Labor Relations

WSNA – UW (Northwest) Tentative Agreement Recap


The UW has reached a tentative agreement with WSNA on a successor CBA for UWMC – Northwest for the 2021-23 biennium. Highlights of the tentative agreement are below, and copies of each provision will soon be posted on the contract website.

Tentative Agreement Highlights

  • Wages
    • Bargaining unit members will receive an across-the-board increase of 1% on July 1, 2021 and 2% on July 1, 2022.
    • The wage scales will be aligned with wage scales at UWMC – Montlake, which will increase by 5% per the agreement they recently ratified. At UWMC-NW, any step on the wage scale that is above the 5% increase at Montlake will remain the same, but any other step will increase to match Montlake.
    • The RN 3 scale will be amended to reflect 8% above the RN2 scale at each step of the wage scale. Charge Nurse will remain $2.50 above each step on the RN2, scale and Float Nurse will remain $5.00 above each step on the RN 2 scale
  • Standby
    • The standby premium will increase from $4.00 to $4.25 for employees working 30 or fewer hours of standby.
    • The threshold at which employees receive the higher premium of $6.25 will decrease from 50 to 30 hours.
  • Shift Differential
    • Nurses are paid shift differential if they work more than four hours on a designated shift. The threshold was two hours under previous language.
  • Holiday Addition
    • Juneteenth (June 19) was added as an additional paid holiday.
  • Unscheduled Weekend Pay
    • Unscheduled weekend is defined as a shift that is in addition to the nurses posted scheduled shifts after the schedule is posted and when the nurse is performing direct nursing care. Nurses that agree to work unscheduled weekend shifts shall be paid at double time the regular rate of pay.
  • Rest Between Shift Update
    • Nurses will qualify to receive the rest between shift premium if they do not receive 11 hours rest between regularly scheduled shifts.
  • Shift Rotations
    • A nurse is entitled to take up to 24 hours’ rest before an after a shift rotation occurs if the change in start time is greater than ten hours. The Employer will limit shift rotations to twice per 28-schedule, with a rotation defined as a change of start time greater than eight hours.
  • Administrative Time
    • RN3s approved to schedule administrative time before or after a scheduled shift shall be paid at their regular rate of pay. The Employer will not initiate requests for nurses to work their administrative time before or after their scheduled shift.
  • Education Funds and Leave
    • Hours of educational professional leave available to nurses decreased from 48 to 40 hours.
    • Educational support funds increased from $200.00 to $250.00 the amount per bargaining member, and the maximum support funds available to each member increased from $300 to $500.
    • Remaining language was change to align with educational professional leave with UWMC-Montlake. Language was incorporated that explains usage of the leave and funds, education funds tracking, and the tuition exemption program.
  • Leave
    • All articles containing updated to clarify conditions and benefits currently available to employees regarding parental leave, leave due to family care emergencies, military leave with or without pay, leave without pay for reason of faith or conscience, leave of absence without pay in general, bereavement, domestic violence leave, workers compensation leave, FMLA, and PFML.
  • Workplace Violence
    • The parties agreed to incorporate language regarding workplace violence. The language describes the extant Workplace Violence Prevention Committee and its tasks. WSNA may select one nurse to participate in the WVPC; that nurse may participate on paid time.
  • Layoff
    • Paid or unpaid leave will no longer impact layoff seniority therefore employees who have taken leave (e.g. FMLA) will not have their layoff seniority adversely impacted for utilizing protected leave.
    • Layoff options will be selected within clusters, and displacement and rehire will occur within clusters, rather than within the bargaining unit at large. The clusters a defined in a new appendix.
    • In the event of layoff, positions offered to nurses as layoff options will be positions with any FTE, rather than positions that are only within 0.2 FTE of the nurse’s current FTE.
  • Low Census
    • The parties agreed to change the order of staff decrease in the event of low census. First the Employer will cancel agency nurses, then travelers, then incentive shifts, then overtime shifts, then per diem nurses, then part-time nurses working above their assigned FTE. Then they would ask for volunteers, then work by rotating seniority to low census regular nurses.
  • Restructure/Schedule Rebid
    • The parties agreed to new language detailing the framework for restructures and schedule rebids. The language outlines the notification period, the posting of new positions, the rebid process, the process for the assignment of FTE by seniority, and implementation.
  • Probationary Period
    • The probationary period was increased from 90 days to six months.
  • Trial Service Period
    • Nurses who transfer promote, or voluntarily demote within the bargaining unit shall serve a trial service period of six months. A nurse serving a trial service period may voluntarily revert to their former permanent position within six weeks of the appointment, provided that the position has not been filled. After that, they may revert with the permission of the employer.
  • Temporary Assignment to a Higher Position
    • Whenever a nurse is temporarily assigned to regularly perform the principal duties of a higher-level position for a period of five or more scheduled working days they shall be paid a temporary hourly increase (THI) of at least five percent (5%) over the present salary
  • Represented Per Diems
    • This new article defines per diem employees and describes hiring practice, hours of work, compensation, ending employment, time off and leave, as well as expectations. The new article also clarifies which provisions in the CBA are applicable to per diems.
    • Per diem nurses are not eligible for other premiums in the contract besides those listed in the article.
  • Grievance Procedure
    • The grievance procedure will align with that of UWMC-Montlake. The most significant difference concerns adding a step for mediation, which either party may request. The alignment will allow more time to initially file a grievance and move it to arbitration.
  • Release Time
    • The Employer will provide paid release time for up to eight WSNA-designated bargaining team members for up to eight sessions during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. Previous contract language stated six members for six sessions.
  • Multi-Campus Floating Discussion
    • If SEIU 1199 and WSNA at UWMC-NW agree to participate, the parties will meet and discuss floating among the three hospitals. The purposes of the discussion are to increase development opportunities, staff satisfaction, recruitment and retention opportunities, and to improve patient care.
  • Voluntary Float Between Campuses
    • When there is low patient volume in a specific unit or department, management may float nurses who volunteer to do so between UWMC-Montlake and UWMC-NW for a float premium of $4.00. This premium will apply to nurses already receiving a premium for being in the float team and cannot be stacked with any other float premiums. Nurses will be reimbursed for mileage and parking at the second site per university policy.

Next Steps

Members of WSNA will vote on the tentative agreement. The voting outcome, along with a further summary of any agreement reached, will be posted once available.