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Washington State Nurses Association Contract Negotation Updates

In April of 2012, University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) management and the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) agreed to terms for the 2012-2013 contract year of the parties' collective bargaining agreement, which expires on June 30, 2013. Contract negotiations for a successor agreement are now underway. WSNA represents more than 1400 registered nurses at UWMC.

Compensation: New compensation provisions went into effect on July 1, 2013, including 2 percent across-the-board increases for all employees in the bargaining unit. 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 State Nurses Association Contract.

Nancy Dombrowski
Director; UW Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Andrew Berg
Labor Relations Specialist; UW Labor Relations
Karla Clark
Senior Compensation Consultant for Medical Centers; HR Compensation
Catherine Cordner
Nurse Manager, Dermatology Center; UWMC Roosevelt
Shelley Deatrick
Nurse Manager, Perioperative-Anesthesia Care Unit; UWMC
Becky Hammontree
HR Consultant; UWMC
Leslie Hampton
Associate Director, Professional Development, PFCC, Patient Care Services; UWMC
A.J. Hartman
Communications Specialist; UW Labor Relations
Karen Odle
Assistant Administrator, Patient Care Services; UWMC
Grace Parker
Interim Chief Nursing Officer and Associate Administrator, Ambulatory Clinics; UWMC
Christine Sampson
Nurse Manager, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; UWMC
Sue Theiler
Nurse Manager, Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology, Oral Surgery; UWMC
Patty Van Velsir
HR Consultant; UWMC

Negotiations Recap for July 1, 2013

This update outlines the seventh and final session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UWMC and WSNA.

Comprehensive Tentative Agreement Reached

Contract Highlights

UWMC and WSNA reached a comprehensive tentative agreement on a contract for the 2013-2015 biennium, which both parties will recommend to their constituents for approval and ratification. Key provisions include:

Wages
Employees will receive a 2 percent across-the-board wage increase for both years of the 2013-2015 biennium.
The parties also agreed to increase the pay at four select steps on the wage scale that previously did not provide for a pay increase from the preceding step, effective January 1, 2014.
Charge Nurse Pay
Nurses will be paid the Charge Nurse premium when they are assigned Charge Nurse responsibility for a period of one or more hours, instead of the previous minimum four-hour threshold.
Missed Rest Breaks
Any missed rest breaks that are not documented in KRONOS will be considered as taken.
Compensatory Time Off
Compensatory time accumulation for extra "straight-time" hours worked will be eliminated.
Leave due to Childcare Emergencies
Use of vacation leave, sick leave, and leave without pay for emergency child care will be limited to six days total per calendar year.
Innovative Work Schedule Agreement Form
Nurses may submit changes to their work period twice per year or when transferring to a new unit.
Contract Details

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

Next Steps

UWMC and WSNA will recommend this agreement to their respective constituents for approval and ratification.


Negotiations Recap for June 13, 2013

This recap details the sixth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UWMC and WSNA.

UWMC Counter-Proposal

Union Reports
UWMC presented a counter to WSNA's proposed language surrounding administrative processes such as dues deduction and employee rosters.

Package Proposals

The parties exchanged package proposals that bundled together various outstanding items, and would need to be accepted in their entirety. Provisions included rest between shifts, missed rest breaks, compensation, and leave due to childcare emergencies.

Further Dialogue

UWMC thanked its nurses for their part in a shining report from a recent unannounced survey by The Joint Commission health care accreditation organization. UWMC recounted The Joint Commission's recognition of the extraordinary patient acuity at UWMC, as well as its praise for the expertise and the patient focus at UWMC.

Next Steps

The next UWMC-WSNA bargaining session is scheduled for June 21.


Negotiations Recap for June 6, 2013

This recap details the fifth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UWMC and WSNA.

WSNA Counter-Proposals

Union Reports
WSNA presented a counter to UWMC's proposed language updates surrounding administrative processes such as dues deduction and employee rosters.
The parties discussed what identifying employee information can and cannot be acquired and provided to the union.
On-call Staffing
WSNA declined UWMC's proposal to establish a system of on-call scheduling in the Labor and Delivery Unit and in the Emergency Department.

UWMC Counter-Proposals

Rest Between Shifts
UWMC maintained its proposal to standardize the required off-duty time between shifts at 10 and one-half hours for nurses working eight-, 10-, and 12-hour shifts.
UWMC withdrew its proposal to pay nurses at a premium rate only for the amount of time worked during their scheduled time-off period, and instead proposed that any nurse receiving less than the required time off between shifts receive four hours of premium pay during their next shift.
Missed Rest Breaks
UWMC maintained its proposal that after KRONOS' August implementation date, any missed rest breaks that are not documented in KRONOS would be considered as taken.
Charge Nurse Pay
UWMC proposed that nurses be paid the Charge Nurse premium when they are formally assigned Charge Nurse responsibility for a period of two or more hours, instead of the current four-hour threshold.
General Wage Increases
UWMC proposed an across-the-board wage increase of 2 percent on July 1, 2013, and 1 percent on July 1, 2014. These wage increases would remain contingent upon the Washington State Legislature approving and appropriating the funds requested by the UW through the biennial budget process.

Further Dialogue

Separations

UWMC presented data on the number of nurses leaving UWMC between July 2011 and May 2013. A full 45 percent of the 217 separations that occurred during this time period consisted of nurses that had worked at UWMC for two years or less. For nurses who worked at UWMC for 20 or more years, all separations were retirements. UWMC pointed out that of the 217 nurses who departed during this time, 33 have since returned to work at UWMC.

Next Steps

The next UWMC-WSNA bargaining session is scheduled for June 13.