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SEIU 1199 Contract Negotiation Updates

SEIU 1199 represents Healthcare Specialists, Registered Nurses, Social Workers, and several medical technologist and technician job classifications at Harborview Medical Center (Harborview), as well as the flight nurses of Airlift Northwest. SEIU 1199 also represents Registered Nurses at Hall Health Center and UW Environmental Health and Safety, along with UW Research Nurses.

Pranika Laing
Assistant Director, Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Banks Evans
Assistant Director, Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Andrew Berg
Assistant Director, Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator: Airlift Northwest)
Bonnie Conley
Director, Social Work, Harborview Medical Center
Tara Cannava
Director of Operations, Hall Health Center
A.J. Hartman
Communications Specialist, Labor Relations
Julie Hoffman
Regional Manager, Airlift Northwest
Stephanie Howe
Payroll Services Director, UW Medicine Payroll Services
Darcy Jaffe
Chief Nursing Officer, Harborview Medical Center
Sommer Kleweno-Walley
Administrator, Patient Care Services, Harborview Medical Center
Dana Kyles
Assistant Administrator, Patient Care Services, Harborview Medical Center
DeAnn Lestenkof
Director, Administration and Human Resources, Department of Medicine
Joe Marotta
Administrative Director, Radiology, Harborview Medical Center
Kathy Mertens
Assistant Administrator, Ambulatory and Allied Care Services, Harborview Medical Center
Jennifer Petritz
Director, Medical Centers Human Resources
Becky Pierce
Associate Administrator, SEICS, Harborview Medical Center
JoAnn Wuitschick
Human Resources Consultant, Campus HR Operations

Negotiations Recap for September 28, 2015

This recap details the 22nd session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199, which expired as of July 1, 2015. This was the 10th session to be facilitated by State-appointed mediators.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

General Wage Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed general wage increases of 3.5 percent effective July 1, 2015, and another 3.5 percent effective July 1, 2016.

New Top Steps – SEIU 1199 proposed that one new step be added at the top of all pay tables effective July 1, 2015, and another new step would be added at the top of all non-nurse pay tables effective July 1, 2016.

Filler Steps – SEIU 1199 proposed pay step increases from the previous step at steps I, L, and N.

Standby Pay – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to increase the premium for time spent on call to $6 per hour for all eligible employees.

Targeted Wage Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed the following wage adjustments specific to individual job class series:

  • Anesthesiology Technician Series – 5 percent wage increase.

  • Vascular and Cardiac Lead Sonographers – Move from pay range 96 to range 99.

  • Flight Nurse Premium – $5 per hour flight nurse premium.

  • Juneau-based Flight Nurses – 5 percent wage increase for flight nurses based in Juneau.

Break Relief Nurses – SEIU 1199 proposed to add day shift break relief nurses to three additional acute care units one year from the contract’s ratification, and that all acute care units have day shift break relief nurses in place by June 30, 2017. The union maintained its proposal for the details of the phase-in schedule to be discussed at the joint labor-management committee.

Call Back and Prescheduled Standby Assignments

  • No New Mandatory Call – SEIU 1199 proposed prohibiting the hospital from introducing mandatory call anywhere without first reaching full agreement with the union.

  • Call Committee – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for a committee specific to call, to include physicians, management, and unit staff.

  • Premium Pay – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for on-call employees who are called back and work more than 12 hours to be paid double their normal rate of pay for hours worked beyond 12.

  • Callback Relief – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to allow employees who have worked on-call within eight hours of their next scheduled shift to call out sick citing fatigue, to which they could apply annual leave, sick leave, or leave without pay.

Healthcare Specialist Consolidation – SEIU 1199 proposed the consolidation of inpatient and outpatient healthcare specialists step for step, with payment retroactive to September 1, 2015.

Social Work Consolidation – SEIU 1199 proposed that the parties form a committee to explore the consolidation of the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classifications, and that effective July 1, 2015, employees in the Social Worker 1 job class be moved to the Social Worker 2 pay range.

The union proposed a 6 percent hourly premium pay for all licensed social workers, and that employees in the Social Worker Assistant 2 job class receive a 6 percent wage increase, both effective July 1, 2015.

END Technologist Job Descriptions and Increases – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for UW to undertake a review of the Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologist series job descriptions and provide a response within 45 days of the contract’s ratification. The union proposed that END technologists receive a wage increase of at least 8 percent, regardless of the outcome of the review.

BSN Premium – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposed pay premium of $1 per hour for nurses holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

Research/Hall Health Nurses

  • Research/Hall Health Nurse Pay Tables – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for the Research Nurse 1 job class to be placed on the BW pay table such that it aligns with the Hall Health Nurse 2 job class. The union maintained its proposal to establish a 6 percent pay differential between the Research Nurse 1 and Research Nurse 2 job classes.

  • Credit for Past Experience – SEIU 1199 amended UW’s proposal to evaluate the experience and placement of Hall Health nurses, such that nurses receiving a salary step adjustment would be paid retroactively to July 1, 2015.

  • Research/Hall Health Addendum – SEIU 1199 delivered a comprehensive counter-proposal, which included proposals to incorporate certain provisions from the main contract related to hours of work and pay premiums, as well as a prohibition on mandatory standby assignments for Hall Health nurses without union consent.

Per Diem Proposals

  • Per Diem Wage Differential – SEIU 1199 proposed to increase the per diem nurse wage differential to 8 percent.

  • Per Diem Step Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed that per diem nurses receive annual step increases upon reaching 1,872 hours, as frequently as once every 12 months, and that UW track this data and report it annually to the union.

  • Per Diem Float Premium – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for per diem nurses to be eligible to receive float pay.

  • Applicable Contract Provisions – SEIU 1199 proposed several additions to the list of regular contract provisions that apply to per diem nurses.

  • Per Diem Hours and Employment – SEIU 1199 accepted UW’s language memorializing that assignment of hours and continuation of employment for per diem employees are at the employer’s discretion and are not subject to grievance, and that upon employee request, a meeting to explain such an action will be held with a representative of the employer.

  • Per Diem Hire-in Rates – SEIU 1199 withdrew its proposal for hire-in rates for per diem nurses to be based on year-for-year credit for applicable experience.

Negotiations for a Successor Contract – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for UW to provide paid release time for 16 union designated bargaining team members for all sessions during future rounds of contract negotiations, as well as for two bargaining team members to attend statewide Healthcare Coalition bargaining.

UW Proposals

Per Diem Nurse Overtime – UW supplemented its last proposal with language memorializing that time worked beyond 40 hours in one week is considered overtime and will be paid at one and one-half times the regular rate of pay.

Negotiations for a Successor Contract – UW maintained its proposal for paid release time for up to 15 union designated bargaining team members for the first 10 sessions (for up to eight hours per session) during negotiations for the 2017-2019 contract. After 20 sessions, the union could request that the parties discuss additional paid release time for union team members. UW would provide paid release time for one bargaining team member to attend statewide Healthcare Coalition bargaining.

UW Standby Package Proposal

UW put forth a package proposal in which all provisions would need to be accepted in their entirety. Provisions included:

  • Call Back and Prescheduled Standby Assignments – UW maintained its proposal for the parties to withdraw their outstanding proposals and revert to current contract language.

  • Harborview Standby Hours – UW proposed the creation of an ad hoc joint labor-management committee to meet, evaluate, and discuss issues related to standby hours at Harborview, including departmental utilization of standby assignments, number of standby hours being worked, and alternatives to utilizing standby assignments.

    The committee would include equal union and management representation, and would meet at least four times during calendar year 2016.

UW Economic Package Proposal

UW put forth a package proposal in which all provisions would need to be accepted in their entirety. As a condition of this package, the union would withdraw all of its economic proposals. Provisions included:

  • General Wage Increases – UW maintained its proposed general wage increases to 2.5 percent effective the first available pay period after ratification, and 2 percent effective July 1, 2016.

  • New Top Step – UW maintained its proposal to create an additional salary step for all SEIU 1199-represented job classifications, such that non-nurse employees who have been at the top step for more than five years (and nurses at the top step for more than six years) as of July 1, 2016, would advance to the new top step on their periodic increment date.

  • Break Relief Nurse – UW proposed to maintain the existing break relief nurse model on 6EH and 7EH at Harborview and to assess the other acute care units to determine the most effective care delivery model for day shift break relief.

    Nurses in each applicable unit would participate in the evaluation and development of a break relief plan for their unit, and management would provide regular updates on this process through the joint labor-management process. Each unit’s plan for day shift break relief would be implemented by June 1, 2017.

  • Hall Health Nurse Salary Step Analysis – UW maintained its proposal to evaluate the experience and placement of Hall Health nurses who the union believes are placed on a salary step that does not appropriately reflect their years of experience.

    Any nurses deemed by UW to be on an improper salary step would receive an additional step increase for their next periodic increment date, and the union may request an explanation of UW’s determination.

  • END Technologist Job Descriptions – UW maintained its proposal for the UW Compensation Office to undertake the union’s proposed review of the END Technologist series job descriptions, and provide a response within 60 days of the contract’s ratification.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is currently being determined by the parties. Since the contract has expired, the previous contract will remain in effect until the parties negotiate a successor agreement. Similar to the approach used across the University and in prior contract negotiations, UW has stated that it does not intend for wage increases to be applied retroactively, meaning wage increases would not begin before the new contract goes into effect.


Negotiations Recap for September 16, 2015

This recap details the 21st session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199, which expired as of July 1, 2015. This was the ninth session to be facilitated by State-appointed mediators.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

Per Diem Proposals

  • Per Diem Wage Differential – SEIU 1199 proposed to increase the per diem nurse wage differential to 9 percent.

  • Ending Employment – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to require that prior to ending employment for any per diem employee, Harborview must meet with the employee and union delegate for discussion. SEIU 1199 added language to allow the union to grieve the ending of a per diem nurse’s employment under certain circumstances.

  • Per Diem Step Increases – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for per diem nurses to receive annual step increases upon reaching 1,872 hours. The union added a proposal for these hours to be tracked by the employer and made available to the union on January 1st of every year.

  • Per Diem Float Premium – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for per diem nurses to receive float pay.

  • Per Diem Hire-in Rates – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for hire-in rates for per diem nurses to be based on year-for-year credit for applicable experience.

  • Applicable Contract Provisions – SEIU 1199 maintained its several proposed additions to the list of regular contract provisions that apply to per diem nurses.

UW Proposals

UW Package Proposal

UW put forth a package proposal in which all provisions would need to be accepted in their entirety. As a condition of this package, the union would withdraw all of its economic proposals. Provisions included:

  • General Wage Increases – UW increased its proposed general wage increases to 2.5 percent effective the first available pay period after ratification, and 2 percent effective July 1, 2016.

  • Call Back and Prescheduled Standby Assignments – UW proposed that the parties withdraw their outstanding proposals and revert to current contract language.

  • Break Relief Nurse – In the context of this package, UW proposed to maintain the existing break relief nurse model on 6EH and 7EH at Harborview and to assess the other acute care units to determine the most effective care delivery model for day shift break relief by June 1, 2017.

  • New Top Step – UW maintained its proposal to create an additional salary step for all SEIU 1199-represented job classifications, such that non-nurse employees who have been at the top step for more than five years (and nurses at the top step for more than six years) as of July 1, 2016, would advance to the new top step on their periodic increment date.

  • Hall Health Nurse Salary Step Analysis – UW maintained its proposal to evaluate the experience and placement of Hall Health Nurses who the union believes are placed on a salary step that does not appropriately reflect their years of experience.

    Any nurses deemed by UW to be on an improper salary step would receive an additional step increase for their next periodic increment date, and the union may request an explanation of UW’s determination.

  • END Technologist Job Descriptions – UW maintained its proposal for the UW Compensation Office to undertake the union’s proposed review of the Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologist series job descriptions, and provide a response within 60 days of the contract’s ratification.

Other UW Proposals

Harborview Scholarships – UW increased its proposal to grant scholarships of up to $14,000 each to up to 11 Harborview nurses accepted into the UW Bothell RN-to-BSN degree program offered on-site at Harborview. In addition to the UW Bothell program, UW would provide up to $10,000 per year (total) for Harborview nurses to attend a program to complete their BSN, MSN, or other advanced nursing practice degrees, and up to a total of $5,000 per year for non-nurses pursuing a nursing degree.

Research/Hall Health Addendum – UW provided a comprehensive counter to the union’s September 10 proposal, including several updates to reflect provisions on which the parties have reached tentative agreements.

Per Diem Nurse Compensation – UW supplemented its last proposal with language memorializing that it will continue its current practices related to per diem compensation and premium pay.

Social Worker and Healthcare Specialist Consolidation Discussions

UW Package Proposal

UW put forth the following package proposal, in which all provisions would need to be accepted in their entirety:

  • Social Work Consolidation – After initiating further discussion with the union, UW proposed consolidating the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classes, which would provide wage increases of roughly 8 percent to employees in the current Social Worker 1 job class, effective July 1, 2016. UW also proposed that social workers with qualifying licenses be eligible for certification pay of $1 per hour effective July 1, 2016.

    The parties would meet at least three times before June 30, 2016, and upon consolidation, UW would conduct a market based salary study and provide the results to the union within 90 days.

  • Healthcare Specialist Consolidation – UW would agree to the union’s proposal to merge inpatient and outpatient healthcare specialist pay ranges such that affected employees would be placed at the same salary step on the new pay range, effective July 1, 2016. This would result in increases of roughly 5 percent for outpatient healthcare specialists.

Union Proposals

  • Healthcare Specialist Consolidation – SEIU 1199 proposed the consolidation of inpatient and outpatient healthcare specialists step for step, with payment retroactive to July 1, 2015.

  • Social Work Consolidation – SEIU 1199 proposed that the parties form a committee to explore the consolidation of the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classifications, and that effective July 1, 2015, employees in the Social Worker 1 job class be moved to the Social Worker 2 pay range.

    The union proposed an 8 percent hourly premium pay for all licensed social workers, and that employees in the Social Worker Assistant 2 job class receive an 8 percent wage increase, both effective July 1, 2015.

UW Response

UW expressed disappointment with the union’s lack of movement in its counter-proposals after the parties’ extensive discussion over these two issues, including several small table meetings focused specifically on these matters.

UW formally withdrew its proposals relating to the consolidation of the inpatient and outpatient Healthcare Specialist job classifications and of the Social Worker 1 and 2 job classifications.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for September 28. Since the contract has expired, the previous contract will remain in effect until the parties negotiate a successor agreement. Similar to the approach used across the University and in prior contract negotiations, UW has stated that it does not intend for wage increases to be applied retroactively, meaning wage increases would not begin before the new contract goes into effect.


Negotiations Recap for September 10, 2015

This recap details the 20th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199, which expired as of July 1, 2015. This was the eighth session to be facilitated by State-appointed mediators.

UW Proposals

Healthcare Specialist Certification Pay – Based on the union’s proposed notion of discussing certification pay for healthcare specialists through the joint labor-management process, UW proposed language that would commit the parties to hold at least two joint labor-management meetings to discuss the application of certification pay for healthcare specialists.

UW made clear that this proposal is contingent upon the union’s acceptance of UW’s most recent proposals on articles 6 and 8, where the parties still differed on matters including per diem probationary periods and healthcare specialist education funds, respectively.

Charge Nurses and Staffing Concerns – UW moved further toward the union’s position in the discussion to enable charge nurses to adjust resources per patient and unit needs, accepting the union’s proposed strategies such as the use of per diem, agency, and travelers, and assigning managers to be charge nurses to enable charge nurses to take patient loads.

UW Per Diem Proposals

  • Per Diem Wage Differential – UW is proposing no change to the per diem nurse wage differential.
  • Per Diem Wage Increases – UW proposed language establishing that per diem nurses may request a salary increase as frequently as once every 12 months, provided they have worked at least 1,872 hours as a per diem nurse since their last increment or since beginning their current appointment (applicable to hours worked since January 1, 2013).
  • Per Diem Hours and Employment – UW proposed revised language memorializing that assignment of hours and continuation of employment for per diem employees are at the employer’s discretion and are not subject to grievance. UW also proposed that upon employee request, a meeting to explain such an action will be held with a representative of the employer.
  • Joint Labor-Management Committee – UW proposed language recognizing that the contract’s language establishing and outlining the nurse joint labor-management committee is applicable to per diem nurses as well.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

Call Back and Prescheduled Standby Assignments

  • No Mandatory Call – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to add language about no mandatory call for nurses, and to prohibit such call except in cases where the government declares an emergency or if the medical center activates its disaster plan. SEIU 1199 proposed prohibiting the hospital from introducing mandatory call anywhere without first reaching full agreement with the union.
  • Call Committee – SEIU 1199 proposed the creation of a multi-bargaining unit joint labor-management committee specific to call, to include physicians, management, and unit staff.
  • Premium Pay – SEIU 1199 proposed that on-call employees who are called back and work more than 12 hours be paid double their normal rate of pay for hours worked beyond 12.
  • Callback Relief – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to allow employees who have worked on-call within eight hours of their next scheduled shift to call out sick citing fatigue, to which they could apply annual leave, sick leave, or leave without pay.

Break Relief Nurses – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for the parties to determine the details of the phase-in of a Harborview break relief nurse program through the joint labor-management process.

Research/Hall Health RN Addendum – SEIU 1199 delivered a response to UW’s June 9 proposal, which included:

  • Hours of Work and Overtime – SEIU 1199 proposed memorializing in the Research/Hall Health addendum several provisions from the main contract’s hours of work and overtime article, including compensatory time off, scheduling and premium pay relating to weekend work, and rest between shifts premium pay.
  • Credit for Past Experience – SEIU 1199 proposed incorporating existing guidelines, such that the contract would speak to the résumé screening process and the responsibilities of job applicants, and would prescribe what constitutes applicable education and experience and how it would apply in determining wage steps.
  • Standby Assignments – SEIU 1199 proposed a prohibition on mandatory standby assignments for Hall Health nurses.
  • Grievance Procedure – SEIU 1199 proposed that steps B, C, and D of the corrective action process be subject to every step of the grievance procedure, and that all employees be entitled to have a representative present during all steps.

SEIU 1199 Per Diem Proposals

  • Per Diem Wage Differential – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for the per diem nurse wage differential to be increased to 10 percent.
  • Per Diem Step Increases – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for per diem nurses to receive annual step increases upon reaching 1,872 hours.
  • Per Diem Float Premium – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for per diem nurses to receive float pay.
  • Per Diem Hire-in Rates – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for hire-in rates for per diem nurses to be based on year-for-year credit for applicable experience.
  • Ending Employment – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to require that prior to ending employment for any per diem employee, Harborview must meet with the employee and union delegate for discussion.
  • Applicable Contract Provisions – SEIU 1199 maintained its several proposed additions to the list of regular contract provisions that apply to per diem nurses.

Tentative Agreements

Article 6: Bargaining Unit Classes/Definitions – The parties tentatively agreed to memorialize a six month trial service period for permanent employees who accept a position in a job class for which they previously have not attained permanent status. Employees could voluntarily revert to their former permanent position within six weeks of the appointment as long as the position had not already been filled or offered, and if an employee’s prior position has been filled with a permanent employee, the employee would be placed on the rehire list. Reversion of employees who are unsuccessful during their trial service period would not be subject to grievance.

An employee who voluntarily moves from one bargaining unit position to another within the same job class will have a trial service period of six weeks, during which time the employee or the employer could elect for the employee to return to their previous position.

Article 8: Educational and Professional Development – The parties tentatively agreed to language memorializing that cardiac and vascular sonographers with their license in good standing will receive 24 to 40 hours per fiscal year of elective educational and professional leave upon request. UW will provide for $500 per year in education support funds for cardiac and vascular sonographers, to be based on departmental reimbursement policy and prorated per FTE (full-time equivalent).

MOU: Healthcare Specialist Certification Pay JLM – The parties tentatively agreed to hold at least two joint labor-management meetings to discuss the application of certification pay for healthcare specialists.

MOU: Charge Nurses and Staffing Concerns – The parties tentatively agreed to develop a process for charge nurses to escalate staffing concerns at a joint labor-management meeting within six months of contract ratification. New language recognizes charge nurses’ ability to adjust resources per patient and unit needs, in conjunction with unit management and/or the nursing supervisor. Strategies for adjusting resources may include solicitation of volunteers for overtime shifts, calling in per diems, utilizing float nurses, and assigning managers to be charge nurses to enable charge nurses to take patient loads.

MOU: Meal Breaks, Rest Breaks, Missed Break Reporting – The parties tentatively agreed to memorialize employees’ rights to meal and rest breaks, as well as a requirement that employees report any missed breaks. The language also reinforces UW’s ongoing commitment to not engage in any kind of intimidation or retaliation against employees who report missed breaks.

UW will collect data via KRONOS on meal and rest breaks that are not taken in each department/unit and shift. This data will be provided to the union biannually at the joint labor-management meeting.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for September 16. Since the contract has expired, the previous contract will remain in effect until the parties negotiate a successor agreement. Similar to the approach used across the University and in prior contract negotiations, UW has stated that it does not intend for wage increases to be applied retroactively, meaning wage increases would not begin before the new contract goes into effect.