Labor Relations

UW Libraries & SEIU 925 Negotiations Recap for November 15, 2022


This recap details the twenty-ninth virtual session for the initial collective bargaining agreement between the UW Libraries and SEIU 925. This is the third session with a PERC mediator. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website. The parties agreed to ground rules for these negotiations.

Union Counter Proposals

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Anti-Racism – In response to the Employer, the Union reasserted some language pertaining to the vision of fostering a respectful environment and their proposal to include one additional bargaining unit member, selected by the Union to be appointed to the University of Washington Diversity Council. The Union proposed a quarterly meeting to discuss work being developed within the UW Libraries, UW Press and Gallagher Law Library and with the Employer providing communication on the goals and work prior to each meeting. The Union proposed language from Senate Bill 5227 that the Employer would provide professional development focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and anti-racism and all employees would need to complete an evaluation after participating.

Resignation, Abandonment, and Re-employment – In response to the Employer, the Union proposed that they would be notified of any abandonment of position prior to the notice of separation. The Union reasserted language that includes terms for re-employment upon retirement for librarians and professional libraries and Press Employees.

Time Off Due to Family Care Emergencies – In response to the Employer, the Union accepted the employer’s language that unpaid time off and up to 3 days of each type of paid time off per calendar year may be used due to a family care emergency. The proposal maintained that employees would be eligible to use discretionary time off.

Employer Counter Proposals

Professional Development – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed language that states the funds for professional development would be set aside each fiscal year from July 1 to June 30. The Employer proposed language which requires documented support from the supervisor for the use of professional development funds and the supervisor could request funds on behalf of the employee if the opportunity was needed to support the work of the employee or when an employee’s performance could use improvement. The Employer proposed that employees should submit requests as far ahead as possible and that there would be a good faith effort for a response within two weeks. For Law Librarians, the Employer proposed that in addition to membership fees for Law Librarian professional associations, additional memberships could be requested and funded upon Employer approval. The Employer proposed that employee awareness could be supported by career conversations that could occur outside of performance review. The Employer proposed that release time for training and development programs would be in accordance with Executive Oder 52.

Appointments – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed to add language for temporary and interim appointments where the Employer would meet with the temporary employee to discuss the status of their appointment either in the middle of their original appointment or six months before the end of the appointment.

Classification, Reclassification and Promotion of Professional Libraries and Press Employees – In response to the Union, the Employer agreed to the Union’s proposed title change to specify revising or creating new job classifications. The Employer rejected the Union’s proposal that would allow for the Union to appeal the decision of the employer to accept, reject or modify the proposal of the creation of a new classification.

Duties and Assignments – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed that the job duties for the Libraries and Press Professional employees could include professional development, committee appointments, re-classification documentation, and research and service and would include documentation of a performance evaluation. Additionally, the Employer proposed that supervisors will determine how to incorporate these activities into the employee’s regular work, when possible.

Probation for Professional Libraries and Press Employees – In response to the Union, the Employer’s proposal includes accepting the Union’s proposal to update the title to specify this article is for the Professional Libraries and Press employees. The Employer rejected the Union’s language that supervisors would provide timely feedback and a written performance of expectations during a probationary period for employees that may be rejected from their probationary period and reasserted its proposal that supervisors would generally provide feedback during an employee’s probationary period which may include written performance expectations.

Professional Leave – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed language for paid professional leave based on current policy and process for academic personnel and staff. The Employer proposed separate eligibility criteria for the Librarians and Professional Libraries and Press Employees. Additionally, the Employer’s proposed article addresses the application process, salary, timelines, the return to work obligation and the reporting of leave for both groups.

Promotion and Transfers of Professional Libraries and Press Employees – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed to include language that during a position review, when there could be a reclassification into a higher salary range without a competitive process along with the other definitions in this article. The Employer proposed language to clarify that a reclassification or a competitive process could move an employee into a lateral position. The Employer accepted the Union’s language that there would be no limit to the amount of bargaining unit applicants who could be given an interview for an open bargaining unit position.

Inclement Weather and Suspended Operations – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed to reassert their previous proposal and maintain current practice regarding employees performing essential services.

Next Steps

The next UW Libraries and SEIU 925 bargaining session is scheduled for November 22 and will be held virtually.