Labor Relations

UW – SAG-AFTRA Negotiations Recap for May 1, 2019


This recap details the May 1 sessions for the negotiation of the first collective bargaining agreement between the University of Washington (UW) and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA, also known as “the union”). Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.

Compensation Proposals

Follow-up to the UW’s April 22 compensation proposal: The UW provided a cost summary of its last economic proposal, which can be viewed here, as well as specifications for the newly proposed job classifications with their attached minimum salaries. These job classification specifications are used by the UW to assign wages in the payroll system and are not as specific as the job descriptions KUOW uses to determine the scope of employee work.

Union counter proposal: In response to the UW’s compensation proposal of April 22, the union countered with a proposal for a retroactive adjustment to minimum salaries by job title and level in 2018—based on the UW’s latest proposed minimum salaries—or a five percent (5%) increase, whichever was higher, except in the case of the job classifications Producer 1 Radio Active, Production Engineers, and Producer/Announcer, for which the union proposed alternative minimums. In addition, the union proposed a retroactive across-the-board increases of five percent (5%) for September 1, 2018, as well as future across-the-board increases of five percent (5%) in 2019 and 2020, as well as one-time retention bonuses based on seniority: $1,500 for employees who had worked at KUOW ten (10) years, $2,500 for 20 years, and $3,500 for 30 years. The union’s counter proposal also included a minimum of five percent (5%) increase for any promotion or reclassification.

Employer counter proposal: KUOW management discussed the ongoing process of creating the fiscal year 2020 budget, including significant reductions to proposed expenses or delays on new initiatives across departments to accommodate new operational priorities and align estimated costs with revenue projections.

The UW’s counter-proposal on compensation included changing the dates of its lately proposed across-the-board increases of two percent (2%) from September 1 to July 1 of each year of the contract: 2019, 2020, and 2021, as well as one-time lump sum payments equal to 1.6% of the employee’s salary as of May 1, 2019, for 11 employees identified in a memorandum of understanding. The UW also proposed that an employee occupying a position that is reclassified to an existing class with a lower salary minimum shall receive a salary no higher than 120 percent of the minimum salary of that position.

In addition, the UW proposed that—at management’s discretion—salary increases may be made at any time to individuals or to job classes for reasons of market competitiveness, internal equity, increased responsibility or retention, and, should additional sources of money become available for supplemental wage increases, the parties would meet to establish equitable distribution methodology. The UW further proposed to enshrine in the Agreement the KUOW National/International Story Incentive Payment Policy, which allows members to be eligible for “story incentive” pass through payments.

Tentative Agreements

The parties signed tentative agreements on the following articles:

Vacation: This article states that every bargaining unit employee shall be entitled to vacation leave in the same manner as non-bargaining unit employees and contained tables detailing vacation accrual based on seniority and overtime exemption status.

On-Call: This article states that scheduled on-call shifts shall be compensated at the rate of fifty dollars ($50) per day if the employee is not called in, and fifty dollars ($50) plus the employee’s regularly hourly rate for the amount of time spent working (including a minimum call of four hours) if the employee is called in to work.

Next Steps

The next SAG-AFTRA bargaining session is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 9.