UW Libraries & SEIU 925 Negotiations Recap for May 4, 2022
This recap details the fifteenth virtual session for the initial collective bargaining agreement between the UW Libraries and SEIU 925. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website. The parties agreed to ground rules for these negotiations.
- Article – Washington Family Medical Leave Program
- The parties agreed to a revised tentative agreement to add language from a recent law change that includes bereavement as potential supplemental benefits when an employee qualifies for PFML family leave.
- Article – Unpaid Holidays for a Reason of Faith or Conscience
- The parties agreed to language based off of other existing contract language in addition to language for holiday credit to be used as possible leave time. In lieu of unpaid time off, requests to utilize compensatory time, personal holiday or vacation time off for reasons of faith or conscience may only be denied if the employee’s absence would impose an undue hardship on the employee as defined by Chapter 82-56 WAC or that the employee is necessary to maintain public safety.
Union Counter Proposals
Employee Facilities – In response to the Employer, the Union proposed language that the Employer would maintain adequate, accessible, safe and existing locker rooms and showers. The Union proposed language stating that the denial of gender affirming facilities contributes to the marginalization of students, employees and library users. The Union proposed if private work spaces are unavailable, that the sharing of workspaces would be by mutual agreement of the affected employees. The Union proposed if an employee is required to report to a secondary work location, that there would be temporary workspace made available and equipped with comparable permanent work stations.
Health and Safety – In response to the Employer, the Union proposed to reassert their previous positions to include language that the Employer would meet or exceed federal, state and local health guidelines and zero tolerance for hate speech, transphobia, racism, or other marginalizing actions and would be communicated. Additional language would include that if the work site was hazardous or unfit, then the employees would be granted alternative work sites or telework. The Union proposed that the Employer would offer ergonomic workplace options, personal protective equipment, and private rooms for employees to take wellness breaks. The Union proposed guidelines surrounding in the event of a public authority health related guidance that alters operations. The Union proposed proper air quality measures in alignment with normal building system operations, walk throughs and evaluations.
Leave Related to Domestic Violence Sexual Assault or Stalking – In response to the Employer, the Union proposed to add language that both parties would promote the knowledge of employees rights with regard to leave related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, and would include an Employer annual notice of this right to bargaining unit employees.
Miscellaneous Leave – In response to the Employer, the Union proposed to expand the language around unpaid time off for formal collective bargaining to include when it would not be a designated member of the Union negotiating team. The Union proposed language to include the Bereavement article under unpaid time off and maintains the Parental leave article under unpaid time off as well. The Union proposed that the cancellation of unpaid time off would include reasons for such misuse in addition to extreme circumstances. The proposal includes that a date to return would be set by mutual agreement during any extreme circumstances that unpaid time off would need to be rescinded.
Employer Counter Proposals
Sick Time Off – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed language stating that employees with unpaid time off exceeding 80 hours in a month (prorated for part-time) will earn a monthly accrual proportionate to the number of hours in pay status (not to exceed eight hours). The Employer included language in which all sick time off would be returned to any former eligible re-employed employee within five years of separation, clarifying current state law.
Tuition Exemption Program – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed language stating that the Employer would notify the Employee, if there are any operational needs that would prevent the allowance of flextime for Employees who wish to take a class during their regular work hours.
Suspended Operations– In response to the Union, the Employer proposed language clarifying the distinction between suspended operations protocols for those performing essential and non-essential services.
The next UW Libraries and SEIU 925 bargaining session is scheduled for May 17 and will be held virtually.