WFSE – UW Negotiations Recap for Thursday, July 14, 2022 and Monday, July 18, 2022
This recap details the second and third session for the negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the University of Washington and WFSE. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.
WFSE Initial Proposals
Article 10- Overtime
The Union proposed that when hospital personnel assigned to a 14-day schedule work over eight hours of overtime in a 14-day period, the overtime hours over eight would be paid at a double time rate instead of the time and a half provided by current contract language. The Union also proposed that all overtime opportunities for hospital personnel would be listed within each department and would be assigned on a rotational basis.
The Union also proposed to define “excessive amount of overtime” described in current contract language as 24 hours of overtime in a month for overtime exempt employees. Under this proposal, overtime exempt employees who work excessive overtime could choose additional compensation in cash or compensatory time off. Current contract language states that the employee may petition the Vice President of Human Resources for this compensation in cash or compensatory time off.
The Union also proposed that all employees would accumulate up to 240 hours of compensatory time and that employees would be able to take compensatory time off even if doing so would cause staffing levels to fall below a minimum threshold.
Public Safety Officers
The Union also proposed that, for public safety officers, when mandating overtime is necessary, it would be done on a rotating basis.
Article 11-Training and Professional Development
The Union proposed new language stating that all employees would have opportunity to take eight Professional Development courses per year and that taking these classes would not be stopped by the Employer due to inadequate staffing. The Union proposed that paid release time would be provided for these trainings.
The Union also proposed that the Employer would pay the costs associated with Training and Development sponsored programs while employees are in layoff status. Additionally, the Union proposed that funds for continuing education would be made available for all WFSE represented job classes, not only Surgical Technologists and Hospital Center Services Technicians, and proposed to increase the funding amount from 200 dollars to 400 dollars and all job classifications would receive three days of paid release time for educational or professional leave.
Article 12-Licensure and Certification
The Union proposed that the Employer would cover all costs for the renewal of license and/or certifications directly associated with their job. Under current contract language, the Employer only reimburses employees for the initial cost of required licenses and certifications.
Article 13-Tuition Exemption Program
The Union proposed that the Employer would allow the employee to work a flexible schedule so that the employee could attend classes. Under current contract language, flexible work arrangements to attend classes are subject to the supervisor’s discretion.
The Union proposed that when the holiday falls on the full-time employee’s regularly scheduled work day and is worked, the employee would be paid double time for all hours worked, rather than paid one a half time as stated in the current contract. The Union also proposed that when the holiday falls on the full-time employee’s regularly scheduled work day and is not worked, the employee would be paid for the entirety of their scheduled shift, rather than paid eight hours with the ability to use time off to cover the remainder of the shift. Additionally, the Union proposed that if an employee works at a higher level duty or job classification, they may elect to be immediately cash out at the higher wage rate on their next paycheck.
Article 18-Sick Leave
The Union proposed that an employee who has used all accrued sick leave may be allowed to use accrued vacation leave and/or compensatory time off. Under current contract language, to use vacation or compensatory time for sick leave purposes it must be approved in advance or authorized by the employee’s departmental supervisor. The Union proposed that when an employee has sick leave cashed out for any reason it is done at a 100% rate. Under current contract language, when an employee is cashed out sick leave it is done at a 25% rate. The Union also proposed to expand the definition of family member to include aunt and uncle.
Article 20-Miscellaneous Leave
The Union proposed that leave without pay could be granted to care for family members not included in the family definition of FMLA and PFML, non-job-related education, and mental health. The Union also proposed that upon request, the ISC would provide this information and materials in the employee’s native language.
Article 22-Child/Dependent Care
The Union proposed that the childcare assistance the Employer provides in the current contract would include childcare fees, fully covered drop-in child care facilities at the UW, and fully subsidized care for mentally ill children.
Article 23-Shared Leave
The Union proposed new language stating that shared leave could be donated and used in increments of one or more hours.
Article 26-Civil/Jury Duty Leave and Bereavement Leave
The Union proposed to increase bereavement leave from three days to six. The Union also proposed to expand the definition of family member to include aunt and uncle for purposes of bereavement leave.
Article 31-Health and Safety
The Union proposed new language to try and faster align the Employer with current CDC guidelines when new CDC guidelines come out. The Union proposed to add plexiglass as a listed tool to maintain safe working conditions. The Union added that employees would not be required or directed to share footwear with fellow employees.
Article 32-Uniforms and Special Clothing
The Union proposed new language stating that if the Employer provides uniforms, but the uniform does not fit the employee, and the employee is forced to purchase their own uniform, the Employer would reimburse the employee. The Union proposed to increase the reimbursement for personal items damaged during normal work activities from 200 to 400 dollars. The Union proposed to increase the amount departments may reimburse employees for protective footwear from 100 to 300 dollars. The Union also proposed the Employer would provide biohazard gear if the employee is working with biohazard materials.
Article 33 – Transportation and Commute Trip Reduction
The Union proposed that all employees would pay the equivalent of the swing shift single occupancy / vehicle parking rate while working, and that all employees who commute via motorcycle/e-scooter/bicycle/e-bicycles or any other non-motorized / non-gas vehicle(s), would be provided a parking space and/or a secure bike rack/cage, closest to their assigned work location. The Union also proposed that departments would provide flexible schedules for employees who are facing an economic hardship related to the expenses of commuting to and from work. Lastly, the Union proposed that the Employer would provide free parking when employees are subject to callback or on standby status.
Article 34-Performance Evaluation
The Union proposed new language stating that during the performance evaluation process the employees would be encouraged to provide feedback on management and/or their department and would not be discriminated or retaliated against for giving such feedback.
Article 36-Corrective Action/Dismissal
Corrective Action Process
The Union proposed to add conditions limiting how and when the Employer could determine at which step the corrective process begins; under this proposal, the Employer could consider on which step to begin only if the alleged offense/violation is based on the nature and severity of the problem and warrants a progressive step to be bypassed. The Union also proposed that employees would be provided notice at least 72 hours in advance that they are entitled to have a representative present during formal or final counseling or dismissal. Additionally, the Union proposed to increase from 5 days to 10 the notice provided employees informing them of the reasons for dismissal before a dismissal meeting. The Union proposed to strike language stating that demotion of Leads or Supervisors may be initiated by the Employer at any step of the Corrective Action process.
Removal of Records
The Union proposed that all Informal Counseling records would be removed from all file’s annually. The Union also proposed to decrease from three years to two the amount of time formal or final counseling records would need to be kept before an employee may request them to be removed.
The Union proposed that Formal Counseling could be grieved through every step of the grievance procedure, rather than up to Step Three Mediation only.
Article 38-Seniority, Layoff, Rehire
The Union proposed new language that states that when a position becomes vacant the department would post the position to be bid upon, and would award the position to the most senior employee within the department. This would apply to all promotions, laterals, and voluntary demotions. The Union also proposed that a copy of the Rehire List would be provided to the Union annually, rather than upon request.
Article 39-Resignation and Abandonment
The Union proposed to increase from three to five the number of days an employee could fail to appear for work before the employee would be deemed to have resigned. The Union proposed adding new language that would reinstate a terminated employee f they were “no call/no show” due to a medical emergency and/or the inability of the employee’s family or friends to contact the Employer.
Article 40-Mandatory Subject
The Union proposed to increase the time the Union has to demand to bargain changes when provided notice from 30 days to 45. Specific to contracting out, the Union also proposed that if the Employer fails to provide proper notice to the Union, and the work has begun or concluded, the Employer would compensate all affected employees the total number of hours it took to complete the work. The Union also proposed that Labor Relations would be responsible for notifying employees’ supervisors that employees would need release time, when currently employees request time from their own supervisors.
Article 42-Union Activities, Rights, and Stewards
The Union proposed that new stewards could attend Fact Finding and Step One grievance meetings for training purposes, in addition to the Step Two meetings they can already attend under the current contract. The Union proposed that the Employer would provide the Union with locking bulletin boards in every area the Employer has bulletin boards, and the Union would control the keys.
The Union proposed new language defining emergencies as a sudden unexpected situation that is out of the Employers control and requires immediate action. The Union proposed new language stating that when contracting out is deemed necessary by the Employer, the Employer would take all necessary steps to ensure any work that has been historically performed by University or Medical Center qualified employees is not affected.
Article 48-Staffing Concerns
The Union proposed new language stating that Joint Union/Management meetings (JLM) would be scheduled and both parties would meet within 14 days of the Employer receiving the request. The Union proposed new language stating that the Employer would ensure the patient ratios for Hospital Assistants, Medical Assistants and Patient Care Technicians would not exceed the Nursing staff patient ratios.
Article 55-Contract Publication
The Union proposed that every employee could print out a copy of the new agreement on work time and on state equipment and paper. The Union also proposed that the new agreement would be translated and posted in 11 languages. Where there is any disagreement as to the content of the interpretation of the Agreement, the text in the language in which it was negotiated (English), would prevail over the translation.
Article 58-Term of Agreement
The Union proposed to update the dates of the contract cycle.
The next WFSE and UW bargaining session is scheduled for Monday, August 8, 2022 and will be held virtually.