WSNA – UW (Northwest) Negotiations Recap for May 6
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.
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
Meal/Rest Periods – The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal to add language stating that no nurse would be required to work more than five consecutive hours without a thirty-minute meal period unless there is an urgent patient care need. Language additionally states that if a nurse working a twelve-hour shift voluntarily chooses to waive their right to a second meal period, they would do so in writing on the waiver form provided by the Employer.
Missed Breaks – In response to the Union proposal that the Employer include a category entitled “Missed Rest Breaks” to the time clock, the Employer proposed language stating that nurses would enter and record the missed rest and meal breaks on the time clock, as the category proposed by the Union already exists. Additionally, the Employer proposed language stating that nurses report missed breaks to their unit leadership as possible in order to avoid missing breaks in the first place.
Shift Rotation – The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal to add language stating that a nurse is entitled to take up to 24 hours of rest both before and after a shift rotation occurs if the change in start time from the nurse’s regular shift to the adjusted shift is greater than or equal to ten hours. In response to the Union’s proposal that the Employer limit required shift changes to two per 28-day work schedule with at least 15 hours off between changes, the Employer counter-proposed that they would limit required shift changes to four per 28-day work schedule with at least 15 hours off between changes.
Staffing Concerns – The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal that if a nurse believes there is an immediate workload/staffing problem, the nurse would bring the problem to the attention of the nurse’s Supervisors or Nurse Managers, and 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. The Employer additionally proposed that no nurse would be retaliated against for filing an ADO, as this was proposed and accepted in the UWMC-Montlake bargaining with the same union.
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.
Travel Pay – The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal to add language stating that any nurse required by the Employer to travel to a place of work other than their regular official duty station would be reimbursed for travel costs if eligible, in accordance with University policy.
The next UW and WSNA bargaining session is scheduled for May 19 and will be held virtually.