UAW RSE – UW Negotiations Recap for January 18
This recap details the eleventh virtual session between the University of Washington (UW) and United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 4121 for the first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for Research Scientist Engineers (RSEs). Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.
The parties tentatively agreed to the following:
Salary Overpayment Recovery
- Outlines the process followed when the Employer has determined that an employee has been overpaid wages
Recognition of Work
- Language states that publication credits shall accurately reflect the contributions and work of the individuals involved as determined by the University
- Incorporates the agreement reached at the state level healthcare Coalition bargaining for the 21-23 biennium as well as the 23-25 biennium
Union Counter Proposals
Time Off and Leave
Bereavement – The Union accepted the Employer’s proposal that bereavement time off would last up to three days but also proposed that up to two additional days could be granted if significant travel is required to attend a funeral or memorial service.
Vacation Time Off – The Union maintained its proposal that new employees would receive some hours of vacation time at the beginning of the month following the start of employment, but in response to the Employer, reduced the amount of those hours from 60 to 50. The Union otherwise accepted the Employer’s proposals regarding vacation time off.
Sick Time Off – The Union maintained its proposal that new employees would receive some hours of sick time at the beginning of the month following the start of employment, but in response to the Employer, reduced the amount of those hours from 48 to 40. The Union also maintained its proposal to include in the sick time off section language regarding use of sick time off for emergency childcare or because of condolence or bereavement. (The Employer had proposed to strike this language, stating that language regarding emergency family care is often in its own section or article.) The Union otherwise accepted the Employer’s proposals regarding sick time off.
Washington Family Medical Leave Program (PFML) – The Union accepted the Employer’s proposal that bereavement time off could be used as a supplemental benefit when the employee is approved for PFML family leave.
Discretionary Time Off – The Union proposed a new section in their proposed Time Off and Leaves article describing discretionary time off. The new section is largely based on the “Discretionary Time Off” section of the Professional Staff Program on the University of Washington HR website. Under this proposal, discretionary time off would be paid time off awarded to an employee for a noteworthy achievement or effort that contributes to the unit’s mission, goals, or objectives, and up to six days (48 hours) of discretionary time off could be awarded per calendar year. The new language describes how the supervisor would request in writing the discretionary time off to be awarded, what the request would contain, how the request would be reviewed, and that approval would be retained in the employee’s department file if granted. The section also describes the use of discretionary time off, which includes order and timeline for use. The discretionary time off would have no cash value and could not be donated as shared leave.
Transportation and Commute Reduction
Parking – The Union accepted the Employer’s modifications on the Union’s proposal that the Union could bargain changes to parking policy; the modifications clarify that the Union could not bargain impacts of parking rate increases, parking payment automation, or increases/decreases in the number of parking spaces, but could bargain impacts of changes to parking access policy at sites operated by the University Transportation Services Department.
Showers – The Union maintained language stating that Employees would have access to shower facilities in their designated work location but accepted the Employer’s proposal that if an employee’s designated work location does not provide access to have shower facilities, upon the request of the employee, access to shower facilities could be granted at a nearby University-controlled building that has available employee shower facilities. The Union rejected the Employer’s proposal that shower access would not be subject to the grievance procedure.
Employer Counter Proposals
Workspace and Materials
The Employer’s response to the Union’s article regarding Workspace and Materials is based on the Union’s language. The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal that the UW would provide reasonable access to facilities, services, texts and instructional support required for the position but added that what would be required for the position would be determined by the Employer. The Employer also proposed additional language clarifying that any reimbursement employees received for materials and services not provided by the department would be for materials and services required by the supervisor. Under this proposal, reimbursement would have to be approved by the supervisor or Principal Investigator prior to purchase. The Employer also proposed that in those cases where an employee fails to return the provided materials or equipment, the employee may be required to reimburse the Employer the depreciated value of the items.
Non-Discrimination and Harassment
In response to the Union, the Employer proposed language based on the Tentative Agreement (TA) reached in UAW Postdocs bargaining, with the modification that a complaint could be filed as a grievance in accordance with the grievance procedure and/or in compliance with complaint procedures in APS 46.3. The Postdoc TA language stated that complaints could be filed as a grievance or with UCIRO; APS 46.3 includes filing complaints with UCIRO as well as other complaint resolution procedures. The proposal did not include language from the Postdoc TA regarding the equity survey, and the Employer confirmed that it is rejected the Union’s proposal regarding administering the equity survey to RSEs.
Reasonable Accommodation of Employees with Disabilities
In response to the Union, the Employer proposed language based on the UW Disability Services Office (DSO) website describing DSO and the process for requesting accommodations. The Employer also proposed to accept the Union’s language stating that medical information disclosed to the Employer would be kept in a file stored separately from the employee’s Official Personnel File. The Employer also proposed to accept the Union’s proposal that compensatory time could be used for disability leave in addition to the other types of time off.
The Employer’s response to the Union’s article on Professional Development is based on the Union’s language.
Professional Development Funds – The Employer proposed language stating the employees wishing to utilize professional development funds should discuss potential opportunities with their supervisor during the annual performance evaluation, in response to the Union’s proposed language, which stated that such discussion is encouraged. The Employer also proposed that utilization of professional development funds may include the list of activities the Union proposed, rather than would include said list.
In response to the Union, the Employer proposed that supervisors would have discretion to approve professional development funds and/or paid release time. The Union’s proposal was more specific, stating that supervisors may access professional development funds on behalf of their employees when a professional development opportunity is needed, and that if events funded in this way were to take place during work time, employees would not be required to take leave. The Employer also added language to clarify that paid release time for professional development would also have to be consistent with sponsor requirements.
The Employer also proposed that denial of professional development funds or paid release time would not be subject to the grievance procedure.
Professional Leave Without Pay – The Employer proposed to modify the Union’s language to clarify that where applicable, eligibility for professional leave without pay may be contingent upon approval by an external funding agency. The Employer also proposed language clarifying that all professional leave without pay would require approval.
Mentorship – The Employer rejected the Union’s proposal that the Employer and the Union would form a joint committee to discuss mentorship needs and opportunities across campus.
The next UAW and UW bargaining session is scheduled for January 23 and will be held virtually.