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SEIU 1199 Contract Negotiation Updates

SEIU 1199 represents Healthcare Specialists, Registered Nurses, Social Workers, and several medical technologist and technician job classifications at Harborview Medical Center (Harborview), as well as the flight nurses of Airlift Northwest. SEIU 1199 also represents Registered Nurses at Hall Health Center and UW Environmental Health and Safety, along with UW Research Nurses.

Pranika Laing
Assistant Director, Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Banks Evans
Assistant Director, Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Andrew Berg
Assistant Director, Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator: Airlift Northwest)
Bonnie Conley
Director, Social Work, Harborview Medical Center
Tara Cannava
Director of Operations, Hall Health Center
A.J. Hartman
Communications Specialist, Labor Relations
Julie Hoffman
Regional Manager, Airlift Northwest
Stephanie Howe
Payroll Services Director, UW Medicine Payroll Services
Darcy Jaffe
Chief Nursing Officer, Harborview Medical Center
Sommer Kleweno-Walley
Administrator, Patient Care Services, Harborview Medical Center
Dana Kyles
Assistant Administrator, Patient Care Services, Harborview Medical Center
DeAnn Lestenkof
Director, Administration and Human Resources, Department of Medicine
Joe Marotta
Administrative Director, Radiology, Harborview Medical Center
Kathy Mertens
Assistant Administrator, Ambulatory and Allied Care Services, Harborview Medical Center
Jennifer Petritz
Director, Medical Centers Human Resources
Becky Pierce
Associate Administrator, SEICS, Harborview Medical Center
JoAnn Wuitschick
Human Resources Consultant, Campus HR Operations

Negotiations Recap for May 13, 2015

This recap details the fourth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199.

SEIU 1199 Joint Employer Training and Education Fund

Training Fund Presentation

SEIU 1199 facilitated a presentation in support of Harborview joining the SEIU 1199NW Multi-Employer Training and Education Fund ("Training Fund"). The Training Fund was formed in 2008 between SEIU 1199 and various local hospitals, and currently represents nearly 10,000 employees. The Training Fund is comprised of three main areas:

  • Tuition Assistance: Tuition assistance is the Training Fund's primary focus. Full-time nurses are eligible for to up to $5,250 (pro-rated for part-time). Beginning in 2013, the Training Fund could no longer fulfill all tuition assistance requests, and there is now a wait-list for tuition assistance.
  • Educational Support: Educational support includes paper-writing assistance, international transcript evaluation, and access to tutor.com.
  • Professional Development: Qualifying nurses would be eligible for up to $300 per year for specialty certification exam reimbursement.

As of July 1, 2015, the Training Fund will double its fees charged to employees at each participating organization to 1 percent of employee gross pay.

SEIU 1199 Training Fund Proposals

Training Fund – SEIU 1199 proposed that 1 percent of each nurse's pay be deducted as a contribution to the Training Fund. The union proposed that UW provide the Training Fund with employee records in order to determine eligibility to participate.

BSN Premium – SEIU 1199 proposed a pay premium for nurses holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree premium as an "all-or-nothing" package with the Training Fund. The union expressed that it would not accept the BSN premium unless UW agrees to participate in the Training Fund.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

General Wage Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed general wage increases of 5 percent on July 1, 2015 and another 5 percent on July 1, 2016.

New Top Steps – SEIU 1199 proposed the creation of three new steps at the top of all applicable pay tables, each one 3 percent greater than the step prior. The union proposed that any employee who has been at a top step for more than four years be placed on the newly proposed top step, and employees with more than three years at a top step be placed on the penultimate of the newly proposed steps.

Targeted Wage Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed the following wage adjustments specific to individual job class series:

  • Anesthesiology Technician Series: 5 percent wage increase.
  • Social Work Series: 10 percent wage increase.
  • Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologist Series: 15 percent wage increase.

Standby Pay – SEIU 1199 proposed increasing the premium for time spent on call to $6 per hour for all eligible employees.

Healthcare Specialist Compensation – SEIU 1199 proposed merging and expanding the inpatient and outpatient healthcare specialist pay ranges. The union proposed adding four new steps to the top of the pay scale, and building in 1.5 percent increases between pay steps that currently do not provide for an increase from the prior step.

Filler Steps – SEIU 1199 proposed a 1 percent pay step adjustments from the previous step for steps that currently do not result in a pay increase. This proposal was for all SEIU 1199-represented job titles.

END Technologist Job Descriptions – SEIU 1199 proposed rewriting the END technologist 1, 2, and 3 job classification specifications.

Airlift Northwest Proposals

Flight Nurse Premium – SEIU 1199 proposed a flight nurse premium of $5 per hour for flight nurses at Airlift Northwest to recognize their unique work environment.

Juneau-based Flight Nurses – SEIU 1199 proposed a 15 percent wage increase for flight nurses based in Juneau.

Float Pay – SEIU 1199 proposed that flight nurses receive float pay for time assigned to work outside their official duty station.

Mileage – SEIU 1199 proposed that when a flight nurse reports to work at a station other than their official duty station, all mileage to and from the reporting station be paid. The union also proposed that mileage be paid for any travel required for clinical work or education that is not provided at a flight nurse's official duty station.

Aircraft out of Service – SEIU 1199 proposed removing management's ability to require a flight nurse to work at another Airlift Northwest facility in cases where the aircraft at their official duty station is out of service.

The union also proposed allowing flight nurses to be paid at an overtime rate for time spent driving back to their official duty station from a different facility in cases where they must begin their return trip after their shift was scheduled to end.

Scheduling – SEIU 1199 proposed that any changes to schedule practices at any base go through the joint labor-management process.

Job Posting and Transfer – SEIU 1199 proposed that flight nurses who do not fulfill a two year commitment at the Juneau base be allowed to repay a prorated amount of the moving cost incentive paid to them, rather than the whole thing.

SEIU 1199 accepted UW's proposal for management to specify the location of the base and the FTE (full-time equivalent) needed when notifying flight nurses of open Airlift Northwest bargaining unit positions.

Official Duty Station – SEIU 1199 rejected UW's proposed language to memorialize that Airlift Northwest may open or change bases depending on community needs. Instead, the union proposed language to require that any changes in working conditions and base changes go through joint labor-management meetings for discussion.

The union also proposed payment of lodging and food per diem for flight nurses attending training more than 60 miles from their official duty station, and that Juneau-based flight nurses be paid for airfare and car rental as well.

Aircraft Staffing – SEIU 1199 proposed language requiring that every aircraft be staffed with flight nurses for every hour that it is staffed with pilots.

Overtime – SEIU 1199 proposed that sick leave count toward the calculation of overtime except in the case of prescheduled overtime during a 40 hour work week. The union also proposed to allow flight nurses to earn compensatory time at a double-time rate.

Filling Shifts – SEIU 1199 proposed that uncovered shifts or sick calls be offered to flight nurses at the official duty station at which they occur prior to being offered to nurses stationed elsewhere.

Sign-in Sheet

UW again delivered a sign-in sheet for both bargaining teams to sign, in order to help facilitate payment of release time to employees. For the fourth consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize a sign-in sheet.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for May 19.


Negotiations Recap for May 5, 2015

This recap details the third session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199.

Sign-in Sheet

UW again delivered a sign-in sheet for both bargaining teams to sign, in order to help facilitate payment of release time to employees. For the third consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize the sign-in sheet.

Airlift Northwest Discussion

UW delivered several proposals specific to the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit, including:

Flight Nurse Job Classification – UW proposed a new job classification series specific to the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit, in recognition of the unique work of flight nurses.

Base Pay – UW proposed eliminating several conditional flight nurse pay premiums and instead adding that extra pay to flight nurse base wages, to be paid to all flight nurses at all times.

Certification Pay – UW proposed that flight nurses with a Certified Registered Flight Nurse (CFRN) certification be paid a certification premium. In the context of UW's "base pay" proposal, this CFRN premium would remain an additional pay on top of the base pay.

Union Delegates – UW proposed standardizing the number of flight nurse union delegates to be one from each Airlift Northwest base.

Delegate Training – UW proposed clarifying that the 16 hours of paid delegate training hours for the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit be allocated as eight hours each for two nurses.

Part-Time Employees – UW proposed revising the threshold of hours worked in a six week period to be considered a "part-time employee" for the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit from 120–240 hours to 144–240 hours to, noting that no flight nurses work less than a 0.6 FTE (full-time equivalent).

Bereavement Leave – UW proposed language clarifying that flight nurses are entitled to 36 hours of paid bereavement leave for each death of a family member.

Job Posting and Transfer – UW proposed that when notifying flight nurses of open Airlift Northwest bargaining unit positions, management specify the location of the base and the FTE needed.

Official Duty Station – UW proposed language updates to enumerate the six current bases, and to be clear that employees will be scheduled into the base at which they are hired. New language would memorialize that Airlift Northwest may open or change bases depending on community needs.

Overtime – UW proposed eliminating the practice of paying overtime at a double-time rate for hours worked beyond a flight nurse's scheduled 12- or 24-hour shift, and instead pay all overtime at a rate of time and one-half.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for May 13.


Negotiations Recap for April 29, 2015

This recap details the second session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199.

Sign-in Sheet

UW again delivered a sign-in sheet for both bargaining teams to sign, in order to help facilitate payment of release time to employees. For the second consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize the sign-in sheet.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

Per Diem Employees – SEIU 1199 proposed language establishing that per diem employees are not to be regularly used in lieu of regular full- and part-time positions. The union proposed that per diem nurses be paid a 15 percent wage differential, and that they be eligible for longevity steps, educational benefits, and numerous premiums and differentials given to regular Harborview nurses.

The union also proposed that all hours previously worked in per diem status apply to a nurse's probationary period.

Union Delegates – SEIU 1199 proposed allowing for per diem nurses to act as union delegates, as well as increasing the number of union delegates in other units as follows:

  • Social Work: Increase from four to six union delegates.
  • Respiratory Therapy: Increase from two to three union delegates.
  • Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologists: Increase from one to two union delegates.
  • Airlift Northwest Nurses: Increase from one to two union delegates.

Delegate Training Hours – SEIU 1199 proposed increases to the number of employees eligible for 8-hour allotments of paid release time to participate in union-sponsored delegate training as follows:

  • Nurses: Increase from six to eight nurses at eight hours each.
  • Social Workers: Increase from two to four social workers at eight hours each.
  • END Technologists: Increase from one to two END Technologists at eight hours each.

Job Classifications – SEIU 1199 proposed consolidating the four healthcare specialist job classifications into two.

Certification Pay – SEIU 1199 proposed expanding eligibility for certification premium pay to include healthcare specialists as well as cardiac and vascular sonographers.

Shift Rotation – SEIU 1199 proposed language discouraging routine shift rotation except in emergency situations, and that an employee who rotates shifts receive an additional four dollars per hour for each hour worked.

Work in Advance of Shift – SEIU 1199 proposed language to allow for payment of overtime rates more favorable than time and one-half in cases where an employee reports to work in advance of their shift at the request of management and continues to work through their scheduled shift.

Rest Between Shifts – SEIU 1199 proposed expanding eligibility for rest period premium pay to include imaging technologists and sonographers, as well as respiratory care and anesthesiology technicians.

Skills Day – SEIU 1199 proposed the implementation of an annual paid skills day for every bargaining unit.

Educational and Professional Leave – SEIU 1199 proposed expanding the maximum potential educational and professional leave allotment for social workers from 40 hours per year to 80.

Education Support Funds – SEIU 1199 proposed increases to the annual education support funds available to each full-time equivalent (FTE) as follows:

  • Healthcare Specialists: Increase from $1,800 per FTE to $3,000 per FTE.
  • Airlift Northwest: Increase from $500 per FTE to $800 per FTE.

Pay Table Adjustments – SEIU 1199 proposed that the UW Research Nurse 1 and 2 job classes be placed on the same pay table and pay ranges as Harborview Registered Nurse 2 and 3, respectively. The union also proposed pay range increases for vascular lead sonographers.

Hire-in Rates – SEIU 1199 proposed that hire-in rates for social workers be based on year-for-year credit for applicable experience, to be developed through the joint labor-management process.

Callback Relief – SEIU 1199 proposed that employees who have worked on-call within eight hours of their next scheduled shift may call out sick citing fatigue, to which they could apply annual leave, sick leave, or leave without pay. If a staffing need persists after the employee has been off-duty for 12 hours, management could require the employee to work the balance of their shift.

Personnel File – SEIU 1199 proposed enabling employees to request the removal of documents in their personnel file after 12 months, rather than the current timeline of three years.

Faith/Conscience Days – SEIU 1199 proposed new language based on recently enacted legislation, whereby leave without pay be granted for up to two workdays per year for reason of faith or conscience.

Vacation Leave – SEIU 1199 proposed adjusting vacation leave accruals such that each year provides for the accrual of one more vacation day than the year prior. The maximum accrual would be 23 days per year for employees with 12 or more years of service, rather than the current 22 days per year for employees of 16 or more years.

Corrective Action – SEIU 1199 proposed that the performance problem step only be determined after an investigation meeting occurs, and that UW provide written notice to the employee of the investigation subject when notified of the meeting. The union proposed that UW inform the employee of the investigation meeting's outcome within 14 days of its occurrence.

Job Posting – SEIU 1199 proposed that priority for job openings go to existing employees, particularly those within the bargaining unit in which the opening occurs, and seniority would determine who fills the vacancy provided that skill, ability, and experience are equal.

The union proposed that when a position is not filled by permanent employees in that department, per diem employees be considered before employees from outside the department.

Transfers – SEIU 1199 proposed that for nurses, professional/technical employees, healthcare specialists, and social workers, seniority be the determining factor on a transfer to a different shift or section, provided that skill, ability, and experience are equal.

Social Work Layoff Units – SEIU 1199 proposed consolidating Harborview Mental Health Services (HMHS) and Mental Health Integration Program (MHIP) into the same layoff unit as Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress (HCSATS) and Children's Response Center (CRC).

Meal and Rest Breaks – SEIU 1199 proposed language to guarantee uninterrupted meal and rest breaks, and that any exceptions result in employees being paid at a rate of time and one-half.

UW would collect data and report quarterly to the labor-management committee on meal and rest breaks that are not taken in each department and shift, utilized to determine mechanisms under which employees are able to take breaks.

Break Relief Nurse – SEIU 1199 proposed the creation of break relief nurses on all nursing units to relieve nurses with permanent patient assignments for meal and rest breaks.

Quality Improvement Project – SEIU 1199 proposed that the union and UW jointly sponsor a project whereby the labor-management committee would track patients from the emergency room to discharge, and would measure and evaluate reasons for any slowdowns of patient flow.

The union proposed the formation of a "Labor/Management Improvement Projects" subcommittee, on which all time worked would be paid, and for which participants would be trained centrally at a two-day retreat planned by the parties.

Negotiations for a Successor Contract – SEIU 1199 proposed that UW provide paid release time for 2 percent of all 1,859 employees represented by the union for negotiations for a successor contract, as well as for statewide healthcare negotiations.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for May 5.