UW – WFSE Negotiations Recap for July 9
This recap details the second 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 Initial Proposals
Temporary and Non-permanent Employees – As a result of the new laws surrounding temporary and non-permanent appointments, the Union proposed new language stating that the Employer would comply with the law, except where otherwise provided. Additional provisions the Union proposed included limitation of each of these appointments to six months, and language stating that the University may convert these appointments into permanent appointments if a competitive recruitment process is used, but may not convert non-permanent appointments into temporary ones, and vice versa, except by mutual agreement. The Union proposed that all aspects of the CBA would apply to non-permanent employees, except the ability to grieve a separation.
Suspended Operations – The Union proposed that current contract language applying to suspended operations would also apply to partially suspended as well as restricted operations, and that when prior notification of such operations has not been given, non-essential employees released until further notice after reporting to work would receive no loss of pay for a late start or early closure. The Union further proposed that employees who are required to physically report to work during the suspended operations would be paid two and a half times their regular rate of pay for hours of impacted operations on the first day, and that on following days of impacted operations, employees would be paid one and a half times their regular rate of pay. The Union also proposed language stating that telework would not be unreasonably denied in the event of public partially suspended or suspended operations.
State and Local Emergencies – The Union proposed that current contract language applying to inclement weather would also be applied to natural disasters and other state and local emergencies, and that employees who report to work late because of inclement weather, conditions caused by inclement weather, natural disaster, or other state or local emergency circumstances may be allowed up to one hour of paid time for the late arrival.
Sick Leave – The Union proposed that, for part-time employees, sick leave would accrue at a rate of 1.84 hours for every 40 hours worked, rather than the current rate of 1 hour for every 40 worked. The Union also proposed language that would expand the definition of family member for sick leave, such that it covers all parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings of an employee and their spouse or domestic partner.
Vacation – The Union proposed that employees who accumulate above the allowable maximum vacation balance due to cancellation or denial of vacation requests would have the option to receive a cash payment for vacation accrued over the maximum. The Union also proposed to incorporate into the body of the CBA the related MOU stating that if a department maintains a vacation time off calendar indicating days taken and/or available for vacation time off, the calendar would be made available electronically to employees or posted in a visible department space.
Bereavement – The Union proposed that employees would be granted up to seven days of bereavement leave, which could be taken continuously or intermittently, as requested by the employee, for each death of a family member. The Union also proposed that upon request, employees would be granted paid release to attend the funeral or memorial services for a co-worker. The Union proposed language that would expand the definition of family member for bereavement leave, such that it covers all parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings of an employee and their spouse or domestic partner, as well as aunts, uncles, and cousins of an employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner.
Parking – The Union proposed that all bargaining unit employees who work swing shifts and night shifts would not be charged parking fees, and that bargaining unit employees working on day shifts would be eligible for the swing shift Single Occupancy Vehicle parking rate, and that all bargaining unit employees would not be charged parking fees when they are required to work at sporting events, including but not limited to football games. The Union also proposed to eliminate the existing CBA waiver and require that the Employer would have an obligation to bargain changes in transportation policy, including parking fees, with the Union.
UPASS and Motorcycle Permit – The Union proposed that no bargaining unit employees would be charged a fee for a U-PASS or a motorcycle permit.
Contracting – The Union proposed that current contract language surrounding contracting would apply to all bargaining units, not only Skilled Trades. The Union also proposed that the monthly or annual notification lists provided from UW Facilities to the Union would not serve as notice, as they do under current contract language, such that work that falls within the scope of those lists would still require the notification form. The Union also proposed to modify said form such that an explanation would be required if work had not been referred to another shop with bargaining unit members with the essential skills to do the work.
Records Removal – The Union proposed language stating that any formal or final counseling, excluding those for workplace violence or University policies against harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, would be removed from an employee’s personnel file automatically after three years, if the necessary criteria have been met, instead of requiring the request of the employee for removal. The Union further proposed that any formal or final counseling that is not removed after three years, and meets the necessary criteria, would be automatically removed after five years. Necessary criteria in either case includes no subsequent corrective action, and no need for a longer retention period based on any University circumstances reduced to writing.
Public Records – The Union proposed to incorporate into the body of the CBA the related MOU stating that Labor Relations would notify the Union of public records requests for information received by the UW Office of Public Records that directly concern and encompass WFSE’s members, and that notification would be provided in order to allow for a ten-day protest period.
Performance Evaluations – The Union proposed language stating that supervisors would not penalize employees on their evaluations for the use of leave. The Union also proposed that employees would complete performance evaluations of their supervisors and managers annually, and that employees would not be retaliated against for their evaluation responses. Under this proposal, the results of the employee performance evaluations of supervisors and managers would be compiled into a report and shared with employees and the Union. Employee performance evaluations are currently grievable only through Step Two of the Grievance Procedure, and WFSE proposed to remove this provision.
Staffing Concerns – The Union proposed that employees who bring concerns about workload issues to the attention of their supervisor would be provided written guidance within seven calendar days, and that a meeting with the supervisor to discuss the guidance would be scheduled upon request.
Demands to Bargain – The Union proposed that written notice requesting bargaining of mandatory subjects would not be required to include at least three available dates and times to meet, as current contract language states.
WFSE Council President and Vice President – The Union proposed to incorporate into the body of the CBA the related MOU content regarding leave and return rights for the WFSE Council President and Vice President. The current language would result in the elected member being placed on leave without pay and paid by the Union. The Union proposed to change this, stating the employee would remain paid by the Employer and reimbursed by the Union. Under this proposal, the employee would maintain their seniority and continue to accrue leave. Leave usage would be managed by the Union. There would be no cap on how long an employee could be in this arrangement.
Public Transportation Delays and Disruptions – The Union proposed to incorporate into the body of the CBA the related MOU regarding public transportation delays, expanding protection from corrective action beyond those who arrive late to work to also include those who cannot report to work due to public transportation delays and disruptions.
The next UW and WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for July 20 and will be held virtually.