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Washington Federation of State Employees Contract Negotation 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.

Peter Denis
Assistant Vice President, Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Nola Balch
HR Consultant, UW Medicine HR
Patti Colaizzo
Director, Facilities Services Organization Resources and Relations
Lynn Diaz
HR Consultant, UW Medicine HR
Cheryl Ewaldsen
Assistant Director for HR, Housing and Food Services
Damon Fetters
Director, Facilities Services: Maintenance and Construction
Stephanie Godwin-Austen
Sr. Compensation Consultant, UW Compensation
A.J. Hartman
Communications Specialist, Labor Relations
Pam Jorgensen
Administrative Director, Harborview Medical Center
Patrick Osby
HR Director, UW Libraries
Toby Purvis
Director, UW Medical Center Environmental Services
Reggie Taschereau
Human Resources Consultant, Campus HR Operations
Walter Thurnhofer
Assistant Administrator, UW Medical Center
Randy West
Director, HR Compensation
Gene Woodard
Director, Facilities Services: Building Services

Negotiations Recap for August 6, 2014

This recap details the seventh session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE for the 2015-17 contract term.

Status of Proposals

The parties walked through an updated status chart summarizing the proposals put forth to date and the status of each.

Compensation Discussion

UW explained that it is currently calculating the cost of the union's compensation proposals, and noted that it is a very expensive package. UW explained that this contract must ultimately be deemed financially feasible and approved by the Office of Financial Management, the Governor, and the state Legislature, and emphasized the importance of investing in employees in a way that also supports the health, productivity, and direction of the University.

UW is currently awaiting finalized compensation data in order to provide counter-proposals to economic provisions, which will be ready by early September. UW cited past examples of working together with the union to avoid employee reductions in pay during the recession, and subsequently to secure wage increases that were both meaningful and realistic. UW affirmed its commitment to pay its employees appropriately while ensuring responsible stewardship of public and taxpayer money.

UW Responses

UW responded to all of WFSE's predominantly non-economic proposals, proposing to uphold current contract language for several. UW maintained its previous proposals for the following provisions:

  • Article 9: Union Activities
  • Article 10: Employee Rights
  • Article 21: Performance Evaluation
  • Article 23: Corrective Action
  • Article 27: Holidays

Tentative Agreements

The parties tentatively agreed to maintain current contract language for the following unopened articles:

  • Preamble
  • Article 1: Union Recognition
  • Article 2: Non-Discrimination Disabled Employees
  • Article 4: Affirmative Action
  • Article 5: Management Rights & Responsibilities
  • Article 8: Contract Publication
  • Article 11: Employee Facilities
  • Article 13: Employee Assistance Program
  • Article 14: Privacy
  • Article 15: Polygraph Testing
  • Article 16: Drug Testing
  • Article 18: Tuition Exemption Program
  • Article 25: Staffing Concerns
  • Article 29: Sick Leave
  • Article 32: Child & Dependent Care
  • Article 33: Shared Leave
  • Article 38: Employee Leave Records
  • Article 42: Appointments & Positions
  • Article 43: Vacancies
  • Article 44: Probationary Period
  • Article 46: Inter-System Movement
  • Article 47: Allocation/Reallocation
  • Article 49: Seniority, Layoff, Rehire
  • Article 50: Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Associations
  • Article 51: Resignation & Abandonment
  • Article 52: No Strike/Lockout
  • Article 54: Board of Regents
  • Article 55: Subordination of Agreement & Saving Clause
  • Article 58: Trades Apprenticeship Program

Next Steps

The parties agreed to cancel the August 18 bargaining session in favor of adding another bargaining session in September. The next UW-WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for August 27.

Negotiations Recap for July 30, 2014

This recap details the sixth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE for the 2015-17 contract term.

Status of Proposals

UW presented a status chart summarizing the proposals put forth to date, which the parties walked through together.

UW Proposals

FMLA and Benefits Continuity – UW proposed language to clarify the process by which paid leave is interspersed so that an employee whose parental or disability leave is not (or is no longer) covered by FMLA may maintain benefits for up to 4 months.

Compensation for Work out of Class – UW proposed that the differential paid to eligible employees performing higher level work be expressed in terms of a percentage (5 percent) instead of in terms of pay steps (two steps), to ensure compatibility with UW's future payroll system.

UW noted that the need for other similar adjustments could surface related to the transition to a new HR/payroll system.

WFSE Proposals

General Wage Increases – WFSE proposed general wage increases of 9 percent effective July 1, 2015, and 6 percent effective July 1, 2016. WFSE proposed that in July 2015, employee wages below 80 percent of market be increased to at least 85 percent, and that more favorable wage increases granted to any other employee group during the second year of the contract will also be applied to the WFSE contract.

WFSE also proposed adjusting minimum salaries to the step in the appropriate pay range that is closest to $15 per hour, effective July 1, 2015.

Eliminating "Flat" Steps – WFSE proposed adjusting all BA and BO pay scales to provide increases between steps in instances where moving from one step to the next does not currently provide for a pay increase.

Shift Differentials and Other Pay Provisions – WFSE proposed increasing the hourly differential for evening and night shifts to $1.50 and $2, respectively. WFSE proposed increasing Standby Pay to $4 per hour, and requiring that employees called in from Standby be paid for time travelling to and from work. WFSE proposed a minimum of three hours of bonus pay for Call Back, as well as increasing Assignment Pay to $2 per hour.

Pay Premiums – WFSE proposed creating a float premium of $2.75 per hour and a $0.75 per hour certification premium for Health Care Professional/Technical Classifications. WFSE also proposed doubling the Field Training Officer premium to 10 percent, as well as applying a swing shift differential to day shifts for certain operations and maintenance employees who customarily work rotating shifts.

Promotions/Reallocations – WFSE proposed that employees who are promoted or reallocated to another bargaining unit position with a higher salary range receive the equivalent of at least a four step increase, or a 12 percent increase in the case of Health Care Professional/Technical pay tables.

Commute Trip Reduction – WFSE proposed language from the UW-SEIU 925 master contract enabling and encouraging departments with continuous or public responsibility to establish independent work schedules according to employee requests.

Temporary Employee Compensation – WFSE proposed adjusting minimum salaries to the step in the appropriate pay range that is closest to $15 per hour, effective July 1, 2015. WFSE also proposed a guarantee that temporary employees who leave an appointment and are later reappointed to a similar job in the same department receive at least the same rate as before.

Temporary Employee Working Conditions – WFSE proposed that for a temporary employee hired into the job they have filled without a break in service, their hours of service as a temporary employee (up to three months) would count toward their probationary period. WFSE also proposed removing the requirement for essential staff to report to work in cases of inclement weather and suspended operations as long as they make all reasonable efforts to do so.

Pay Parity with SEIU 925 Like Titles – WFSE proposed a memorandum establishing pay parity for several WFSE job classifications with similar SEIU 925-represented job classifications.

Skilled Trades – WFSE proposed adding backflow valve testing and repairs to the list of skilled trades work eligible for Assignment Pay, and also proposed that the University reimburse employees for the cost of all required licenses and certifications.

Next Steps

The next UW-WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for August 6.

Negotiations Recap for July 21, 2014

This recap details the fifth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE for the 2015-17 contract term.

Scope of Negotiations

WFSE did not present any proposals at this session, but the parties met briefly to discuss the status of bargaining and next steps. WFSE committed to delivering proposals for the contract provisions on which it currently has placeholders, including compensation, at the next bargaining session. UW noted that it would provide additional proposals at the next session as well.

Next Steps

The next UW-WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for July 30.