Labor Relations

UW Libraries & SEIU 925 Negotiations Recap for December 6, 2022


This recap details the thirty second virtual session for the initial collective bargaining agreement between the UW Libraries and SEIU 925. This is the sixth session with PERC mediation. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website. The parties agreed to ground rules for these negotiations.

Tentative Agreements

  • Article – Duties and Assignments
    • The parties agreed to language regarding duties and assignments. Librarian core duties will be approximately 80% of their annual workload and research and service will be approximately 20%. In addition to their overall class concept, Libraries and Press Professional employees work includes opportunities for professional development. Other work-related activities approved by their supervisor will also be considered part of the employee’s regular work, including but not limited to, committee appointments, research, service, performance-evaluation documentation, and re-classification documentation. An employee should initiate discussions with their supervisor as soon as they anticipate any workload-related issues. Supervisors will work with employees to provide support by assisting in setting priorities and adjusting workload, when possible. For overtime exempt employees, this may include supervisor approval of offsetting time. The article outlines assignment of additional duties, stating that it will require a documented conversation with the expectations, duration, and how the current work would be adjusted.
  • Article – Hiring
    • The parties agreed to language regarding the process and determination of filling positions by the Employer as soon as possible to fill a vacancy. Notice of a vacant position will be made available to the bargaining unit employees with at least a minimum of 7 calendar days prior to the closing of the application period. The temporary librarian appointments can be filled by a competitive or a non-competitive process. There will be a requirement at UW Libraries, Law Library and Press for implicit bias trainings for all search committee members prior to the beginning of a search. All job vacancy announcements and advertisements will include reference to the CBA and include wage and salary information in accordance with the law.
  • Article – Resignation, Abandonment, and Re-Employment
    • The parties agreed to language similar to that of the main SEIU 925, encouraging employees to provide at least two weeks’ written notice of resignation.  The article includes language regarding the presumption of resignation and job abandonment after three consecutive missed workdays. The article covers exit interviews, and the Union is able to request the Employer’s exit interview questions. For re-employment upon retirement, the parties agreed that those who meet the eligibility requirements may be selected by the dean to be considered for re-employment annually for not more than forty percent of their appointment status. After retirement, an employee may apply at least 90 days in advance of the first year of their retirement. The language specifies that re-employment after retirement is the sole discretion of the University and not subject to the grievance procedure or the seniority, layoff and rehire articles.
  • Article – Classification and Reclassification of Professional Libraries and Press Employees
    • The parties agreed to language similar to the main SEIU 925 CBA and includes a process for revising or creating new job classifications. The parties also agreed to a position review process in which either party may request the review, and utilizes an appeals process, when needed.
  • Article – Probation for Professional Libraries and Press Employees
    • The parties agreed to language to include a six consecutive month probationary period upon the initial appointment into a Professional Libraries and Press Employee position.  Probation may be extended up to twelve months and would include a written explanation, but would not be a normal practice. Feedback shall be provided during the probationary period including the possibility of written performance expectations. If an employee’s performance may result in a rejection, then the supervisor will provide feedback for areas of improvement and offer support when possible. Employees who complete their probationary period shall not need to complete another probationary period within the UW Library system so long as there is no break in service. Employees who move from one position to another within a probationary period will have to restart their probationary period. If an employee is rejected during the probationary period, the employee may request a meeting within 10 business days of notice and is not subject to the grievance procedure, except in the case of discrimination.

Union Counter Proposals

Performance Evaluations – In response to the Employer, the Union proposed language for annual performance evaluation exemptions for Librarians with permanent or continuing status instead favoring an annual performance discussion with their supervisor and supplemented at least every third year with a written performance evaluation; On other years, a written evaluation could be provided upon request. Supervisors could also elect to perform a written evaluation on years where it is not required. On years where promotion, reappointment or status review is occurring, Librarians would not be expected to participate with a written performance evaluation. The Union proposed that written performance evaluations would include professional competence, professional activity, University service and progress in terms of written goals and priorities.

New Employees – In response to the Employer, the Union proposed that online orientations would be offered to employees in positions that permanently telework. The Union proposed that member presenters should be released for up to one hour for orientation online and two hours for in person orientation. The Union maintained its proposal to include language that new employees will be onboarded and trained on their duties for their specific department, including, when applicable, on the contract of their supervisees.

Represented Limited Term Hourly Employees – In response to the Employer, the Union proposed to include the articles on the employee assistance program and parental leave as applicable to this group. The Union maintained its proposal that work hours in excess of thirty hours in a seven-day work week constitutes overtime.

Employer Counter Proposals

The Employer proposed a package proposal of the Appointments and Layoff Articles as follows:

Appointments – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed to align with the Union’s language stating that permanent appointment shall be granted to those librarians whose training, ability, and contributions are of sufficient significance to warrant a commitment on the part of the University to employ them for the remainder of their professional careers, except for resignation, retirement, Corrective Action and Dismissal, and Layoff.

Layoff, Seniority, Rehire – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed that when determining which positions would be impacted during a layoff, a similar process would be used for Librarians and Professional Libraries and Press employees, and seniority (calendar days) would only come into play if all other factors were created equal.  The Employer incorporated the Union’s proposed language stating that employees from the designated rehire lists would be referred based on length of time on the rehire list, longest duration first.  The Employer maintained its proposal to include a thirty day notice period for all layoffs.

Professional Leave – In response to the Union, the Employer incorporated the Union’s proposed language where employees working toward an advanced degree would not typically be granted paid professional leave but that unusual circumstances could result in paid professional leave if recommended by the appropriate Dean to the President. The Employer proposed to maintain the current state for maximum duration of professional leave of up to 12 months for Librarians and 9 months for Professional Libraries and Press Employees, as former Professional Staff.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Anti-Racism – In response to the Union, the Employer proposed language in addition to stating that the Employer would continue the work of developing and administering DEI initiatives with regard to recruitment, retention, advancement and organization-wide.  Adding that, upon request, the parties could meet quarterly to discuss the progress towards goals in the Diversity blueprint.

New MOU Time Grant – The Employer proposed that UW Libraries would continue to offer its employees the existing time grant program for the duration of the CBA.

Professional Development – In response to the Union, the Employer maintained its proposal, not including specific fund amounts for professional development in the CBA.  The Employer proposed that the funding allocations for scholarly meetings, conferences, professional meetings, seminars, professional association membership fees, workshops and webinars would also include any necessary travel costs associated in order to attend these events. The Employer proposed that release time would include UW sponsored training which should be in accordance with Executive Order 52. Any reasons for denial or release time would be provided in writing, upon request.

Next Steps

The next UW Libraries and SEIU 925 bargaining session is scheduled for December 15 and will be held virtually.