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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 May 5, 2015

This recap details the third session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199.

Sign-in Sheet

UW again delivered a sign-in sheet for both bargaining teams to sign, in order to help facilitate payment of release time to employees. For the third consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize the sign-in sheet.

Airlift Northwest Discussion

UW delivered several proposals specific to the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit, including:

Flight Nurse Job Classification – UW proposed a new job classification series specific to the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit, in recognition of the unique work of flight nurses.

Base Pay – UW proposed eliminating several conditional flight nurse pay premiums and instead adding that extra pay to flight nurse base wages, to be paid to all flight nurses at all times.

Certification Pay – UW proposed that flight nurses with a Certified Registered Flight Nurse (CFRN) certification be paid a certification premium. In the context of UW's "base pay" proposal, this CFRN premium would remain an additional pay on top of the base pay.

Union Delegates – UW proposed standardizing the number of flight nurse union delegates to be one from each Airlift Northwest base.

Delegate Training – UW proposed clarifying that the 16 hours of paid delegate training hours for the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit be allocated as eight hours each for two nurses.

Part-Time Employees – UW proposed revising the threshold of hours worked in a six week period to be considered a "part-time employee" for the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit from 120–240 hours to 144–240 hours to, noting that no flight nurses work less than a 0.6 FTE (full-time equivalent).

Bereavement Leave – UW proposed language clarifying that flight nurses are entitled to 36 hours of paid bereavement leave for each death of a family member.

Job Posting and Transfer – UW proposed that when notifying flight nurses of open Airlift Northwest bargaining unit positions, management specify the location of the base and the FTE needed.

Official Duty Station – UW proposed language updates to enumerate the six current bases, and to be clear that employees will be scheduled into the base at which they are hired. New language would memorialize that Airlift Northwest may open or change bases depending on community needs.

Overtime – UW proposed eliminating the practice of paying overtime at a double-time rate for hours worked beyond a flight nurse's scheduled 12- or 24-hour shift, and instead pay all overtime at a rate of time and one-half.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for May 13.


Negotiations Recap for April 29, 2015

This recap details the second session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199.

Sign-in Sheet

UW again delivered a sign-in sheet for both bargaining teams to sign, in order to help facilitate payment of release time to employees. For the second consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize the sign-in sheet.

SEIU 1199 Proposals

Per Diem Employees – SEIU 1199 proposed language establishing that per diem employees are not to be regularly used in lieu of regular full- and part-time positions. The union proposed that per diem nurses be paid a 15 percent wage differential, and that they be eligible for longevity steps, educational benefits, and numerous premiums and differentials given to regular Harborview nurses.

The union also proposed that all hours previously worked in per diem status apply to a nurse's probationary period.

Union Delegates – SEIU 1199 proposed allowing for per diem nurses to act as union delegates, as well as increasing the number of union delegates in other units as follows:

  • Social Work: Increase from four to six union delegates.
  • Respiratory Therapy: Increase from two to three union delegates.
  • Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologists: Increase from one to two union delegates.
  • Airlift Northwest Nurses: Increase from one to two union delegates.

Delegate Training Hours – SEIU 1199 proposed increases to the number of employees eligible for 8-hour allotments of paid release time to participate in union-sponsored delegate training as follows:

  • Nurses: Increase from six to eight nurses at eight hours each.
  • Social Workers: Increase from two to four social workers at eight hours each.
  • END Technologists: Increase from one to two END Technologists at eight hours each.

Job Classifications – SEIU 1199 proposed consolidating the four healthcare specialist job classifications into two.

Certification Pay – SEIU 1199 proposed expanding eligibility for certification premium pay to include healthcare specialists as well as cardiac and vascular sonographers.

Shift Rotation – SEIU 1199 proposed language discouraging routine shift rotation except in emergency situations, and that an employee who rotates shifts receive an additional four dollars per hour for each hour worked.

Work in Advance of Shift – SEIU 1199 proposed language to allow for payment of overtime rates more favorable than time and one-half in cases where an employee reports to work in advance of their shift at the request of management and continues to work through their scheduled shift.

Rest Between Shifts – SEIU 1199 proposed expanding eligibility for rest period premium pay to include imaging technologists and sonographers, as well as respiratory care and anesthesiology technicians.

Skills Day – SEIU 1199 proposed the implementation of an annual paid skills day for every bargaining unit.

Educational and Professional Leave – SEIU 1199 proposed expanding the maximum potential educational and professional leave allotment for social workers from 40 hours per year to 80.

Education Support Funds – SEIU 1199 proposed increases to the annual education support funds available to each full-time equivalent (FTE) as follows:

  • Healthcare Specialists: Increase from $1,800 per FTE to $3,000 per FTE.
  • Airlift Northwest: Increase from $500 per FTE to $800 per FTE.

Pay Table Adjustments – SEIU 1199 proposed that the UW Research Nurse 1 and 2 job classes be placed on the same pay table and pay ranges as Harborview Registered Nurse 2 and 3, respectively. The union also proposed pay range increases for vascular lead sonographers.

Hire-in Rates – SEIU 1199 proposed that hire-in rates for social workers be based on year-for-year credit for applicable experience, to be developed through the joint labor-management process.

Callback Relief – SEIU 1199 proposed that employees who have worked on-call within eight hours of their next scheduled shift may call out sick citing fatigue, to which they could apply annual leave, sick leave, or leave without pay. If a staffing need persists after the employee has been off-duty for 12 hours, management could require the employee to work the balance of their shift.

Personnel File – SEIU 1199 proposed enabling employees to request the removal of documents in their personnel file after 12 months, rather than the current timeline of three years.

Faith/Conscience Days – SEIU 1199 proposed new language based on recently enacted legislation, whereby leave without pay be granted for up to two workdays per year for reason of faith or conscience.

Vacation Leave – SEIU 1199 proposed adjusting vacation leave accruals such that each year provides for the accrual of one more vacation day than the year prior. The maximum accrual would be 23 days per year for employees with 12 or more years of service, rather than the current 22 days per year for employees of 16 or more years.

Corrective Action – SEIU 1199 proposed that the performance problem step only be determined after an investigation meeting occurs, and that UW provide written notice to the employee of the investigation subject when notified of the meeting. The union proposed that UW inform the employee of the investigation meeting's outcome within 14 days of its occurrence.

Job Posting – SEIU 1199 proposed that priority for job openings go to existing employees, particularly those within the bargaining unit in which the opening occurs, and seniority would determine who fills the vacancy provided that skill, ability, and experience are equal.

The union proposed that when a position is not filled by permanent employees in that department, per diem employees be considered before employees from outside the department.

Transfers – SEIU 1199 proposed that for nurses, professional/technical employees, healthcare specialists, and social workers, seniority be the determining factor on a transfer to a different shift or section, provided that skill, ability, and experience are equal.

Social Work Layoff Units – SEIU 1199 proposed consolidating Harborview Mental Health Services (HMHS) and Mental Health Integration Program (MHIP) into the same layoff unit as Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress (HCSATS) and Children's Response Center (CRC).

Meal and Rest Breaks – SEIU 1199 proposed language to guarantee uninterrupted meal and rest breaks, and that any exceptions result in employees being paid at a rate of time and one-half.

UW would collect data and report quarterly to the labor-management committee on meal and rest breaks that are not taken in each department and shift, utilized to determine mechanisms under which employees are able to take breaks.

Break Relief Nurse – SEIU 1199 proposed the creation of break relief nurses on all nursing units to relieve nurses with permanent patient assignments for meal and rest breaks.

Quality Improvement Project – SEIU 1199 proposed that the union and UW jointly sponsor a project whereby the labor-management committee would track patients from the emergency room to discharge, and would measure and evaluate reasons for any slowdowns of patient flow.

The union proposed the formation of a "Labor/Management Improvement Projects" subcommittee, on which all time worked would be paid, and for which participants would be trained centrally at a two-day retreat planned by the parties.

Negotiations for a Successor Contract – SEIU 1199 proposed that UW provide paid release time for 2 percent of all 1,859 employees represented by the union for negotiations for a successor contract, as well as for statewide healthcare negotiations.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for May 5.


Negotiations Recap for April 20, 2015

This recap details the first session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199.

Introductions and Ground Rules

Both parties made introductions, and several union members explained their bargaining priorities. The parties discussed process and general expectations for bargaining, and exchanged proposals on ground rules.

Paid Bargaining Release Time SEIU 1199 proposed that UW pay for all of the union's 37-member bargaining team to attend bargaining. UW pointed out that the parties had previously agreed that UW would pay for 13 members of the union's team, and memorialized this in the contract.

UW cited unions representing twice as many UW employees as SEIU 1199 that guarantee paid release for four members, and in some cases share the cost with the employer.

Sign-in Sheet UW proposed that the parties circulate sign-in sheets at the beginning of each session to help facilitate payment of release time to employees. SEIU 1199 declined this request and did not utilize the sign-in sheet, asserting that it would consider circulating a sign-in sheet if UW agreed to pay for the union's entire 37-member team to attend bargaining.

Union Proposals

Premium Pay SEIU 1199 proposed to limit scheduled call and standby hours in each department to 72 hours per employee per month, and to create on-call staffing committees for every unit and a call oversight committee covering all the units. SEIU 1199 proposed that employees be paid at double their normal rate after 12 hours on call-back from standby.

The union proposed to add language about no mandatory call for nurses, and that such call be prohibited except in cases where the government declares and emergency or if the medical center activates its disaster plan.

Extra Shift Incentive SEIU 1199 proposed introducing an "extra shift incentive" pay to attract employees into work in cases of short-staffing or when census flexes up. Full-time employees would be paid at double their normal rate, and part-time employees would be paid at time and one-half or double-time if they have worked full-time in the pay period.

Staffing SEIU 1199 proposed entirely rewriting the parties' appendix that memorializes compliance with Washington State nurse staffing law. SEIU 1199 proposed the development of a nurse staffing plan, to be reviewed twice per year. Data from every unit and shift would be reported on a monthly basis to the Nurse Staffing Committee, comprised of eight members appointed by the union and eight appointed by Harborview.

The union also proposed unit-based staffing committees, and put forth unit-specific employee-to-patient staffing ratios ranging from 1:1 to 4:1. Charge nurses would have the authority to add staff to matrices, and this contract provision would be enforceable by expedited arbitration.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for April 29.