SEIU 1199 represents technical and social workers, healthcare specialists, and registered nurses at Harborview Medical Center (Harborview), as well as the airborne flight nurses of Airlift Northwest.
Negotiations Recap for January 24, 2013
This recap details the 16th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the seventh session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.
Scope of Negotiations
The parties continued to discuss several issues in the form of conceptual proposal packages, pertaining to the Harborview master contract as well as the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit addendum.
Among other issues, the Harborview conversation focused on wage increases, rest between shifts policy, and educational and professional development. The Airlift Northwest discussion addressed topics including the schedule bidding process, mandatory overtime, and working from home.
The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for January 29.
Negotiations Recap for December 21, 2012
This recap details the 15th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the sixth session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.
SEIU 1199 Counter-Proposals
- In response to UW/Harborview's latest counter, SEIU 1199 supported the language to expand preceptor eligibility to healthcare specialists, social workers, electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologists, and Airlift Northwest nurses, and to add students and emergency department residents as eligible recipients.
- However, SEIU 1199 rejected UW/Harborview's proposed language to clarify that employees for whom such preceptor activity is a distinguishing characteristic of their job are not eligible for preceptor pay.
- Worker's Compensation, Light Duty, and Return to Work
- SEIU 1199 proposed a memorandum explaining Harborview's existing practices and services surrounding workplace injury.
- Commitment to Staff
- SEIU 1199 put forth an amended version of its proposed memorandum. The proposed language affirms Harborview's commitment to staff safely and according to staffing plans, and recognizes that for significant and ongoing changes in patient census, staffing adjustments may be required.
- Rest Between Shifts
- UW/Harborview maintained its previous proposal to extend rest between shifts premium eligibility to anesthesiology technicians and END technologists, in exchange for aligning the nurse policy with community standards.
- Currently nurses receiving anything less than their full designated time off between shifts will automatically be paid at a time-and-one-half rate for eight hours of their next shift. In contrast, the practice for nurses at most of Harborview's peer hospitals - and for healthcare specialists and social workers at Harborview - is to pay this premium only for the time worked within their designated time off.
- Educational and Professional Development
- UW/Harborview maintained its previous proposal to increase education support funds to nearly all workgroups, in exchange for no longer pooling the unused funds.
- UW/Harborview also proposed language clarifying that mandatory participation in an in-service education is considered work time, and will be paid accordingly.
- UW/Harborview proposed language specifying that to qualify for float pay, employees must be assigned to work outside the department(s) to which they were hired for a defined shift of at least four hours. Staff employed in more than one department would not be eligible for float pay when working in those departments.
- Layoff Units
- UW/Harborview proposed changes to the social work layoff units to better reflect current practices.
Conceptual Proposal Packages
The parties proceeded to discuss several conceptual proposal packages introduced by the mediators, pertaining both to the Harborview bargaining units and to Airlift Northwest, in an effort to move closer to agreement on certain outstanding issues. Provisions discussed included general wage increases, rest between shifts, and educational and professional development, among others.
Rest Between Shifts Community Standards
UW/Harborview presented the rest between shifts policies for nurses at many of Harborview's peer healthcare organizations. These provisions demonstrate that the standard among comparable hospitals is to pay a premium to nurses for any time worked within their designated time off between shifts. In contrast, Harborview's contractual obligation is to automatically pay nurses at a premium rate for eight hours, regardless of the amount of time worked during their rest period.
The next UW/Harborview bargaining session is scheduled for January 24.
Negotiations Recap for November 27, 2012
This recap details the 14th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the fifth session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.
SEIU 1199 Presentation
Key Points of SEIU 1199's Counter-Proposals
- Rest Between Shifts
- SEIU 1199 proposed expanding the rest between shifts policy covering social workers and health care specialists to include respiratory therapists, medical imaging technologists, anesthesiology technicians, and electroneurodiagnostic technologists.
- Break Relief Nurse
- SEIU 1199 supplemented its original proposal to create a break relief nurse position, proposing that such nurses be hired for acute care units on the day shift, and that they be eligible for the float premium pay.
- Education Support Funds
- SEIU 1199 proposed changing how education support funds are pooled for part-time registered nurses, such that unused individual funds would still be pooled and reallocated, but Harborview would no longer have an obligation to supplement the fund with additional money if needed.
- Each nurse would have an annual maximum usage of $500.
Key Points of UW/Harborview's Counter-Proposals
- Airlift Northwest
- UW/Harborview provided a comprehensive response to SEIU 1199's theoretical package proposal pertaining specifically to Airlift Northwest issues.
- Article 21: Corrective Action/Dismissal Process and/or Resignation
- The parties tentatively agreed that Harborview will use the jointly developed general template when conducting a Step A meeting, and it will not be put in the employee's file.
- The parties also tentatively agreed that while management leads the corrective action process, a Registered Nurse 3 may be present during the process, and involved in mentorship, feedback, and evaluations.
- Meal and Rest Breaks
- The parties tentatively agreed to a memorandum memorializing the parties' commitment to uninterrupted breaks for employees.
- Harborview will collect data on any meal breaks that are not taken in each department or unit, which it will report to the joint labor-management committee to discuss solutions.
SEIU 1199 requested clarification on UW/Harborview's proposal to establish that employees who regularly and voluntarily work in more than one department do not meet the definition of floating.
UW/Harborview pointed out that SEIU 1199's insistence that all such arrangements must qualify for float pay under the existing policy has prevented some employees from getting the flexible schedule they desire.
UW/Harborview explained that its proposed language would allow for employees who want to work regularly in more than one department at a straight-time rate to do so.
The parties discussed perspectives on what differentiates a preceptor relationship from general orientation.
UW/Harborview explained that a preceptor relationship is typically long term, guided by a defined program, and meant to transform a novice into an expert. General orientation typically involves acquainting an already experienced employee with an unfamiliar environment.
UW/Harborview noted that current utilization of preceptor pay has not always been consistent, and that in order to expand preceptor eligibility to more work groups, the parameters must be better defined.