Labor Relations

UW – WFSE Negotiations Recap for June 22


This recap details the first virtual session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and Washington Federation of State Employees. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.

WFSE Priorities

WFSE stated priorities as follows:

  • Respect at the work place, including racial justice and addressing discrimination
  • Safe working conditions and equipment
  • Equitable pay, including adjustment for the cost of living
  • Training and promotional opportunities

WFSE Initial Proposals

Holidays: The Union proposed that employees would receive hour-for-hours holiday credit for all hours worked on a holiday or all hours scheduled if the holiday falls on an employee’s regularly scheduled day off, and hour-for-hour pay for holidays not worked, instead of the current respective eight hours credit and pay. The Union further proposed that employees would receive three personal holidays instead of one.

Hiring and promotions: The Union proposed that if an external applicant is chosen for a position, upon request, bargaining unit applicants would receive a written explanation as to why the position was not offered. The written explanation would include recommended courses and/or training to improve their qualifications for promotion, and employees would receive paid release to complete the recommended courses and/or training, including travel time. Under this proposal, the Employer would also reimburse the employee for any costs of the courses and/or training.

In-training positions: The Union proposed that the Employer may designate specific non-trades positions as in-training for permanent employees, and that      an employee who accepts an in-training appointment would serve a trial service period of no longer than six months.

Training: The Union proposed that the Employer would grant employees up to a maximum of 48 hours paid release time per quarter, plus travel time and pro-rated for part-time, to attend optional staff training and development programs designed to assist in developing and/or improving job skills. The Union further proposed that opportunities for trainings would be communicated to the whole department, and that in the event a supervisor must limit the number of employees who may participate in a training, the selection would be made by seniority and rotating basis or a mutually agreeable basis within the department.

Licensure and certification: The Union proposed that the Employer would reimburse the cost of maintaining and renewing all required licenses and/or certifications.

Cyclic leave of absence: The Union proposed that employees that accept work in a lower classification during cyclic leave of absence would maintain their current rate of pay.

Overtime: The Union proposed to add language stating that the Employer would not use overtime in lieu of filling open positions. The Union also proposed language stating that the Employer could assign mandatory overtime for emergencies only, and no employee would be disciplined for declining overtime.

Compensatory Time: The Union proposed that employees who request compensatory time would be entitled to it, with an annual cap of 240 hours.

Schedules: The Union proposed flexibility in scheduling, including that any full-time employees upon their request would be scheduled to work a 9/80 (80 hours between 9 working days in a fourteen 14-day period) as another regular schedule option.  The Union also proposed that any part-time employee may be scheduled to work more than 40 hours but less than 80 hours 14-day period, and would guarantee two consecutive days off.

Rest periods: The Union proposed language that would require relief during rest periods for all job classes.

Teleworking: The Union proposed language stating that requests for teleworking would not be unreasonably denied.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The Union proposed that the University would ensure that every bargaining unit employee always has access to any and all PPE needed to safely perform their job duties and that the University would ensure that all employees are properly trained in the use of PPE. The Union further proposed that bargaining unit employees would not be disciplined for refusing to work in the event that the University is unable to provide them with adequate PPE.

Prescription Safety Eyewear: The Union proposed that upon request, the University would provide employees with prescription eyewear when employees are required to wear eyewear for safety purposes, including but not limited to goggles and glasses, and that the Employer would repair or replace such eyewear if damaged in the normal course of business.

Safety Footwear: The Union proposed that the University would determine the employees that are required to wear safety footwear as essential PPE, and that these employees would receive a total biennial allowance of up to $400 per designated employee.

Employee facilities: The Union proposed that should an employee report any condition in employee facilities that appears to be below minimum standards, the Employer would either address the substandard condition or provide the employee a written response with a status update and approximate timeline within five business days. The Union also proposed that showers would be provided to employees in those occupations where a change of clothing is required by the Employer.

Internal complaints: The Union proposed that if an internal complaint process (whether reported to management, Human Resources, or UCIRO) exceeds 30 days, the Employer would notify the employee with status updates.

Diversity & Inclusion:  The Union proposed to incorporate into the body of the CBA the related side letter content regarding diversity and inclusion and tracking discrimination and bias.

Next Steps

The next UW and WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for July 9 and will be held virtually.