Labor Relations

SEIU 1199 | UWMC – Northwest Negotiations Recap for May 19


This recap details the first virtual session for bargaining the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between just the UW Medical Center – Northwest (UWMC-NW) and Service Employees International (SEIU) 1199NW.  The prior two virtual sessions included UW Harborview Medical Center and UWMC-NW. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.

SEIU 1199 Initial Proposals

Low Census – The Union proposed to strike low census language from the collective bargaining agreement, thereby eliminating low census staffing at UWMC – NW.  The proposal would also eliminate UWMC-NW’s ability to float surplus staff to other areas of the hospital when low census occurs.

Break Relief CNAs – The Union proposed that break relief CNA positions would be added to the current staffing plan of the Surgical Unit, Medical Unit, ICU/CCU, SCU/TEL, Adult Psych, 2 East/DSU, and MSE.

Vacation Cap – The Union proposed to extend the time that employees with vacation time in excess of 240 hours would be permitted to keep and utilize the vacation time from June 30, 2021 to June 30, 2023.

Grievance Procedure – The Union proposed to adopt the grievance procedure in the Harborview Medical Center/Airlift Northwest (HMC/ALNW) CBA, which would replace the current grievance procedure at Northwest Hospital. Differences between the HMC/ALNW CBA and the current contract language of the UWMC-NW CBA include a Step before arbitration for mutually agreed engagement in mediation, as well as an additional two weeks to file an initial grievance, for a total of 30 days from the date the grievant is aware that a grievance exists. The new language would also ensure that delegates are paid release time for grievance meetings.

Job Postings – The Union proposed after a position is posted internally for seven days, the positon would be posted additionally to publicly available job search engines. The Union also proposed that when notice is provided to the Employer that an FTE will be permanently vacated, the Employer would post the same FTE no more than two weeks after receiving notice of the position being vacated. The Union proposed that grant-funded positions would be posted according to the funding amount provided. The Union also proposed that if an employee had assumed multiple part-time FTEs over the course of service, the original FTEs would be posted as individual jobs after that employee’s departure. The Union also proposed that the Employer would provide temporary coverage for positions vacant for periods of time due to FMLA, PFMLA, parental leave, or other types of protected leave within two weeks.

Decrease in Hours – The Union proposed that if a decrease in hours persisted for a period in excess of three months, an employee could request a review of hours relative to their FTE. The intent of the proposal would be to allow employees to decrease their FTE as needed.

Future Negotiations – The Union proposed to adopt for negotiations for the 2023-2025 CBA an MOU from the HMC/ALNW CBA, which establishes Ground Rules for bargaining the 2021-2023 contract. The proposed additions to the HMC/ALNW MOU were as follows: a member of the Executive Team of UWMC-NW would be present at all sessions; that the Employer would provide paid release time for one bargaining team member per 100 employees represented by SEIU Healthcare 1199NW; and the Employer would provide paid release time to attend Statewide Healthcare Coalition Bargaining for four employees of UWMC-NW (in addition to the four employees proposed from HMC for Statewide Healthcare Coalition Bargaining).

Next Steps

The next UWMC-NW and SEIU 1199NW bargaining session is scheduled for May 26 and will be held virtually.