Labor Relations

WSNA – UW (Montlake) Negotiations Recap for May 5


This recap details the fourth 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.

Tentative Agreements

The parties tentatively agreed to the following:

Article 8 – Education and Professional Development

  • Housekeeping edits only

Article 12 – Holiday and Vacation Time Off

  • Housekeeping edits only

WSNA Counter Proposals

Full-Time Equivalent – The Union maintained its proposal that a registered nurse who is classified staff at .9 FTE would be defined as full-time, such that salaries and benefits would not be prorated as they are for part-time nurses.

Probationary Period – The Union rejected the Employer’s proposal to allow the probationary period to be extended another three months by mutual agreement of nurse and Employer. Instead, the Union counter-proposed that the evaluation three months into the probationary period, already stipulated by current contract language, would be made in writing, and that the nurse would receive a copy of the evaluation for the nurse’s signature. Under this proposal, any deficiencies in a probationary nurse would be are included in the evaluation, an action plan shall be put in place that will include specific skills and training to address the deficiencies.

Employee files – In response to the Employer’s proposal that notes or files in which an employee was the subject of an investigation or allegation related to sexual misconduct would not be removed from the employee’s file when other files are removed after three years, the Union counter-proposed that only files containing investigations and allegations that resulted in findings of a nurse’s sexual misconduct would be exempt from that removal. The counter-proposal further stated that within one week of adding such a record, the nurse would be notified by the nurse manager and/or Human Resources that such notes or files contain such information.

Work Stoppage – As a counter to the Employer’s proposal that they would not waive their right to bargain mandatory subject of bargaining within the life of the contract, the union proposed to strike the article stating that neither the union nor its members would participate in any strike or work stoppage.

UW Initial Proposals

Development of a Floating Tool – The Employer proposed a new MOU in which the parties would agree to request facilitated mediation from the state of Washington’s Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) within 90 days of ratification to develop a tiered floating tool. This tool would create an equitable and effective method of responding to changes in staffing needs across all three hospitals: UW Medical Center – Montlake, UW Medical Center – Northwest, and Harborview Medical Center. The parties would commit to meeting at least monthly with the facilitator/mediator, for up to 12 months, to fully discuss and work together to develop a process. Up to four nurses at UWMC-ML would be provided paid time to attend each session. The goals would be to address census fluctuations while supporting a healthy work environment for staff, to increase recruitment and retention through growth opportunities, and to ensure quality patient care.

UW Counter Proposals

Per Diem Night Shift Differential – In response to the Union’s proposal, the Employer proposed to increase the night shift differential for represented per diem nurses from $4.25 to $4.50.

Per Diem Overtime – The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal to add language stating that represented per diem nurses would be paid daily overtime for work in excess of the scheduled shift, including work in advance of a scheduled shift, per existing practice. The Employer proposed to maintain current language stating that hours of work for employees shall be established by the employing official, which the Union had proposed to strike.

Staffing Concerns – The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal that if a staffing situation is not remedied, nurses would be able to file an Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) when safely able to do so, and that no nurse would be retaliated against for filing an ADO. In response to the Union’s other proposals surrounding staffing, the Employer additionally proposed to provide a report on the number of staff and travelers in each unit during Conference Committee each month.

Workplace Violence – In response to the Union’s proposals regarding workplace violence, the Employer proposed to add language to the contract describing the Workplace Violence Prevention Committee, which is tasked with the development, implementation and monitoring of the WPVP plan. Additionally, the Employer proposed that one nurse selected by WSNA could participate in the WVPC Committee on paid time.

Next Steps

The next UWMC – Montlake and WSNA bargaining session is scheduled for May 18 and will be held virtually.