WSNA – UW (Montlake) Negotiations Recap for June 8, 10, and 14
This recap details the eighth 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.
The parties tentatively agreed to the following:
Article 13 – Family Medical Leave Act and Parental Leave
- Clean-up language clarifying conditions and benefits currently available to employees regarding parental leave, leave due to family care emergencies, PFML, and FMLA.
Article 14 – Other Leaves
- Expanded child care emergencies to family care emergencies by adding coverage for elder care emergencies.
- Sick time off for child care emergencies is not limited to six days
Article 19 – Grievance Procedure
- The parties tentatively agreed to current contract language
New Article – PFML Supplemental Benefits
- Moved this MOU into the body of the contract
MOU: Salary Overpayment Recovery
- New MOU outlines the process followed when the Employer has determined that an employee has been overpaid wages.
UW Economic Presentation
Milliman Classified Staff Salary Study – On June 8, UW HR Compensation presented an analysis of how the compensation for the RN2 benchmark job classification compares to market. The analysis is based on salary data (actual data) from the published 2021 NW Healthcare Milliman survey and can be found here.
UW Package Proposal
On June 8, the Employer presented a package proposal that included an initial economic proposal of a 1% across-the-board wage increase on July 1, 2021 and another 1% on July 1, 2022, as well as a 3% increase to the RN2 wage scale for recruitment and retention purposes. The proposal also included that the RN 3 scale would be amended to maintain the RN3 scale at 8% above the RN 2 scale at each step of the wage scale. The package contained previous proposals concerning floating, scheduling flexibility, standby, rest between shifts.
On June 10, the Union and Employer exchanged several counter-packages in response to the above provisions. Below, please find the most recent package from the Employer. A package means that all provisions would need to be accepted in their entirety. If the package is not accepted in its entirety, the party proposing the package may withdraw the proposals.
Wages – The Employer proposed to increase wages across-the-board by 1% on July 1, 2021 and another 2% on July 1, 2022.
Recruitment and Retention Increase – The Employer proposed to increase the wage scale for RN2s by 5% for recruitment and retention purposes. The Employer also proposed that the RN 3 scale would be amended to maintain the RN3 scale at 8% above the RN 2 scale at each step of the wage scale.
Standby Premium – The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal to increase the standby premium from $4.00 to $4.25 for employees working 30 or fewer hours of standby. The Employer also accepted Union’ s proposal to reduce from over 50 hours to over 30 hours the threshold at which employees receive the higher premium of $6.25.
Mandatory Standby Units – The Employer maintained its proposal to add Neonatal ICU, Perinatal Daily, and the Emergency Department to departments that require classified nurses to take call.
Development of a Floating Tool – The Employer maintained its initial proposal regarding facilitated mediation for the development of a floating tool. Under this proposal, 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.
Float Between Campuses – The Employer rejected the Union’s proposal that float between campuses would be voluntary; however, the Employer added language to its proposal in response to Union members concerns about orientation to areas where a nurse is floated. The language explains how a nurse would be oriented, which would include a review of emergency procedures, a tour of the physical environment, and review of patient assignment. The language also states that nurses would not be required to perform new procedures without nursing supervision, and that nurses would seek supervisory guidance for those tasks or procedures for which they have not been trained. The Employer’s counter-proposal also addressed how floats would be assigned, first floating volunteers, then travelers, then staff on a rotating basis.
Pre-Scheduled Voluntary Overtime – The Employer maintained its proposal that if a pre-scheduled voluntary overtime shift is cancelled at least one hour prior to the start of the shift, the premium would not be paid. The parties are in agreement with the remainder of the provision, which states that after the initial scheduled bid is incorporated and posted the Employer could offer pre-scheduled voluntary overtime shifts. The shifts would be compensated at the rate of time and one-half the regular rate of pay plus an additional two hours of extra pay for the shift. The nurse would receive the premium pay for a minimum work period of three hours. This could not be bundled with call back.
Scheduling – The Employer maintained its proposal 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. The Employer also maintained its proposal to strike language stating that nurses with greater than ten years seniority are entitled to retain their shift length if they are assigned to a unit that changes their length of shift by greater than two hours. However, in response to the Union’s proposals, the Employer proposed that the language surrounding nurses with ten years seniority would apply to nurses with twenty years seniority; under this proposal, nurses with twenty years seniority would no longer be entitled to retain their unit, but could retain their shift length if they were assigned to a unit that changes their length of shift by greater than two hours.
Work Schedule – The Employer rejected the Union’s proposal to increase from 16 to 28 the number of days prior to the scheduled period of work that the work and on-call schedules would be posted.
Rest Between Shifts – In response to the Union’s proposal, the Employer proposed that nurses who work any shift length would qualify to receive the Rest Between Shifts premium if they do not receive 11 hours rest between regularly scheduled shifts.
Reallocation – The Employer maintained its proposal that upon reclassification, the nurse’s progression start would change, as is the case elsewhere in the UW. The new date would be the first of the current month for effective dates falling between the first and fifteenth of the month and the first of the following month for effective dates falling between the sixteenth and the end of the month.
Staffing Plan – The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal to add language stating that the Employer would post, in a public area on each patient care unit, the nurse staffing plan. In the interest of staff safety, the Employer rejected the Union’s proposal to post the nurse staffing schedule in a public area.
U-PASS – The Employer rejected the Union’s proposal that nurses who use bicycles to travel to and from work would not be charged any fees to use secure bicycle storage/lock-up stands or other facilities. The Employer rejected the Union’s proposal that 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.
Complete Agreement – The Employer withdrew its proposal to strike language waiving their right to bargain mandatory subjects of bargaining within the life of the contract.
Class Specifications – In exchange for striking the Class Specifications in Appendix I from the contract, the Employer agreed to add a link to the Class Specification on the website, and added language stating that should the University decide to create, eliminate, or modify class specifications, it would notify the Union in advance of implementing the action. The language also states that the UW would meet and bargain any impacts with the Union over its proposed action, as is current practice and dictated by law.
Personnel Files – The Employer maintained its proposal that notes or files in which the employee was the subject of an investigation, allegation, or findings of sexual misconduct could be kept more than three years, but accepted the Union’s language stating that in cases where there were no findings, the investigative file would not be part of the official personnel file. The Employer rejected the Union’s proposal that Human Resources would limit its retention of other notes and files to three years, as the University has a longer retention policy.
The next UW and WSNA bargaining session is scheduled for June 18 and will be held virtually.