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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 June 11, 2015

This recap details the 10th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 1199.

Compensation Discussion

Milliman Study – UW presented an analysis of how compensation for UW/Harborview employees compares to that of employees in Harborview’s market of competing organizations, including Swedish, Valley, MultiCare, and Virginia Mason. The analysis was derived from a classified staff salary study conducted for UW HR by third-party compensation experts at Milliman in fall of 2014.

Philosophy – UW HR's general compensation philosophy for the broader University is to pay at 80 percent of the market median, in part because UW's robust benefits package exceeds the market. However, for nurses and other healthcare workers UW targets to pay at 90 percent of the market median. The market median, or "market," for UW is the point at which half of UW's comparators pay below UW and half pay above.

Findings – Several UW/Harborview job classifications are paid very near the market, including nurses at 97.8 percent of the market, healthcare specialists at 102.7 percent of the market, and respiratory care employees at 97.7 percent of the market. This does not factor in UW's above-market benefits such as healthcare and retirement.

UW Proposals

UW delivered proposals and provided responses on all outstanding matters. Provisions included:

Union Delegates – UW withdrew its proposal for the union to send an up-to-date list of union delegates to the Labor Relations office quarterly, rather than once per year.

Contract Distribution – UW maintained its proposal for the parties to utilize the electronic version of the contract rather than printing paper copies, with each department maintaining a paper copy accessible to all employees.

Per Diem Probationary Period – UW accepted SEIU 1199’s proposal for up to six months of service as a union-represented per diem nurse to count toward a nurse’s probationary period in the event they are hired into a permanent position in the same job class without a break in service. Such a decision would be at management’s discretion.

Work Day – UW accepted SEIU 1199’s language stating that all employees are to be compensated at the appropriate pay rate for each missed rest period. UW added that employees are expected to make good faith effort to communicate with the appropriate shift charge or lead to problem solve in order to help facilitate a meal or rest break.

Overtime – UW proposed that vacation leave and compensatory time not count toward the calculation of overtime, withdrawing its proposal to not count personal holiday as well.

Rest Between Shifts – UW proposed a compromise in which it would agree to the union’s proposed expansion of rest period premium pay eligibility to include imaging technologists and sonographers as well as respiratory care and anesthesiology technicians, provided that the union agreed to standardize the rest between shifts pay practice for nurses to align with that of all other eligible groups.

Elective Educational and Professional Leave Use – UW withdrew its proposed requirement that mandatory education be completed prior to approval of elective education.

Wage Increases – UW put forth an initial wage proposal comprised of a 1 percent general wage increase effective July 1, 2015, and a 1 percent general wage increase effective July 1, 2016. UW declined SEIU 1199’s proposals for several individualized and general adjustments to wage scales and pay premiums.

Call Back – UW maintained its proposal clarifying that the two and one-half hours of guaranteed premium pay for employees called back, from standby or not, only applies once during the same two and one-half hour period of time. UW also maintained its proposal for the minimum callback hours to not apply for employees who are called in from standby prior to their scheduled shift and continue working into their scheduled shift.

Vacation Leave – UW declined SEIU 1199’s proposed adjustments to vacation leave accruals.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – UW proposed that for leave under FMLA, employees must use a portion of their accrued paid leave, but may retain 100 hours of accrued vacation leave.

Layoff – UW maintained its proposed language updates to establish a clear process in the event of a layoff, spelling out an ordered list of distinct employment options for employees subject to layoff.

Meal and Rest Breaks – UW proposed a memorandum of understanding to capture the parties’ joint goal of ensuring that nurses at Harborview receive uninterrupted meal and rest breaks. The language memorialized the responsibility of Harborview to create an environment that allows and encourages uninterrupted breaks, and the responsibility of nurses to take such breaks.

  • Process: Nurses would notify their supervisor if they anticipate being unable to take a meal or rest break, and supervisors would make every effort to provide a break. Nurses would be compensated at the appropriate rate of pay in the event they miss a meal or rest break, or if they are required by Harborview to be available for duty on premises.
  • Tracking: Applicable processes would be determined by Harborview in collaboration with the joint labor-management committee, and would incorporate data and feedback from nurses. Harborview would track data on breaks not taken in each department/unit and shift and report to the joint labor-management committee. Retaliation for reporting missed breaks or related concerns would continue to not be tolerated.
  • Break Relief: Harborview would conduct a finite assessment of the efficacy of break relief nurses on day shift on each acute care unit, considering unit-specific requirements and acuity, fiscal responsibility, and quality indicators. Break relief nurses generally would not have permanent patient assignment.

END Technologist Job Descriptions – UW proposed a memorandum of understanding whereby the UW Compensation Office would undertake the union’s proposed review of the Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist series job descriptions, and provide a response within 90 days of the contract’s ratification.

Negotiations for a Successor Contract – UW proposed 960 hours of paid release time for union designated bargaining team members for negotiations for the 2017-2019 contract.

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 10th consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize a sign-in sheet.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for June 16.


Negotiations Recap for June 9, 2015

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

UW Proposals: Hall Health and Research Nurses

UW delivered several proposals regarding the Hall Health and Research Nurse bargaining unit, including the creation of a contract addendum that is specific to this group. UW’s proposals included:

Union Delegates – UW proposed establishing two union delegates from Hall Health and two research nurses delegates. Hall Health nurse delegates would process grievances specific to Hall Health nurses, and Research nurse delegates would process grievances specific to Research Nurses.

Delegate Training Hours – UW proposed establishing one paid 8-hour slot for a Hall Health nurse and another slot for a research nurse to participate in union-sponsored delegate training.

Premium Pay – UW proposed that Hall Health nurses be eligible for preceptor and charge pay premiums, and clarified that research nurses are not eligible for either premium.

Overtime Calculation – UW proposed language memorializing the parties’ prior agreement, establishing that Hall Health nurses are eligible for “daily” overtime for time worked in excess of eight hours, per the standard Hall Health shift of 8 am – 5 pm.

Education Support Funds – UW proposed memorializing that Hall Health nurses are eligible for $500 per fiscal year, pro-rated per FTE (full-time equivalent). UW proposed capturing the parties’ previously agreed-upon language, establishing that research nurses will receive educational and professional development funds if allowable under a grant or contract, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Educational and Professional Leave – UW proposed memorializing that Hall Health nurses receive 40 to 80 hours per fiscal year of elective educational and professional leave upon request. UW proposed establishing that research nurses will receive such release time if allowable under a grant or contract, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

UW Package Proposals

UW put forth two separate package proposals in which all provisions would need to be accepted in their entirety.

UW First Package Proposal

Corrective Action – In response to the parties’ discussion and concerns regarding the corrective action process, UW proposed to define “coaching” as informal discussion/instruction between an employee and supervisor. Supervisors could follow up in writing after coaching, which may include an action plan.

UW would make clear when formal or final counseling is being conducted and inform employees of their representation rights. UW would determine the step at which corrective action begins based on the nature and severity of problem, and formal counseling could only be grieved through Step Two of the grievance procedure.

Job Posting and Transfer – Before referring candidates to a vacant position or shift, UW would provide three business days’ notice to employees within the unit seeking a different shift. Employees would submit requests in writing, and must have permanent status in the job class and work in same unit. Eligible employees would have no pending corrective action or investigations, no corrective action in their file for past 12 months, and would have the skills and abilities necessary for the position.

Seniority would act as a tiebreaker if two comparably-qualified employees requested the same position or shift. Employees refusing an offer that they requested would be unable to submit another such request for 12 months.

UW Second Package Proposal

Memoranda of Understanding – UW proposed that the parties maintain the existing “Medical Errors” MOU, memorializing that events surrounding any medical error will be reviewed before corrective action takes place, and that the parties delete the remaining memoranda of understanding. UW also proposed that the union withdraw its proposed “Quality Improvement Project” MOU.

Union Counter-proposals

Personnel File – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to enable employees to request the removal of personnel file documents after 12 months, and proposed that UW could only retain information pertinent for a legal defense in a separate file.

Union Delegates – SEIU 1199 maintained its rejection of UW’s proposal for the union to send an up-to-date list of union delegates to the Labor Relations office quarterly, rather than once per year.

Contract Distribution – SEIU 1199 declined UW’s proposal for the parties to utilize the electronic version of the contract rather than printing paper copies.

Per Diem Probationary Period – SEIU 1199 proposed that up to six months of service as a union-represented per diem nurse count toward a nurse’s probationary period in the event they are hired into a permanent position in the same job class without a break in service.

Per Diem Wage Differential – SEIU 1199 proposed that per diem nurses without UW-provided medical benefits be paid a 15 percent wage differential, and those with UW-provided medical benefits receive a 10 percent differential.

Per Diem Step Increases – SEIU 1199 proposed that per diem nurses receive annual step increases upon reaching 1,040 hours within at least a 12 month period.

Per Diem In-house Education – SEIU 1199 proposed allowing for per diem nurses to attend in-house education offered by the employer without cost.

Per Diem Premium Pay – SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal for per diem nurses to be eligible for several pay premiums, including standby, callback, shift differential, weekend premium, float premium, certification premium, and charge premium.

Per Diem Seniority and Accruals – SEIU 1199 proposed that seniority accrue based on all hours worked, but would not apply while a nurse is still in per diem status. Upon acquiring regular status, this seniority would be applied to determine the nurse’s benefit accrual rates.

Per Diem Utilization – SEIU 1199 proposed language establishing that UW would not utilize per diem nurses in lieu of filling or creating classified positions. The union proposed that per-diem nurses may only be prescheduled for shifts exceeding their minimum required shift after regularly scheduled nurses on the unit have had the opportunity to take additional non-overtime shifts.

Per Diem Classification Review – SEIU 1199 proposed that if the union believes a per diem, traveler, or agency nurse has been working regular full- or part-time hours for more than three months, the union may request to have the matter reviewed per the contract’s reclassification provision.

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 ninth consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize a sign-in sheet.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for June 11.


Negotiations Recap for June 5, 2015

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

UW Proposals: Per Diem Registered Nurses

UW delivered several proposals regarding SEIU 1199-represented nurses working in a per diem capacity, including the creation of a contract addendum that is specific to this group. UW’s proposals included:

Definitions – UW proposed language memorializing that the SEIU 1199 contract applies to hourly paid per diem registered nurses who have performed bargaining unit work for at least 350 hours in the prior 12 month period and who do not hold dual appointments.

Probationary Period – UW proposed that up to three months of service as a union-represented per diem nurse count toward a nurse’s probationary period in the event they are hired into their position in a permanent capacity. Such a decision would be at management’s discretion.

Hours of Work – UW proposed language committing to not utilize per diem nurses in lieu of filling funded vacant positions with regular employees. UW also proposed language memorializing that assignment of hours and continuation of employment are at management’s discretion.

Minimum Work Availability – UW proposed that per diem nurses be available to work at least 48 hours per four-week period, and that once a nurse agrees to work a scheduled shift, they must work or find a replacement such that no overtime is incurred.

Minimum Weekend Availability – UW proposed that per diem nurses working fewer than 20 hours per week be available to work at least two weekend shifts per four-week schedule period, and that per diem nurses working more than 20 hours per week be available to work at least four weekend shifts per four-week schedule period. Weekend requirements would be contingent upon unit staffing needs for weekend scheduling, and weekday shifts could be substituted if that meets unit needs.

Holiday Availability – UW proposed memorializing the expectation that per diem nurses commit at least one shift on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, or New Year holidays.

Premium Pay – UW proposed memorializing per diem nurse eligibility for several pay premiums:

  • Evening Shift Differential: $2.50 per hour.
  • Night Shift Differential: $3.75 per hour.
  • Standby Premium: $4 per hour.
  • Weekend Premium: $4 per hour.
  • Certification Premium: $1 per hour.
  • Charge Premium: $2.25 per hour.

Termination – UW proposed language memorializing that per diem nurses who are unavailable to work for two consecutive four-week schedule periods and have not informed their supervisor of extended non-availability may have their appointment terminated. Nurses who have not worked for six consecutive months would be automatically terminated and would need to reapply, and ending a per diem appointment would be at UW’s discretion.

SEIU 1199 Counter-proposals

Minimum Work Availability – SEIU 1199 proposed that per diem nurses be available to work at least 32 hours per four-week period. The union declined UW’s proposal committing per diem nurses who have agreed to work a scheduled shift to either work that shift or find a replacement.

Minimum Weekend Availability – SEIU 1199 proposed that per diem nurses working fewer than 20 hours per week be available to work at least one weekend shift per four-week schedule period, and that per diem nurses working more than 20 hours per week be available to work at least two weekend shifts per four-week schedule period.

Holiday Availability – SEIU 1199 accepted UW’s proposed language memorializing the expectation that per diem nurses commit at least one shift on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, or New Year holidays.

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 eighth consecutive session, SEIU 1199 declined to utilize a sign-in sheet.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for June 9.