Skip navigation - Jump to main content
UWHR to launch new website at end of July! Learn more about the upcoming launch.

UW - WFSE AFSCME Council 28 Contract

Effective 7/1/15 - 6/30/17

Article 26 - Health and Safety

26.1 Health and Safety. It is the policy of the University of Washington to create and maintain a safe and healthful workplace free from recognized hazards that may cause harm to employees, consistent with and in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. Employees will play an active role in creating a safe and healthy workplace and will comply with all applicable health and safety rules. The Union and the Employer are jointly committed to the goal of implementing an effective health and safety program and accident prevention program that meets or exceeds WISHA requirements.

26.2 Safety. All work shall be performed in conformity with applicable health and safety standards. Employees are encouraged to immediately report any unsafe working conditions to their supervisor. If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily between the supervisor and employee, either may involve the Union Steward and request a decision from a medical center's Safety Officer, and/or the University's Department of Environmental Health & Safety or the Department of Labor & Industries. No other employee may do the work believed to present an imminent risk to life and safety until a risk assessment has been done by the Safety Officer and/or the University's Department of Environmental Health & Safety, or the Department of Labor & Industries, and it is confirmed that there is no imminent hazard. Once a risk assessment is completed and it is confirmed that there is no imminent hazard and conditions meet WISHA standards, the employee will be expected to perform the work.

Employees are encouraged to attempt to resolve the matter first with the supervisor, then the Safety Officer and/or the University's Department of Environmental Health & Safety prior to going outside the University.

No employee shall be disciplined or retaliated against for reporting any such condition.

26.3 Reporting. Employees in the bargaining units are encouraged to report immediately to their supervisor and/or designated safety official any apparent unsafe working condition. Employees shall use required safety devices and perform work according to required safety procedures.

If a supervisor, the Employer-designated safety official, Labor and Industries or Environmental Health and Safety (telephone 206-543-7262) declare a work site to be hazardous and unfit for work, affected employees may be assigned to alternative work sites until the hazardous condition is rectified. If assignment to an alternative work site is not possible and the supervisor decides to send the employee(s) home, those employees sent home will receive their regular pay for all time the employee(s) is scheduled to work on the day of the incident. For all subsequent days the employee(s) may use accrued leave as appropriate or request make up time as follows:

  1. Employees must request make up time within three (3) working days after operations resume.
  2. Reasonable work must exist and the supervisor must approve the request to work. The time must be made up within ninety (90) calendar days after operations resume.

26.4 Health Examinations. The Employer shall provide at no cost to the employee, such medical tests, health examinations and surveillance/monitoring as may be required as a condition of employment and/or as a result of regulated hazards encountered after employment.

26.5 Safety Committees. Joint employee-elected and Employer appointed safety committees shall be formed in accord with WISHA requirements and following University of Washington policy. The Union is entitled to representation on the University-wide or specific organizational or divisional committees where bargaining unit employees are working. Participation in safety and health committees, including meeting time, health and safety research, work on committee assignments, seminars, and classes will be considered time worked for all employees in accordance with University policy. Release time must be arranged with supervisors in advance.

When the committee makes a recommendation that requires action or approval beyond its scope of authority, the Employer will communicate its disposition of the formal written recommendation within thirty (30) days.

26.6 Ergonomics. The supervisor/manager will provide training and equipment for staff to safely perform job functions and avoid injury. Employees should contact their supervisor if job procedures, equipment or workstations lead to risk of injury or work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Further ergonomic guidelines shall be referenced on the Environmental Health and Safety website

26.7 Workplace Review. Supervisors will periodically inspect the worksite for the identification of recognized hazards, including ergonomic conditions, and put in place appropriate and feasible mitigations for any identified conditions that may be hazardous to health and safety. Such mitigations may include the use of engineering controls, administrative controls, the use of personal protective equipment, and/or increased training. The organizational unit will determine the appropriate frequency of the inspections and such frequency shall be an appropriate topic for Union Management meetings.

In response to a DOSHA* (Department of Occupational Safety & Health Administration - Labor & Industries) inspection initiated by a bargaining unit employee complaint, the Employer will contact the designated Union representative to participate in the worksite inspection. Employees may also request a workplace review by the employing department and employees shall be given the results of the review.

26.8 WISHA Inspections: Each time there is a WISHA inspection of the Employer's property in an area where WFSE employees perform their duties, the Employer shall contact the Union Office to find out whom the Union designates as the employee representative. If the Union's representative is not present for the inspection, the Employer shall request that the WISHA inspector delay the inspection until the Union's representative can arrive.

26.9 Wellness. The Employer and the Union will encourage and support employee participation in appropriate programs including the UW Care Link Services through which employees may seek confidential assistance in the resolution of chemical dependency or other problems that may affect job performance. UW Care Link Services may presently be reached at 1-866-598-3978 (business hours) or 1-800-833-3031 (24 hour line). No employee's job security will be placed in jeopardy as a result of seeking and following through with corrective treatment, counseling or advice providing that the employee's job performance meets supervisory expectations.

26.10 Tools and Equipment. The Employer will furnish and maintain in safe working condition all tools and equipment required to carry out the duties of each position, and will provide, during working hours, training on the safe operation and use of tools/equipment/supplies required to perform the employee's duties. The Employer agrees to provide transport for necessary equipment and supplies which cannot safely be transported by hand. The employees will properly use and maintain all required tools/equipment/supplies and immediately report any defects or malfunctions to the supervisor.

26.11 Joint Union/Management Committee. It shall be appropriate for either the Union or the University to request that a Joint Union/Management committee be convened, with Environmental Health and Safety as a participating member, to discuss health and safety concerns and to explore options for addressing those concerns through appropriate training or other approaches.

26.12 Training. Training that is relevant to the business operations and hazards involved in the work activities will be provided in the workplace by qualified trained individuals to employees.

Training needs will be an appropriate topic at Joint Union/Management committee meetings. Assistance with interpretation may be requested by staff.

26.13 Safety and Health Grievances. Grievances arising out of violations of this Article will start at Step 2 of the grievance procedure.

*WISHA was renamed DOSHA (Department of Occupational Safety & Health Administration - Labor & Industries) in 2006. The term WISHA was left in because the parties felt that the WISHA name would be more recognizable by its members.

Current Contract

Previous Contracts