Labor Relations

WSNA – UW (Montlake) Negotiations Recap for April 21


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

WSNA Initial Proposals

U-PASS – The Union proposed nurses would have the option to receive a payout of the amount the Employer is charged for the U-PASS, instead of receiving the U-PASS.

Premiums – The Union proposed to renew an MOU agreed to during the 2019 – 2021 contract cycle, which states that if a nurse is required to move from an assigned shift for which they are earning a premium, the nurse would be paid the premium for the assigned shift, regardless of whether or not they are temporarily moved to another assignment. The MOU also states that there would be no stacking premiums, and that if the Employer reassigns a nurse to a role that also carries a premium, the nurse would receive the higher of the two premium.

Higher Education – The Union proposed a new MOU that states that nurses seeking higher education would be guaranteed the option to lower their FTE.

UW Initial Proposals

Float Between Campuses – The Employer proposed a new MOU would give management the ability to float nurses between UWMC-Montlake and UWMC-NW. Under this proposal, if a nurse if floated to an entity other than the nurse’s home entity, the nurse would receive a four dollar premium for all hours worked outside the nurse’s home entity. This premium would not stack with other float premiums and would not apply to nurses already receiving a premium for being in the float team. Nurses would be reimbursed for mileage and parking at the second site per university policy.

Shift Premium – The Employer proposed to increase the shift differential from $4.25 to $4.50 for nurses assigned to work the third shift.

Temporary Assignment to a Higher Position – The Employer proposed that a nurse temporarily assigned to perform the principal duties of a higher-level nursing position for a period of five or more working days would be paid a temporary salary increase (TSI) of at least five percent over the present salary but not to exceed the maximum of the range for the higher classification, replacing language stating the nurse would receive a salary that represents a two-step increase beyond the nurse’s current step.

Standby – The Employer proposed to add Neonatal ICU, Perinatal Daily, and the Emergency Department to departments that require classified nurses to take call.

Scheduling – The Employer proposed to strike language stating that mutual agreement between nurse and manager is necessary to change schedules for nurses regularly working eight-hour shifts to work ten- or twelve-hour shifts, and to change schedules for nurses regularly working ten- or twelve-hours shifts to work eight-hour shifts. Additionally, the Employer proposed to strike language stating that nurses with greater than ten years seniority who are assigned to a unit which changes its length of shift by greater than two hours are entitled to retain their shift length on the same unit, and to strike similar language stating that nurses with greater than twenty years seniority who are assigned to a unit which changes it length of shift by greater than two hours are entitled to retain their shift, shift length and unit.

Management Time – The Employer proposed that time worked for management time before or after a scheduled shift would be paid at the regular rate of pay, rather than counting toward overtime, double-time, or rest between shift premiums. Under this proposal, time worked for management time would be determined by the employee, and requests for nurses to work their management time before or after their scheduled shifts would not be initiated by the Employer.

Compensatory Time Off – The Employer proposed to strike language stating that a nurse may request payment for accrued compensatory time at any time.

Weekends – The Employer proposed language stating that for nurses who work alternative shifts and twelve-hour shift, the shift would count as a weekend shift if the majority of the shift falls between 11pm Friday and 11pm Sunday. Additionally, the Employer proposed the Employer would make a good faith effort to schedule all regular full and part-time nurses for two weekends out of four weekends, rather than every other weekend off or two weekend off out of four successive weekends. Under this proposal, nurses would be able to elect work more than two out of four weekends, and the employer would be able to schedule a nurse to less than four weekend shifts dependent on schedule needs. The Employer also proposed that nurses who agree to work an unscheduled weekend would be paid at double time, defining “unscheduled weekends” as a shift that is in addition to the nurse’s posted scheduled shifts after the schedule is posted and when the nurse is performing direct nursing care.

Rest Between Shifts – The Employer proposed that any nurse who does not receive ten and a half hours’ rest between regularly scheduled shifts would qualify to receive the rest between shift premium. Current language states that nurses who work twelve-hour shifts already receive the premium as proposed, but that nurses who work eight- or ten-hour shifts would receive the rest between shift premium if they do not receive twelve hours rest between regularly scheduled shifts.

Voluntary Low Census – The Employer proposed guidelines surrounding voluntary low census, stating that employees placed on standby for all or part of a shift and called to work would be compensated in accordance with extant language surrounding standby shift. Every effort would be made to notify the RN for the need for low census as early as possible prior to the start of the shift.

Salary Overpayment Recovery – The Employer proposed new language detailing the process for salary overpayment recovery in accordance with relevant state law.

Job Postings – The Employer proposed that that each ICU unit (5E, 5SE, 5SA, and 6SA) would be allowed to offer day shift positions to two outside experienced ICU nursing candidates with at least three years of experience per calendar year, as an exception to the language requiring that job openings be posted in the department for a period of seven days before being posted house-wide and internally.

Release Time – The Employer proposed a new article outlining release time for nurses who work day-shift and night-shift. Under this proposal, if nurses are scheduled on the dayshift of the negotiations, they can request release for all or part of their shift, and if nurses are scheduled on the night shift, the nurse would be able to request release from the shift immediately before or immediately after negotiations. In either case, if hours spent bargaining are less than the scheduled hours, nurses may request to include use benefit time, trade hours to meet FTE, or return to the unit after negotiations to fulfill the scheduled hours with management approval. Additionally, the Employer proposed that with mutual agreement, nurses can be paid straight time for hours in bargaining above their designated FTE. The article also outlines when release would be requested, when bargaining would begin. The Employer also proposed that for demand to bargains during the administration of the collective bargaining agreement, no more than four employees will be paid per bargaining session.

The Employer proposed housekeeping edits only on the following articles:

  • Article 8 – Educational and Professional Development

On the following provisions, the Employer proposed to maintain current contract language:

  • Article 17 – Employee Facilities

Next Steps

The next UW and WSNA bargaining session is scheduled for May 5 and will be held virtually.