UPDATE – Tentative Agreement Reached UW and WFSE have reached a comprehensive tentative agreement on a 2013-2015 collective bargaining agreement, which the parties will now recommend to their constituents. For more information, please read the recap below and see the summary of the UW-WFSE comprehensive tentative agreement.
Background: On April 1, 2011, UW and the Washington Federation of State Employees, Local 1488 (WFSE), agreed on a collective bargaining agreement to govern UW-WFSE relations for the 2011-2013 biennium, which expires on June 30, 2013. Contract negotiations are now underway to bargain a successor agreement for the 2013-2015 biennium.
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.
UW Negotiations Team:
|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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The parties exchanged several conceptual package proposals throughout the day, making significant progress toward reaching mutual agreement.
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 noted that it would present the settlement offer to its legal counsel.
The parties arrived at tentative agreements on several contract articles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for September 18.
This recap details the eighth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE, and the fourth session facilitated by a neutral mediator.
Today's discussion focused on issues specific to employees and job classes at Harborview and UW Medical Centers.
Primary topics of conversation included pay premiums, educational and professional development benefits, and the wages and responsibilities of UW employees in hospital environments as compared to their non-hospital counterparts.
The parties reached tentative agreements on educational benefits for two job classifications, and revised provisions related to assignment pay for certain hospital positions.
The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for September 11.
This recap details the seventh session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE, and the third session facilitated by a neutral mediator.
The parties continued attempts at reaching agreement on several open contract articles. The discussion centered on a number of contract articles and issues, including union activities, layoff and seniority, and promotional opportunities.
Other articles discussed included assignment pay and vacation. The parties also revisited conversations on corrective action, overtime, and the process for notifying employees of their dues obligations to the union.
The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for September 5.
This recap details the sixth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE, and the second session facilitated by a neutral mediator.
The parties continued efforts to compromise on several open contract articles. The conversation focused mainly on the following articles and issue areas:
Article 21: Performance Evaluation – Criteria for evaluation forms, and the amount of time after receiving a performance evaluation that an employee has to provide a written response.
Article 23: Corrective Action – The level at which corrective action may begin, and guidelines around notifying the union when a WFSE-represented employee is recommended for dismissal.
Article 39: Hours of Work and Schedules – Alternative work schedules for non-hospital personnel.
Other articles for discussion involved alternative schedules, overtime, promotions, and seniority/layoff.
KRONOS Implementation – The parties tentatively agreed to update the contract's KRONOS memorandum to reflect that WFSE recognizes UW's right to continue with the implementation of the KRONOS timekeeping system, and that UW will bargain the effects that implementation has on WFSE-represented employees.
Article 29: Sick Leave – UW tentatively withdrew its proposal to require all employees to notify management of an unexpected absence at least two hours before the beginning of their scheduled shift, or risk losing the use of paid sick leave for that day.
The parties agreed to arrange a small "side table" meeting to discuss issues and proposals specific to the medical centers.
The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for August 22.
This recap details the fifth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE, and the first session facilitated by a neutral mediator.
The discussion primarily revolved around trying to reach consensus on both parties' proposals regarding the following articles:
Article 7: Union Dues Deduction and Union Security – The parties continued the discussion regarding notification functions for new employees of their union dues obligations and the roles that UW and WFSE take in this process.
Article 8: Contract Distribution – The parties continued discussions regarding the roles of UW and WFSE in printing, distributing, and having copies of the contract available online and in hard copy.
Article 26: Health and Safety – The parties continued discussion surrounding union participation in L&I visits and protocol around workplace reviews.
Article 32: Child/Dependent Care – The parties tentatively agreed to UW's proposed updates to reflect the current practice, removing outdated references to the UW WorkLife office.
Article 35.2: Bereavement Leave – The parties tentatively agreed to new language allowing more flexibility for employees who are utilizing bereavement leave.
Appendix X – The parties tentatively agreed to add Unit Supply Technicians and Unit Supply Inventory Control Specialists to the list of job classes eligible for health care professional technical premium pay.
The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for August 17.
This recap details the fourth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE.
WFSE Council Representative James Dannen attended to address UW's frustration over the frequency in which counseling meetings are delayed and rescheduled. WFSE explained that stewards hold different roles, and that not all stewards are appropriately trained to accompany employees during disciplinary counseling meetings.
UW asked if James could provide training to help other stewards provide appropriate counsel, which WFSE said it would consider.
UW voiced concern over stewards crossing to other locales, such as driving from UW Bothell to UW Medical Center, during work hours.
UW believes stewards in the local jurisdiction must be utilized first, and only if they are unavailable would a steward from another jurisdiction be utilized.
WFSE asked if UW could provide notice to the union when it schedules a meeting with an employee.
WFSE explained that with such notice, it could ask the employee if they would like representation. UW responded that it would consider this request, but noted that it is an employee right and responsibility to decide whether they want union involvement.
UW pointed out that this could infringe on an individual's right to privacy, and that many employees prefer to meet individually with their managers on disciplinary matters.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Parental Leave - WFSE proposed amending UW's FMLA leave proposal so that employees would not be required to use FMLA leave for work-related illness or injuries covered by Workers' Compensation.
UW noted that the federal law is very clear that FMLA leave can run concurrently with leave for an on-the-job injury. UW explained that all other contracts require the use of FMLA leave for illnesses and injuries covered by Workers' Compensation, and that given the volume of absences covered by the FMLA, having inconsistent rules is very problematic.
Reclassification of Medical Center Custodians - WFSE proposed changing the job class of custodians working at Harborview and UW Medical Centers to "Custodian – Hospital." WFSE noted that the MOU and its appendix, which raises salary ranges for these positions, are based on the average minimum and maximum hourly wages at surrounding hospitals.
UW raised a number of questions about how responsibilities between custodians differed, and explained that it would need time to review the concept before it could respond further.
Union Activities - UW proposed revising the language about jurisdictions in Article 9.2 (Union Stewards) to be consistent with the jurisdictions already established in the contract for skilled trades shop stewards, and specified that the union update its list of stewards on a semi-annual basis. UW also proposed discontinuing its financial participation in steward training unless the training is more collaborative.
Health and Safety - UW proposed amending Article 26 to clearly distinguish cases of non-binding consultation and unannounced inspections by the Labor and Industries (L&I) Department of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH). The University would give the union an opportunity to participate in the worksite visit by L&I, but consistent with state and federal law, cannot allow the lack of union participation to delay an inspection.
Wages and Other Pay Provisions - UW proposed adding a new section to Article 41 regarding lead assignment pay. Management could assign employees lead duties for an indefinite period, which would have a 5-10 percent increase in pay above the contract rate for designated classifications. This option would not affect existing employees in lead job classes.
Seniority, Layoff, and Rehire - UW proposed a return to the original definition of layoff seniority, whereby it is based on how long an employee has worked continuously for the UW, not just how long they have worked continuously in a WFSE-represented job at the UW.
UW also proposed returning to 24-month rehire period, consistent with other UW contracts.
UW and WFSE confirmed their agreement to engage a neutral mediator to facilitate the remaining negotiations.
The parties agreed to provide proposals and a summary of issues to the mediator before the next bargaining session, which will be the first meeting during these negotiations to be administered by a mediator.
The next UW/WFSE bargaining session, and first session of mediation, is scheduled for August 9.
This recap details the third session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE.
Paid release time for future negotiations – WFSE proposed that UW pay for release time for half of WFSE's bargaining team for the first 10 negotiation sessions for the next round of contract negotiations.
After the first 10 negotiation sessions, additional paid release time would remain open for discussion.
Matching pay across job classes – WFSE presented a list of 64 job classes from the WFSE Master Contract with lower pay ranges than the same job classes outside the WFSE contract. These non-WFSE jobs are either not union-represented, or are represented by the Service Employees International Union, Local 925 (SEIU 925).
WFSE proposed that wages for all of the identified jobs be increased to match their non-represented and/or SEIU 925-represented counterparts.
UW explained that contract negotiations are always a tradeoff of the issues and priorities between the UW and each union. As such, WFSE cannot simply adopt "me too" economic benefits that SEIU 925 has negotiated over the years without more comprehensive consideration and potential adoption of SEIU 925's contract language.
Standardize union-related leave requests – Require that employees submit appropriate leave requests prior to union-related leaves of absence. For shop stewards, this would apply to attending the steward training program, and for all union members, this would apply to attending union business functions or programs.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) use – UW supplemented its initial FMLA proposal to establish a standard order for which an employee's accrued leave would be used while absent on FMLA leave, starting with sick leave, followed by compensatory time, and then vacation time (though the employee could choose to retain up to 80 vacation hours).
Adjusting assignment pay – Remove assignment pay eligibility for employees required to wear fitted respirator masks as part of their job (this current proposal does not include skilled trades employees).
UW explained that an assignment pay premium for wearing such masks is not community practice in healthcare settings. UW presented a chart listing the number of hours of assignment pay earned by WFSE-represented employees during calendar year 2011. The chart demonstrated that out of more than 26,000 hours paid in assignment pay in 2011, only 511 were earned by medical centers staff.
Corrective action process – Restore a past contract provision that would enable management to determine the specific step at which the corrective action process begins, based on the nature and the severity of the problem that is being addressed. This is consistent with other UW labor agreements.
UW also proposed a requirement that employees be notified of their rights to have a union representative present during certain corrective action meetings, but that coordinating the attendance of a union representative will not cause an undue delay of the disciplinary process.
The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for July 27.
This recap details the second session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE.
UW presented the WFSE Profile Report, a detailed summary of the WFSE-represented workforce at the UW campuses and medical centers in 2011.
The report shows that WFSE represents more than 2,800 employees across 49 departments at the University of Washington, with an annual payroll of nearly $100 million.
UW presented an initial cost estimate for the compensation portion of WFSE's proposal, based on certain assumptions about the number of employees affected. The estimate valued the proposal at $16.8 million over two years, which would equate to an additional $8.4 million per year.
UW pointed out that this estimate does not reflect the additional costs of the benefit loads that will be applied. These will increase the total price by at least 16 or 17 percent, which still will not include the added costs of insurance and pension benefits.
Performance Evaluations – Remove language indicating that if an employee does not receive an annual performance appraisal, it can be assumed that they performed satisfactorily.
Sick Leave Notification – Set a default requirement that employees calling out sick must provide at least two hours' notice prior to their scheduled shift, unless their department decides otherwise, or risk losing paid sick leave for that day.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Usage – Allow for the UW to calculate FMLA eligibility using a rolling 12-month leave period, aligning the leave period with each employee's actual usage, instead of defining the period according to the calendar-year.
Also proposed is a requirement for employees on FMLA leave to use all but 80 hours of their accrued paid leave while absent before taking unpaid leave, which is common in many UW-union contracts.
Mandatory Subjects of Bargaining: Remove Article 56 from the contract, because state law already mandates negotiations of changes to the mandatory subjects of bargaining: wages, hours, and working conditions.
The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for June 13 (session cancelled). The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for July 13.
This recap details the first session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and WFSE.
After a lengthy discussion, both UW and WFSE agreed upon ground rules for negotiations.
Both parties agreed that UW would provide paid release time for four members of WFSE’s bargaining team per meeting, and would accommodate unpaid release time for the remaining 11 members.
WFSE presented its initial contract proposal, which suggested changes to 15 articles in the existing collective bargaining agreement.
WFSE’s proposals covered an array of topics, ranging from wage increases, additional paid leave, and professional development to contracting out, corrective action, and grievance procedures.
Wage Increases – Implement market adjustments, plus a three percent across-the-board raise for fiscal year 2014 and an additional three percent across-the-board raise for fiscal year 2015.
Premium Pay – Institute pay premiums for employees working weekends, donning protective equipment, earning certifications, or cleaning specific types of hospital rooms.
Increased Paid Leave – Provide an additional personal holiday, expanded vacation accrual, and up to five additional days of paid leave for medical center employees to put toward professional development.
Contracting Out – Remove all contracting out language from the collective bargaining agreement.
Temporary Employees – Expand contract provisions that apply to temporary employees, including sick leave and additional holiday overtime for temporary workers.
UW committed to review WFSE’s contract proposals in detail.
UW expressed that despite continued financial uncertainty, it hopes both parties can reach a mutually-satisfactory agreement in a timely manner.
The next UW/WFSE bargaining session is scheduled for June 6.