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Washington Federation of State Employees Contract Negotiation Updates

WFSE represents a wide range of UW employees on the UW's Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell campuses and at both Harborview and UW Medical Centers. The five bargaining units covered by the master agreement include positions in administrative support, food services, custodial services, and skilled trades, as well as many health care workers.

Compensation: New compensation provisions went into effect on July 1, 2013, including 2 percent across-the-board increases for all employees in the bargaining units. This and other applicable compensation provisions that are effective July 1, 2013 will be first reflected on the July 25, 2013 paycheck, for the pay period ending July 15, 2013.

Contract Publication: The 2013-2015 collective bargaining agreement has been published to the Labor Relations website. View the 2013-2015 Washington Federation of State Employees Contract.

Nancy Dombrowski
Director, Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Nola Balch
HR Consultant, UW Medical Centers
Charles Chamberlin
Senior Associate Dean, University Libraries
Rick Cheney
Director, Facilities Services
Patti Colaizzo
Director, Facilities Services
Cheryl Ewaldsen
Assistant Director, Housing and Food Services
Carly Gilham
HR Specialist, Labor Relations
Debi Grace
Nurse Manager, UW Medical Center
A.J. Hartman
Communications Specialist, Labor Relations
Pam Jorgensen
Administrative Director, Harborview Medical Center
Patrick Osby
HR Director, UW Libraries
Erin Rice
Director, Campus HR Operations
Walter Thurnhofer
Assistant Administrator, UW Medical Center
Randy West
Associate Director, HR Compensation
Gene Woodard
Director, Facilities Services

Negotiations Recap for September 21, 2012

This recap details the eleventh session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE, and the seventh session facilitated by a neutral mediator.

Scope of Negotiations

WFSE Settlement Response

WFSE declined UW's offer from the previous bargaining session to settle an issue involving the payment of shift differentials and market adjustments to certain positions in the Trades bargaining unit.

Comprehensive Tentative Agreement Reached

UW and WFSE exchanged ideas and proposals throughout the day, and ultimately arrived at a tentative agreement on a 2013-2015 contract that both parties found mutually satisfactory.

UW-WFSE Tentative Agreement

Contract Highlights

Key provisions from the new comprehensive tentative areement include:

Wage Increases
All WFSE-represented employees will receive a 2 percent across-the-board wage increase for both years of the 2013-2015 biennium, effective July 1 of 2013 and 2014.
These across-the-board wage increases will ultimately be contingent on successful completion of a sequence of events in the Washington State government, including a finding of financial feasibility by the Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM), followed by inclusion in the governor's proposed budget for the 2013-2015 biennium, followed by approval by the Legislature, and concluding with appropriation of the state portion of funding for the increases in the 2013-2015 state budget. The across-the-board increases will not occur if any one of the contingencies is not met.
MOU: "Me-too" with SEIU 925 Salary Increases
If, during negotiations for the 2013 biennium, the UW agrees to across-the-board salary increases for any SEIU 925 bargaining unit that are more favorable than those negotiated by WFSE, UW will grant the same salary increases to WFSE-represented employees.
Also, UW and WFSE will meet at least quarterly to address and bargain issues involving wages relative to market rates, recruitment and retention, and/or wage compression.
MOU: Custodial Infection Control Premium
Effective January 1, 2014, a premium pay of $1 per hour will become available to positions in the custodial series at both Harborview and UW Medical Centers that work in patient care areas. Custodians at the medical centers will be evaluated to demonstrate that they meet all required competencies in order to qualify for the premium.
For custodians across the UW, the classification of "lead" will be converted to an assignment, and will yield an hourly pay premium of $1.65.
Additionally, custodial supervisors across the UW will be placed on higher pay ranges.
Family Medical Leave and Parental Leave
Consistent with other union contracts, UW has reserved the right to move from calculating employees' Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitlement using a calendar year to using a "rolling" 12-month period, which is measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA.
Employees absent on FMLA leave will use their accrued paid leave in the following order before taking leave without pay: sick leave, compensatory time, and then vacation time. Employees may choose to retain up to 80 hours of vacation leave while absent on FMLA.

Contract Details

For more details on what is new and different in the 2013-2015 collective bargaining agreement, see the summary of the UW-WFSE comprehensive tentative agreement.

Next Steps

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

UW will submit the contract and funding request to the OFM by October 1, pending contract ratification by WFSE.


Negotiations Recap for September 18, 2012

This recap details the tenth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE, and the sixth session facilitated by a neutral mediator.

Scope of Negotiations

The parties exchanged several conceptual package proposals throughout the day, making significant progress toward reaching mutual agreement.

UW Proposals

Settlement Offer

UW presented an offer to settle an issue that has been in litigation since 2009, and is currently on appeal to the Superior Court. This issue stemmed from bargaining between UW and WFSE in 2008. In January 2009, UW suspended payment of newly negotiated increased shift differentials and market adjustments to certain WFSE-represented employees, because the contract under which these increases were negotiated was determined financially non-feasible by the Washington State Office of Financial Management.

UW's proposal would result in back pay with interest to the employees in question, for the period between January 23, 2009, and June 30, 2009, in accordance with the decision rendered by the Public Employment Relations Commission on the matter.

Additionally, on January 1, 2013, UW would reinstate the suspended increases for the remaining period of the current contract, increase shift differentials for Harborview Medical Center Security Officers from $0.50 to $1 per hour as part of the 2011-2013 contract, and seek to continue these increases into the 2013-2015 contract.

WFSE Response

WFSE noted that it would present the settlement offer to its legal counsel.

Tentative Agreements

The parties arrived at tentative agreements on several contract articles.

Current Contract Language

The parties tentatively agreed to withdraw proposals and maintain existing contract language on articles 9 - Union Activities, 17 - Contracting, 20 - Licensure and Certification, 21 - Performance Evaluation, 26 - Health and Safety, and 56 - Mandatory Subjects.

Amended Provisions

The parties tentatively agreed to amendments to the following contract articles, and to the creation of a new memorandum of understanding (MOU):

Article 7: Union Dues Deduction and Union Security
Language surrounding the administration of dues deduction and the reporting of member information was updated to better reflect current processes.
Article 8: Contract Publication
The parties tentatively agreed move away from the publication and distribution of physical copies of the contract, in favor of utilizing the online version.
Article 31: Family Medical Leave and Parental Leave
Specific language about using paid time off while on leave was added, to align with other UW collective bargaining agreements.
MOU: Custodial Infection Control Premium
Effective January 1, 2014, a premium pay of $1 per hour will become available to positions in the custodial series at both Harborview and UW Medical Centers who work in patient care areas. Custodians at the medical centers will be evaluated to demonstrate that they meet all required competencies in order to qualify for the premium. As part of the MOU, UW will also place Custodian Supervisor 1 and 2 employees throughout the UW on higher pay ranges.

The parties also worked out minor revisions to contract articles on overtime, promotions, and classifications.

Next Steps

The UW and WFSE are facing a tight deadline under state law to conclude negotiations and have the agreement ratified by October 1.

The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for September 21.


Negotiations Recap for September 11, 2012

This recap details the ninth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE, and the fifth session facilitated by a neutral mediator.

Scope of Negotiations

The parties continued dialogue over the duties and compensation of UW custodial staff at Harborview and UW Medical Centers in relation to their non-hospital counterparts. Other topics discussed included medical leave and conditions of employee reallocations.

In efforts to move closer to an agreement, the parties exchanged several conceptual package proposals.

Next Steps

The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for September 18.