UW – SEIU 1199 Negotiations Recap for May 22 and May 23, 2019
This recap details the seventh and eighth sessions for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.
UW Initial Proposals
Schedule Changes and Transfers – The Employer proposed to remove references to individual units in an effort to streamline language related to the process by which employees request schedule changes and apply for transfers. The consolidated language states that all requests for different shifts, schedules, or assignments should be submitted to the employee’s immediate supervisor in writing, and that applications for promotions and lateral transfers outside of the department/unit should be submitted on the University’s Employment Website, as is the current practice.
FMLA – The Employer proposed language that clarified that employees may retain either eighty hours of accrued vacation time off or eighty hours of sick time off while on FMLA. They further clarified that the employee may elect to use eight hours per month of accrued applicable paid leave for continuation of employer paid health insurance benefits for the duration of the approved leave of absence.
Salary Overpayment Recovery – The UW proposed new language detailing the process for salary overpayment recovery in accordance with relevant state law.
Washington Family Medical Leave Program – The Employer proposed a new article acknowledging the Washington Family Medical Leave Program, which goes into effect beginning January 1, 2020. The Employer proposed to follow the law’s minimum contribution requirements (37% of the premium, with the remainder paid by the employee).
Actual Time Reporting (ATR) – The Employer proposed new language that would allow future implementation of a positive time reporting process. The process would not change the way employees badge in and out, but would allow for more accuracy in paychecks, including fewer overpayments and the opportunity to see other pay such as overtime and premiums reflected in the paycheck during which those earnings were accrued. Under this provision, the Employer may require employees’ schedules to reconcile to FTE over either a seven day period or a fourteen day period, and the Employer may convert salaried overtime exempt employees to hourly/ATR who are therefore overtime eligible.
Grievance Procedure – The Employer proposed language surrounding the steps of the grievance procedure, including the process and schedule by which the Union may file requests for mediation, and—if satisfactory settlement is not reached or the mediation step was skipped—the process and schedule by which either party may submit the grievance to binding arbitration.
Education Support Funds – The Employer added language to clarify that education funds to assist permanent employees with continuing education expenses should be for expenses that are clinically relevant to their current position, and that funds will be distributed for reimbursement as determined by the Employer.
Committees – In an effort to streamline Joint Labor/Management Committees (JLMs) and empower employees to work with managers in one-on-ones or in small groups to deal with problems in real-time more directly, the Employer proposed to reduce the number of JLMs, expand the number of members in select JLMs, and reduce the frequency of JLMs from monthly to quarterly. The Registered Nurse and Health Care Specialist Committees would combine to form one JLM of eight bargaining unit representatives; Professional Technical, Imaging, and Respiratory would form another Committee of eight. The Employer also proposed to update the list of Employer committees to reflect those that currently exist.
Informal Coaching – The Employer proposed to remove informal coaching from the corrective action ladder as it is neither corrective action nor counseling.
Temporary Rehire – The Employer proposed to strike language that states that Employees on the rehire list who follow the rule prescribed by Temporary Services will be given priority to referral to temporary positions, as this process is not in keeping with current practice.
Presumption of Resignation/Abandonment – The Employer proposed to add language outlining the process by which the Employer shall deemed resigned an employee who fails to appear for work and report absence to the supervisor on three consecutive scheduled work days.
Mandatory Subject – The Employer proposed that the Union would have thirty calendar days to request bargaining after receiving notice regarding changes to working conditions. The Employer proposed that a valid demand to bargain would include at least three (3) available dates and times to meet within the next thirty days.
Compensatory Time – The Employer proposed that Employees may request and be granted compensatory time in lieu of pay as determined by the Employer, and that they would not be allowed to accrue more than forty hours. They further proposed that all compensatory time must be used by June 30 of each year or would be cashed out on that date. Compensatory time may also be cashed out when an employee transfers to a position in their department with a different funding source, or transfers to a position in another department.
Work Schedules – The Employer made proposals around work schedules aimed at increasing flexibility when unexpected staff absences occur, and providing options for filling those unexpected schedule holes with regular straight time.
Rest Between Shifts – In an effort to make rest between shifts consistent amongst all applicable job classes, the Employer proposed that for Registered Nurses, Social Workers, Health Care Specialists, Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists and Respiratory Therapists, a good faith effort shall be made to provide an unbroken period of at least eight hours off work between scheduled shifts, unless an individual request for variation to this is approved by supervision.
Probationary Period – The Employer proposed that the probationary period for an individual employee may be extended as long as the extension does not cause the total period to exceed twelve months. Employees would be provided with a written explanation for the extension, and if the extension is based on performance issues, the employee would receive a performance improvement plan. Under this proposal, extension of probation would not be a normal practice.
Family Care Emergencies – The Employer proposed to expand leave due to child care emergencies to leave due to family care emergencies, which would encompass child care emergencies as well as elder care emergencies. The Employer proposed new language stating that elder care emergencies are situations causing an employee’s inability to report for or continued scheduled work due to elderly care requirements, such as the unexpected absence of a regular care provider or unexpected closure of an assisted living facility.
New Employee Orientation – The Employee proposed language stating that a Union representative shall be allowed up to thirty minutes with employees during the new employee orientation in accordance with the relevant state law. If the University conducts orientation on-line, the Union would be permitted to display information, and for employees who do not attend the orientation, within ninety days of the employee’s start date, the Employer would provide the Union access to the employee to present information about the Union.
Weekend Premium – The Employer proposed to redefine the weekend premium to be paid on all hours worked on the weekend, defined as from 12:00am Saturday until 12:00am Monday for ease of accounting purposes.
Mandatory Minimums for Standby and Call Back – The Employer proposed to remove language surrounding the mandatory minimum payment of two and one-half hours for Standby and call back, preserving language stating that time worked on call back shall be compensated at time and one-half. This proposal is aimed at opening a dialogue between the parties about finding possible ways to avoid the cascading effect of multiple callbacks.
Harborview Nursing Scholarships – The Employer proposed to extend for the life of the successor agreement the educational assistance it provides to Nurses pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree through the University of Washington Bothell (UW Bothell).
Respiratory Therapists Skills Training –– The Employer proposed to extend for the life of the successor agreement the internal education based on operational need to respiratory therapists.
ALNW Employer Counter Proposals
Mileage and Per Diem Policy – The Employer maintained its proposal to refer employees to existing University and ALNW travel policy for mileage and reimbursement provisions, rather than outline them in the CBA.
Stuck Out of Town – The Employer maintained its proposal stating that the Employer may send crews home via airlines instead of being stuck out of town, and would reimburse the employee’s airline ticket and transportation to the airport. Once a decision is made, the employee would be paid for four hours extra straight time for a flight home from Seattle, three hours from Anchorage, and one and a half hours from Sitka.
Compensatory Time Cash Out – The Employer maintained its proposal stating that all compensatory time must be used by June 30 of each year or would be cashed out on that date. Compensatory time may also be cashed out when an employee transfers to a position in their department with a different funding source, or transfers to a position in another department.
Official Duty Station – The Employer modified its proposal to state that each bargaining unit employee will be assigned an official duty station.
Weekend Premium – The Employer maintained its proposal to redefine the weekend premium to be paid on all hours worked on the weekend, defined as from 12:00am Saturday until 12:00am Monday for ease of accounting purposes.
JLMs – The Employer maintained its proposal to hold JLMs quarterly rather than monthly, and proposed that agenda items must be provided at least fourteen business days in advance of the meeting.
Certification Pay – The Employer maintained its proposal to include language from the main contract that states certification pay is not intended for certifications that are required to perform the job.
Job Posting & Transfer – When selecting between internal candidates, the UW proposed that if all other qualifications are considered equal, seniority would be the determining factor. The Employer modified its proposal to state that seniority would be defined first by base and then by the length of unbroken service with ALNW.
Work Schedules – The Employer made proposals around work schedules aimed at increasing flexibility when unexpected staff absences occur, and providing options for filling those unexpected schedule holes with regular straight time. Specifically, the Employer modified its proposal to state that the Employer may temporarily change schedules with prior notice of at least five calendar days. A temporary schedule change is defined as a change lasting thirty calendar days or less.
The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for May 30.