Labor Relations

UW – SAG-AFTRA Negotiations Recap for 6/28 and 6/30/22


This recap details the eighth and ninth sessions for the negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement between the University of Washington (UW) and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) for KUOW. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.

The UW and SAG-AFTRA contract expired on June 30, 2022, and the parties did not reach a tentative agreement. The Employer has requested mediation from the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) and asked the Union to jointly participate.

UW Economic Proposals

Article 39 – Compensation
The Employer proposed a 3% across-the-board increase to all members of the bargaining unit over their current salary on July 1, 2022, or on the first available pay period following ratification as determined by the Employer, whichever is later. The Employer proposed an additional 3% across-the-board increase on July 1, 2023 and again July 1, 2024.

The Employer proposed a 9% increase to minimum salaries for all job classes on July 1, 2022, or on the first available pay period following ratification as determined by the Employer, whichever is later. This proposed increase is aimed to align with the 6% across-the-board increases already provided in the 2019 – 2022 contract as well as the 3% increase proposed for the first year of the 2022 – 2025 contract. The Employer also proposed 3% increases to minimum salaries in the second and third year of the contract (July 1, 2023 and July 1, 2024: 3%, respectively) to reflect the same pace as the proposed across-the-board increases. 

MOU – Ratification Lump Sum Payment
In response to the Union’s economic proposals, the Employer proposed a MOU that states if a tentative agreement was reached by June 30, 2022, and the contract was ratified, employees would receive a single one-time lump sum payment of $750.

SAG-AFTRA Economic Proposals

Article 39 – Compensation
The Union proposed to increase minimum salaries on July 1, 2022 by a range of 17% to 29%, depending on the position. This would result in pay increases of 6% to 22%, for most individual employees depending upon their position and current salary. The Union proposed that all employees would receive an across-the-board increase of 3.5% on July 1, 2022 if not impacted by at least that much when raising the minimums.

The Union also proposed across-the-board increases of 3.5% on July 1, 2023 and 3.5% on July 1, 2024. They also proposed that minimum annual salaries would increase 3.5% on July 1, 2023 and July 1, 2024, reflecting the across-the-board increases.

Temporary Pay Increase
The Union proposed to decrease from ten to five the number of consecutive working days an employee would have to be temporarily assigned additional duties or higher-level responsibilities to qualify for the Employer’s proposed 5% increase over their current salary.

Article 38 – Broadcast Host Premium
In response to the Employer, the Union proposed that broadcast hosts would receive a premium in the amount of $350 for every five working days that they are temporarily assigned as a broadcast host. Most recently the Employer had proposed $500 for every ten working days (an increase from the current contract cap of $500 for ten days and above). 

SAG-AFTRA Counter Proposals

Article 7 – Union Security
In response to the Employer’s proposal that the Union would submit dues authorizations to the Employer electronically, the Union proposed that it could provide input to the Employer regarding its development of a web based electronic dues reporting system, but not be required to use it. Upon completion of said system, the parties would meet and confer regarding the Union’s participation in the system. 

Article 9 – Overtime
The Union accepted the Employer’s proposal to add language stating that the Employer determines the products, services, and standards that must be met by employees, and the level of overtime necessary to complete the work, but the Union proposed additional language stating that the Employer would work to reduce the amount of necessary overtime for overtime eligible employees while limiting the impact on the current level of quality of work. The Union proposed to add additional language stating that the Employer would work with over-time exempt employees to balance workload, compensated hours, and quality of work. 

Article 20 – Leaves
In response to the Employer, the Union accepted the Employer’s proposal to add language stating that if the Employer implements a new category of time off or modifies policy regarding use of an existing type of time off for professional staff at KUOW, that is more generous than the terms within this agreement, the Employer would provide the Union with information regarding the change. The Union could request to meet and discuss said information.

MOU – Discretionary Time Off
In response to the Employer’s proposal to incorporate the edits to the Discretionary Time Off (DTO) policy in exchange for the Union’s withdrawal of its grievance and unfair labor practice complaint related to DTO, the Union proposed that bargaining union members would receive three additional days of discretionary leave.

The Union also proposed new language stating that the Employer and Union recognize the trauma that journalists can suffer while covering sensitive stories or being placed in sensitive situations. As such, the Employer would be committed to working with bargaining unit employees to reduce the exposure to and effects of such trauma. 

New Article – Classifications and Reclassifications
The Union proposed that the Employer would agree to notify the Union of any proposed reclassifications of occupied bargaining unit positions into non-bargaining unit positions at least 45 days prior to implementation, rather than the Employer’s proposed 30 days. The Union also proposed language stating that employees could request salary reviews for reasons of market competitiveness, internal equity, increased responsibility, or retention.

Tentative Agreements

The parties verbally tentatively agreed to the following:

Article 14 – Temporary Hourly Fill-Ins

  • Added language stating that the usage of temporary hourly fill-in employees may also be an appropriate agenda item for Joint Union Management committee meetings
  • Parties agreed that the Employer shall provide the Union with the name of temporary hourly fill-in hires, expected length of hire, and the reason for the hire, within 10 business days of their hire.

Article 36 – Cell Phone Policy

  • Modified language states phone replacement will be determined by the Employer, and employees may provide input on specifications. Upon request, employees who were last issued a cell phone at least three years ago will be provided with a replacement.

New Article – Sick Time Off

  • New article describes accrual of sick time and use thereof. The article also explains that vacation time off may be used as sick time off when authorized, and that vacation time off may be used as sick time if an employee falls ill while using vacation time off. The article states that sick time would neither be abused nor arbitrarily denied, and that verification may be requested for sick time off longer than three days. Lastly, the article describes provisions surrounding cashing out sick time and family care leave.