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SEIU 1199 - Research/Hall Health Contract Negotation Updates

In fall 2013, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW ("SEIU 1199") was certified as the exclusive bargaining representative for "Registered Nurse - Research" job classifications, along with the Registered Nurses at Hall Health Center and Environmental Health and Safety (collectively: "Research/Hall Health RNs"). SEIU 1199 and UW began negotiations to incorporate these employees into the SEIU 1199 collective bargaining agreement on April 30, 2014. These negotiations are summarized below.

Geoff Miller
Assistant Director, UW Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Tara Cannava
Director of Operations, Hall Health Center
Shelby Fritz
HR Manager, Neurology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
A.J. Hartman
Communications Specialist, UW Labor Relations
DeAnn Lestenkof
Director, Administration and Human Resources, Department of Medicine
Judith Rapp
Administrator, Department of Surgery
Laurie Rossnagel
Administrator, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems
JoAnn Wuitschick
Human Resources Consultant, Campus HR Operations

Negotiations Recap for June 24, 2014

This recap details the sixth bargaining session between the UW and SEIU 1199 to incorporate Research/Hall Health RNs into the SEIU 1199 collective bargaining agreement.

Tentative Agreement Reached

The parties reached a comprehensive tentative agreement on a Research/Hall Health RN memorandum of understanding, to be appended to the SEIU 1199 contract.

Highlights of the Tentative Agreement:

Hall Health RN Wages – Effective July 1, 2014, Hall Health RNs will be placed on the same pay table and ranges as RNs at Harborview Medical Center, making for average wage increases of more than 8 percent. Each Hall Health RN will be moved to the corresponding step on the new wage tables such that their wages are not reduced.

Research RN Wages – Research RNs will receive a 3 percent wage increase effective July 1, 2014. Research RNs will be placed on the newly-created BW pay table at corresponding steps that will not reduce their wages.

Research RN Step increase – At the time of ratification, Research RNs who have been at step W for more than three years will move to step Z, and Research RNs with three years or less at step W will move to step X on the applicable pay table.

Standby Pay – Research and Hall Health RNs will be eligible for Standby pay in accordance with federal law, at a premium rate of $4 per hour.

Hire-in Rates – Hire-in rates for Hall Health RNs will be based on year for year credit for applicable experience, and Research RN hire-in rates will be based on applicable research nursing experience as well as the specific requirements of the position.

Transfers – For Hall Health RNs, a good faith effort will be made to facilitate transfers where an operational need exists and where the RN has the applicable knowledge, skills, and abilities. For Research RNs, an applicant's length of service will be considered on a transfer to a vacant position.

Negotiations for a Successor Agreement – The parties will meet at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the contract to bargain over the number of employees who will be paid to attend negotiations for the next contract.

Next Steps

UW and SEIU 1199 will recommend this agreement to their respective constituents for approval and ratification.


Negotiations Recap for June 18, 2014

This recap details the fifth bargaining session between the UW and SEIU 1199 to incorporate Research/Hall Health RNs into the SEIU 1199 collective bargaining agreement.

Topics Discussed

Compensation – Employees delivered testimonials in support of SEIU 1199's proposal to align Research/Hall Health RNs with those of Harborview RNs.

Tentative Agreements – The parties conducted a detailed walk-through all of the tentative agreements reached to date, to ensure mutual understanding and to clarify any points of confusion.

Cross-training – SEIU 1199 spoke to the importance and benefits of cross-training for Hall Health RNs, and expressed that an RN's longevity should be considered when opportunities arise to cross-train in different areas or clinics.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for June 24.


Bargaining Recap for June 11, 2014

This recap details the fourth bargaining session between the UW and SEIU 1199 to incorporate Research/Hall Health RNs into the SEIU 1199 collective bargaining agreement.

UW Proposals

UW proposed omitting several articles and appendices that are not applicable to Research/Hall Health RNs, and emphasized that it has no intent to take away benefits that already exist.

UW's proposals included:

Job Posting and Transfer – UW proposed that job openings for Research/Hall Health RNs be posted per current University procedure, and that an applicant's length of service may be a consideration on a transfer to a vacant position. UW proposed allowing for Research RN transfers to be delayed in cases where an RN's transfer would unduly impact the research project they are leaving.

Duration of Agreement – UW declined SEIU 1199's proposal to apply the Research/Hall Health RN agreement and its pay provisions retroactively to January 1, 2014.

Parking and U-PASS – UW proposed language from the SEIU 1199 Harborview contract memorializing the University's right to apply changes in transportation policy and fees during the life of the contract.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

Compensation – SEIU 1199 proposed phasing in its compensation proposal, such that salaries and several pay premiums for Research/Hall RNs would increase on July 1, 2014, and fully align with those of nurses at Harborview Medical Center on June 1, 2015.

Tentative Agreements

The parties tentatively agreed to several contract provisions, including:

Hall Health RN Work Day – The parties tentatively agreed to memorialize the standard work day for Hall Health RNs as 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., while allowing for other work schedules when mutually agreeable to affected supervisors and employees.

Layoff – The parties tentatively agreed to language providing that if a Research RN is laid off, a vacant position in the layoff unit will be considered the most junior position, and will be first consideration before displacement of another RN.

Side Letter A – The parties tentatively agreed to omit the Harborview contract's Side Letter A, acknowledging that such an agreement does not preclude SEIU 1199 from proposing similar provisions for Research/Hall Health RNs.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for June 18.