19.1 Seniority. Seniority shall be defined as continuous length of service from date of hire as a registered nurse in the bargaining unit. Part-time and full-time nurses shall accrue seniority at the same rate. A nurse’s seniority date will be adjusted if the nurse is in continuous leave without pay status for more than fourteen consecutive calendar days. In the event two nurses are hired on the same day, relative seniority will be determined by the date the nurse formally accepted the position. The Medical Center will maintain a written record of the date and time each nurse accepts a bargaining unit position. In the event a nurse covered by this contract accepts a permanent position at UWMC that is not covered by this contract and subsequently returns to the bargaining unit, bargaining unit seniority shall be restored (bridged) and seniority accrual shall resume. Nurses who qualify to bridge seniority may not exercise their former seniority to obtain a bargaining unit position but may only exercise their former seniority after returning to the bargaining unit. Seniority shall not apply to a nurse until completion of the required probationary period. Upon satisfactory completion of the probationary period, the nurse shall be credited with seniority from most recent date of hire.
19.2 Layoff Definition. Layoff shall be defined as a reduction in the number of non-probationary employees and/or a reduction to the FTE of employees covered by this agreement that is intended to be permanent or prolonged.
19.3 Clinical Cluster. A clinical cluster is a grouping of units within a specialty area in which skills and abilities are similar in nature (see Appendix III).
19.4 Definition of Qualified.
19.4.1 For Displacing A Less Senior Nurse - A qualified nurse is defined as a nurse who possesses the minimum qualifications, based on established criteria, of the position held by the nurse to be displaced, and is capable of performing the work needed at the level of a satisfactory non-probationary nurse within three months of assuming the position.
19.4.2 For placement into a vacant position open to new graduate recruitment, a qualified nurse will be defined as a nurse who possesses the minimum qualifications and is capable of performing the work needed at the level of a satisfactory non-probationary nurse following an orientation period equal to the average orientation period provided to new graduates hired into that position. Nurses agreeing to accept a vacant position open to new graduate recruitment may have to work a schedule that would have been required of the new graduate for up to a period of one year.
19.5 Prior to Layoff. Prior to implementing a layoff, the Employer, within the context of its determination as to the number of FTEs, shifts, and skill mix needed on the unit, will make a good faith effort to:
19.6 Layoff Notification. If there are insufficient volunteers the least senior nurse(s) on the unit impacted will be identified for layoff. The employer will notify the nurse in the position to be eliminated and the Association at least thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the date of the projected layoff. During the notice period the Employer will do the following in the order below.
19.7 Vacant Positions Within the Clinical Cluster.
19.8 Displacing a Less Senior Nurse.
RN 3s will have the option of displacing RN 2s in accordance with this section. RN 2s may only displace RN 2s.
19.9 Rehire List. The rehire list is defined as the list on which a nurse who is laid off is placed after it is determined that:
19.9.1 Prior to Referral from Rehire List. Prior to offering reemployment to nurses on the rehire list, the Employer will post vacant positions according to the job posting provisions of this contract. Nurses on the rehire list may apply for posted vacant positions. Nurses laid off in accordance with this Article will be placed on a rehire list for twenty-four (24) months from the date of layoff.
19.9.2 Referral from the Rehire List. Nurses on the rehire list will be offered re-employment in reverse order of seniority when vacant positions remain unfilled after having been posted in accordance with the job posting provisions of this contract. A nurse on the rehire list will be offered reemployment to vacant positions prior to the Employer offering the positions to non-bargaining unit members when:
- The FTE of the vacant position is equal to or less than the nurse’s FTE status at the time of layoff;
- The nurse, in accordance with 19.4 above, is qualified to perform the work needed in the position;
- RN 2s will be eligible for rehire into RN 2 positions; RN 3s will be eligible for rehire into RN 3 and RN 2 positions.
19.9.3 Responding to Referral from Rehire List. A nurse offered reemployment from the rehire list shall be given up to one week to determine if he/she wants the position and, if accepted, up to an additional week to report to work.
19.9.4 Reemployment Trial Service Period. Nurses reemployed from the rehire list will serve a three month rehire trial service period. During this period either party, at its sole discretion and without resort to the grievance procedure, may initiate return to the rehire list. Time spent in a rehire trial period will not count toward the twenty-four (24) month rehire list period. The three (3) month rehire trial period will be adjusted to reflect any paid or unpaid leave taken during the period.
19.9.5 Removal from the Rehire List. A nurse will be removed from the rehire list when any one of the following occurs:
- The nurse has been on the list for twenty-four (24) months and has not been reemployed;
- The nurse has been successfully reemployed either from the rehire list or as a result of the nurse independently applying for and being selected for a position;
- The nurse has refused two opportunities for reemployment from the rehire list for a position equal to the nurse’s FTE status at the time of layoff;
- The nurse has been placed two times from the rehire list and has failed to complete the rehire trial service period.
19.9.6 Re-employment from the Rehire List. A nurse who is reemployed either from the rehire list or as a result of independently applying for and being selected for a position while being on the rehire list, will regain the seniority earned at the time of layoff.
19.9.7 Rights While on Rehire List. A nurse on the rehire list shall be eligible to participate in the Medical Center’s in-service programs and other Medical Center training programs on a space available basis and on the nurse’s own time.
19.9.8 Rehire List Nurses and Per Diem Work. A nurse on the rehire list shall be given preference for per diem work. Acceptance of such work will not affect the nurse’s rehire rights. Preference shall be handled in accordance with the following:
- The nurse must specifically request the work in advance and must follow all Medical Center policies and procedures regarding per diem work.
- Nurses on the rehire list who meet the requirements of (a) above and the requirements of the position will have preference for per diem work assignments when the schedules are developed.
19.10 Vacation - Laid off Nurses. Nurses who have been laid off will be entitled to be paid for all accrued and unused vacation leave at the time of layoff. A nurse on layoff may request in writing that the payment for accrued and unused vacation leave be divided into two payments during the time on the rehire list.
19.11 Vacant Positions Outside Clinical Cluster. Nurses identified for layoff will also be informed of vacant positions not in the clinical cluster in which the nurse identified for layoff worked. If a nurse expresses interest in one of these vacant positions and the nurse and nurse manager agree, the nurse may fill a vacant position not in the nurse’s clinical group. The Employer will not require a nurse identified for layoff to accept a vacant position out of the nurse’s clinical group and a decision by a nurse manager not to accept a nurse into a position out of the nurse’s clinical group shall not be grievable.
19.12 Re-employed Nurses. For purposes of accrual of benefits, re-employed nurses will be treated as newly hired except that a nurse who has been laid off because of lack of funds or curtailment of work and who is re-employed within 24 months (plus a 12 month extension if requested) shall be entitled to previously accrued benefits and placement on the salary schedule which he/she had at the time of layoff.
19.13 Retention of Benefits While on the Rehire List. RNs on the rehire list will receive employer paid benefit coverage so long as they meet the eligibility requirements as determined by the State of Washington.