Hall Health Bargaining Unit.  Economic items will be bargained in coalition, including wages, paid family medical leave, transportation, etc.

Recaps are published online on each Union’s negotiation update page:

Compensation Discussion

Milliman Classified Staff Salary Study – Milliman, a third party Consulting firm, presented an analysis of how the compensation for both healthcare and non-healthcare classified benchmark jobs compares to market. The analysis is based on salary data (actual data) from published Milliman surveys including the Puget Sound Area survey, the Northwest Health Care survey, the Washington Public Employers survey, as well as a Higher Education Custom survey that Milliman conducted on behalf of the UW.

Philosophy – The UW’s general compensation philosophy for classified staff is to target the median (middle) of our relevant labor market. The university’s threshold for market range adjustments for classified positions to adjust to pay up to, but not exceeding 80% of the market midpoint, or median. The market median (or 50th percentile) is the point at which half of UW’s comparators pay below and half pay above.

Findings – Classified staff salaries at the UW are more competitive in 2018 than they were in 2016 and 2014, when the last two previous Classified Salary Studies were conducted. For non-healthcare classifications, base pay is on average 1% above the market 25th percentile, and 10% below the market 50th percentile.  For health care classifications, base pay is on average 7% above the market 25th percentile, and 1% below the market 50th percentile.

Budget Discussion

Sarah Hall, Associate Vice Provost for the Office of Planning and Budgeting, presented information regarding the University’s general financial state, including fiscal year 2019 budget details.  University feedback from the FY19 budget process included concerns about the sustainability of wage and benefit rate increases in a flat revenue environment, and the inability to raise rates or fees without downstream effects.

For the funding of collective bargaining agreements, currently the University and the legislature split funds at 33% (legislature) and 67% (UW).  The University faces challenges in coming up with 67% in part because there are limits on how to raise that revenue (e.g. tuition limits) and increasing costs (e.g. employee compensation).  The Employer is asking the legislature for parity with other schools and colleges in the hopes of getting to a 50/50 split.

Union Proposals – Transportation

U-PASS – The Coalition proposed that all employees would receive a fully subsidized U-PASS beginning September 25, 2018.  Currently employees with a U-PASS pay a fee of $150 per quarter (approximately 42% of the cost).

Parking – The Unions proposed that the University would provide parking at no cost for employees when they are working shifts before 5:30am, evening or night shifts, or when they are called back to work.  The Unions proposed that parking rates would be maintained at 2018 rates for the duration of the 2019-2021 contracts.

Next Steps

The next UW-Coalition bargaining sessions are scheduled for August 22 & 24.