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SEIU 1199 Contract Negotiation Updates

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.

Compensation: New compensation provisions went into effect on July 1, 2013, including 2 percent across-the-board increases for all employees in the bargaining units. 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 SEIU 1199 Contract.

Peter Denis
Assistant Vice President, Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Bonnie Conley
Director, Social Work, Harborview Medical Center
A.J. Hartman
Communications Specialist, Labor Relations
Julie Hoffman
Regional Manager, Airlift Northwest
Darcy Jaffe
Chief Nursing Officer, Harborview Medical Center
Pranika Laing
HR Consultant, UW Medical Centers
Joe Marotta
Administrative Director, Radiology, Harborview Medical Center
Chris Martin
Executive Director, Airlift Northwest
Kathy Mertens
Director, Clinical Care Systems, Harborview Medical Center
Paula Minton-Foltz
Assistant Administrator, Patient Care Services, Harborview Medical Center
Neal Pember
Assistant Director, HR Compensation
Becky Pierce
Associate Administrator, Patient Care Services , Harborview Medical Center

Negotiations Recap for July 1, 2013

This recap details the 22nd and final session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the 13th session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.

Comprehensive Tentative Agreement

Contract Highlights

UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199 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.
Preceptor
UW/Harborview will expand eligibility for preceptor pay to the health care specialist, social worker 1, and electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologist job classes. UW/Harborview will expand what constitutes "precepting" to include working with students, under defined circumstances.
Rest Between Shifts
UW/Harborview will expand eligibility for the rest between shifts premium to END technologists.
Education Support Funds
UW/Harborview will increase the education support funds available to each full-time equivalent (FTE) in nearly all bargaining units: $500 for anesthesia technicians, END technologists, and Harborview and Airlift Northwest nurses, $800 for respiratory therapists, $850 for social workers, and $1,800 for health care specialists.
Employees at a 0.9 FTE will be considered full-time for purposes of this benefit, and will be eligible for the maximum amount. Unused funds will no longer be pooled.
Missed Break Trial
Harborview will conduct a six-month project related to meals and rest breaks on two units, by assigning six registered nurses to dedicated break relief. These nurses will not have a permanent patient assignment, and will relieve nurses with permanent patient assignments for meal and rest breaks.
Contract Details
For more details on what is new and different in the 2013-2015 collective bargaining agreement, see the summary of the UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 comprehensive tentative agreement.

Next Steps

UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199 will recommend this agreement to their respective constituents for approval and ratification.


Negotiations Recap for May 16, 2013

This recap details the 21st session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the 12th session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.

SEIU 1199 Counter-Proposals

SEIU 1199 presented a counter-proposal package, which included:

Preceptor
SEIU 1199 proposed expanding eligibility for preceptor pay to all bargaining units that it represents.
Rest Between Shifts
SEIU 1199 maintained its rejection of UW/Harborview's proposal to match its rest between shifts practice for nurses with that of the other eligible Harborview workgroups: to pay employees at a premium rate only for the amount of time worked during their scheduled time off period. This practice aligns with the community standard for nurses at most of Harborview's peer hospitals.
Educational and Professional Development
SEIU 1199 would agree to the increases to education support funds proposed by UW/Harborview, as long as every employee was guaranteed the maximum allotment of educational and professional leave time.
Floating
SEIU 1199 rejected UW/Harborview's proposals surrounding what constitutes floating, in favor of current contract language.
Break Relief Nurse
SEIU 1199 proposed to double the length of UW/Harborview's proposed break relief nurse pilot program, from six months to 12, and proposed that such nurses be paid the float premium. SEIU 1199 also proposed language to prescribe how job openings for break relief nurses would be posted, and how the pilot program would be monitored.
Compensation
SEIU 1199's counter-proposal package included a response to UW/Harborview's compensation proposal from the March 25 bargaining session.
SEIU 1199 proposed general wage increases of 2.5 percent each year for the 2013-2015 biennium, and the addition of two extra top steps for all employees it represents. SEIU 1199 also proposed that, effective retroactively from January 1, 2013, UW/Harborview shift the entire wage scale up by two steps for social workers and health care specialists, and match pay steps for END technologists to the Valley Medical Center wage scale.
SEIU 1199 maintained the proposed increases to pay-premiums from its previous economic proposal.
Airlift Northwest

Provisions of SEIU 1199's counter-proposal package applying specifically to the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit included:

Shift Differentials
SEIU 1199 rejected Airlift Northwest management's proposed revisions to shift differentials, which included eliminating shift differentials for 24-hour shifts and for 12-hour shifts not coinciding with on-call responsibility.
Employee Transfers
SEIU 1199 reiterated its proposal to guarantee that the process of a nurse transferring to a different home base be completed within six months. SEIU 1199 declined Airlift Northwest management's proposal to allow for a longer timeframe in cases where the vacancy resulting from the transfer would leave a base vitally short-staffed.
Tentative Agreement
Appendix XII: Layoff Units
The parties agreed to updates to the Social Work layoff units.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is currently being determined.


Negotiations Recap for April 16, 2013

This recap details the 20th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the 11th session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.

UW/Harborview Counter-Proposals

Article 13.7: Floating
UW/Harborview proposed revisions to SEIU 1199's latest counter, in order to clarify that employees may formally accept employment in more than one department, but that they are not eligible for a float premium for hours worked in those departments.
Paid Release for Bargaining
UW/Harborview maintained several aspects of its proposal, including paying for one additional member of SEIU 1199's bargaining team during contract negotiations.
UW/Harborview upheld its proposal to memorialize past expectations for the collective bargaining process, such as paying union team members only for the actual time spent in negotiations, but withdrew its proposal to require the union bargaining team to consist of the same people at each session.

Further Dialogue

Airlift Northwest
Airlift Northwest Contract
UW/Harborview emphasized that Airlift Northwest's business and operations are sufficiently distinct to warrant having its own contract, as opposed to occupying a supplement at the end of the Harborview master contract. UW/Harborview confirmed its intention for future rounds of collective bargaining to negotiate Airlift Northwest separately from the Harborview master contract.
Fixed Wing Aircraft Single Pilot Operation
The parties discussed questions and concerns surrounding Airlift Northwest management's decision to move from a dual-pilot model to a single-pilot model for its AC690 aircraft. The parties exchanged information, and committed to follow up promptly on any outstanding questions.
Focus Tables - Health Care Specialists and END Technologists

Health care specialists and electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologists advocated for increased pay for their respective work groups.

SEIU 1199 also argued that UW/Harborview's proposed increases to educational and professional development funds for health care specialists are insufficient.

Additional Items

SEIU 1199 did not provide UW/Harborview with any counter-proposals.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for May 16.


Negotiations Recap for March 25, 2013

This recap details the 19th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the tenth session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.

UW/Harborview Presentation

Comprehensive Financial Offer - Harborview Master Contract

UW/Harborview submitted a comprehensive financial offer that includes:

General Wage Increases
UW/Harborview proposed a general wage increase of 2 percent to become effective the later of July 1, 2013 or the first full pay period following ratification of the agreement, and a further 2 percent increase on July 1, 2014. An absolute condition is that the Washington state legislature agrees to and appropriates the funds requested by the UW. Failing this, the parties would return to the bargaining table and re-negotiate only the wage proposal.
Educational and Professional Development
UW/Harborview reiterated its proposal made on January 29, 2013. UW/Harborview would provide increases, ranging from 20 percent to 300 percent, to the continuing education support funds per full-time equivalent (FTE) for registered nurses, respiratory therapists, anesthesiology technicians and electroneurodiagnostic technologists, social workers, and health care specialists. Similarly, employees at a 0.9 FTE would be considered full-time for purposes of this benefit, and would be eligible for the maximum amount.
Meal and Rest Breaks
UW/Harborview proposed to conduct a 6-month project related to meals and rest breaks by assigning registered nurses to dedicated break relief.

UW/Harborview withdrew its proposed pay premium for nurses holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Comprehensive Financial Offer - Airlift Northwest

Airlift Northwest management submitted a comprehensive financial offer that includes:

General Wage Increases
Airlift Northwest management proposed a general wage increase of 2 percent to become effective the later of July 1, 2013 or the first full pay period following ratification of the agreement, and a further 2 percent increase on July 1, 2014, also contingent upon legislative approval and appropriation of funds.
Educational and Professional Development
Airlift Northwest management reiterated its proposal made on January 29, 2013. Airlift Northwest management would increase the education support funds available to flight nurses from $300 to $500 per FTE. Similarly, employees at a 0.9 FTE would be considered full-time for purposes of this benefit, and would be eligible for the maximum amount.
Shift Premium
Airlift Northwest management would revise eligibility for shift differentials, eliminating shift differentials for all 24-hour shifts and for 12-hour shifts not coinciding with on-call responsibility. Airlift Northwest management would pay a shift premium of $2.50 when working a 12-hour shift coinciding with on-call responsibility, and a shift premium of $3.75 for employees working a shift at Boeing Field when the majority of hours worked are between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Preceptor
Airlift Northwest management maintained its proposal to expand eligibility for preceptor pay to flight nurses working with emergency medicine residents.

Tentative Agreement

Shift Premium
The parties tentatively agreed to a memorandum presented by the UW/Harborview regarding shift premium establishing that employees who work the second (3:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.) and third (11:00 p.m. - 7:30 a.m.) shifts will be paid a shift differential. Similarly, employees will be paid a shift differential on second or third shift if the majority of hours are worked during the designated shift. The memorandum does not apply to the Airlift Northwest bargaining unit.

Additional Items

SEIU 1199 did not present counter proposals on any of the issues and provisions open for discussion.

UW/Harborview received notice of an SEIU 1199 picketing event, to take place at Harborview on Thursday, March 28.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview bargaining session is scheduled for April 16.


Negotiations Recap for February 15, 2013

This recap details the 18th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the ninth session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.

UW/Harborview Counter-Proposals

Harborview Master Contract

UW/Harborview put forth several counter-proposals pertaining to provisions within the master contract, including:

Floating
UW/Harborview amended its proposed language to clarify the intent of its original proposal: to allow employees that want to work regularly in more than one area at a regular rate of pay to do so.
The new language largely echoes the existing floating policy. It emphasizes that such appointments are to be voluntary, memorialized in writing, and that nurses in the designated float pool would not be prevented from receiving float pay.
Paid Release for Bargaining
UW/Harborview proposed language that would allow for one additional member of SEIU 1199's bargaining team to be paid for negotiations, while restoring provisions from past contracts that spell out the collective bargaining processes and expectations.
Among these, SEIU 1199 team members are to be paid only for the actual time spent in negotiations, up to eight hours per session, and such time does not count toward the calculation of overtime.
Airlift Northwest Addendum

Airlift Northwest management delivered counter-proposals on several provisions specific to its business, including:

Staff Meetings
Airlift Northwest management proposed that both parties withdraw their proposals on calling in to staff meetings, in favor of relying on existing policies.
Official Duty Station
Airlift Northwest management put forth language affirming its right to implement changes to official duty stations, and to create specialty teams.
On-Call Shifts
Airlift Northwest management reiterated that it cannot establish a limit in the contract to the number of on-call shifts that Airlift Northwest may implement.

SEIU 1199 Counter-Proposals

Paid Release for Bargaining
SEIU 1199 upheld its proposal for 13 bargaining team members to be paid for negotiations, but declined most of UW/Harborview's proposed language delineating bargaining procedures.
Floating
SEIU 1199 countered with language similar to that which UW/Harborview put forth, and proposed memorializing the notion that management does not intend to require employees to work in multiple units.

Tentative Agreement

Airlift Northwest Schedule Bidding
The parties tentatively agreed to maintain current schedule bidding practices for Airlift Northwest, and to discuss any changes at joint labor-management meetings.

Further Dialogue

Airlift Northwest Preceptor
SEIU 1199 questioned the need for flight nurses to take a preceptor training course before being eligible to precept emergency medicine residents.
Airlift Northwest management explained that if flight nurses become eligible for preceptor pay with this new contract, their relationship with such residents must follow a more defined preceptor program, which includes receiving proper training.
Economics
Prior to this bargaining session, UW/Harborview presented SEIU 1199 with a cost estimate of the union's most recent economic proposal. According to this estimate, the union's proposed increases would cost Harborview nearly $30 million between now and June 30, 2015.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for March 25.


Negotiations Recap for January 29, 2013

This recap details the 17th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the eighth session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.

UW/Harborview Presentation

UW/Harborview presented two package proposals, one for the Harborview master contract and one for the Airlift Northwest addendum. As presented, each package would need to be accepted in its entirety.

Harborview Package Proposal
Preceptor
UW/Harborview would add health care specialists, social workers, and electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologists to preceptor pay eligibility.
UW/Harborview would also expand what constitutes "precepting" to include working with students, under defined circumstances. Employees for whom such activity is a core function of their job, such as the "Social Worker 2" position, would not be eligible.
Rest Between Shifts
UW/Harborview would expand eligibility for rest between shifts premium pay to include anesthesia technicians and END technologists.
UW/Harborview proposed that nurses receive four hours of premium pay for any interruption to their designated rest period, as opposed to the guaranteed eight hours they currently receive. Most of Harborview's peer hospitals pay nurses a premium for the actual amount of time worked within their designated time off.
Educational and Professional Development
UW/Harborview would provide increases, ranging from 20 percent to 300 percent, to the continuing education support funds available to each full-time equivalent (FTE). Employees at a 0.9 FTE would be considered full-time for purposes of this benefit, and would be eligible for the maximum amount.
As a condition, UW/Harborview would eliminate the practice of pooling unspent funds.
Airlift Northwest Package Proposal
Preceptor
Flight nurses would be eligible for a preceptor pay premium when working with emergency medicine residents, provided that specific criteria are met.
Educational and Professional Development
Airlift Northwest would increase the continuing education support funds for flight nurses from $300 to $500 per FTE. Similarly, employees at a 0.9 FTE would be considered full-time for purposes of this benefit, and would be eligible for the maximum amount.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for February 15.


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.

Next Steps

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

Preceptor
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.

UW/Harborview Counter-Proposals

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.
Floating
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.

Further Dialogue

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.

Next Steps

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.

UW/Harborview Presentation

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.

Tentative Agreements

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.

Further Dialogue

Floating

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.

Preceptor

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.


Negotiations Recap for November 21, 2012

This recap details the 13th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the fourth session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.

SEIU 1199 Counter-Proposals

Education Support Funds
SEIU 1199 maintained its previous proposal to eliminate the existing practice of prorating education support funds based on an employee's full-time equivalent (FTE), such that part-time employees would receive the same funds as full-time employees.
Mandatory In-service Education
SEIU 1199 proposed language to clarify that the in-service education article pertains to mandatory training, and maintained its previous proposal to guarantee that such training would only occur during an employee's normal working hours and within their FTE.
Elective Educational and Professional Leave
SEIU 1199 maintained its previous proposal to guarantee to all employees what is currently the maximum potential allotment of educational and professional leave, and proposed adding language to broaden the qualifying criteria for such leave.
Airlift Northwest
SEIU 1199 put forth a theoretical package proposal for discussion, pertaining specifically to Airlift Northwest issues.

UW/Harborview Counter-Proposals

Harborview Preceptor
UW/Harborview proposed language outlining criteria that would constitute a preceptor relationship between an employee and a student. The proposed language specified that employees for whom such instruction of students is a distinguishing characteristic of their job would not be eligible for preceptor pay.
Airlift Northwest Preceptor
Airlift Northwest management proposed language that would make flight nurses eligible for preceptor pay when working with medical residents, provided that specific criteria are met. This would include the completion of a preceptor workshop, monitoring and evaluation of the training process, and facilitating a consistent educational relationship.
Elective Educational and Professional Leave
UW/Harborview proposed language confirming that requests for elective educational and professional leave would be acknowledged within 14 days of receipt.
UW/Harborview also proposed upholding existing contract language on prorating such leave according to an employee's FTE.
Mandatory In-service Education
UW/Harborview tentatively agreed to a language change that would clarify that the in-service education article pertains to mandatory training, but proposed upholding current contract language for the remainder of the article.
Education Support Funds
UW/Harborview maintained its previous proposal to increase the funds guaranteed to each work group (registered nurses, healthcare specialists, etc.) and eliminating the pooling of such funds.
UW/Harborview proposed upholding existing contract language on prorating education support funds according to an employee's FTE.
Corrective Action
UW/Harborview proposed language to clarify 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
UW/Harborview countered SEIU 1199's proposed memorandum on meal and rest breaks with language memorializing the parties' commitment to uninterrupted breaks for employees, which would commit Harborview to track any missed meal breaks.

Tentative Agreement

Article 9.2: Hire-in Rates
The parties tentatively agreed to language surrounding hire-in rates for health care specialists, closely aligning the definition of what constitutes applicable experience with that of registered nurses.
The parties also tentatively agreed that credit for new-hires based on previous experience will be addressed at the health care specialist joint labor-management meeting by March 1, 2013.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for November 27.


Negotiations Recap for October 29, 2012

This recap details the 12th session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the third session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.

UW/Harborview Counter-Proposals

Preceptor Pay
UW/Harborview proposed an expansion of its previous proposal - to add electroneurodiagnostic (END) technicians to preceptor eligibility - by also extending eligibility for preceptor pay to health care specialists and social workers.
Rest Between Shifts
UW/Harborview proposed making anesthesiology and END technicians eligible for rest-between-shifts premium pay, and withdrew its proposal to establish a 10-hour standardized rest period across work groups.
UW/Harborview maintained its proposal to pay this premium to employees receiving less than their defined rest period only for the time worked within their rest period, instead of automatically paying this premium for eight hours regardless of the interruption.
Educational and Professional Development
UW/Harborview proposed language changes to clarify that the use of educational and professional leave is not required for mandatory training. UW/Harborview upheld its proposal to increase education support funds per full-time equivalent (FTE) across work groups, and to eliminate pooling of such funds.
Health Care Specialist Hire-in Rates
UW/Harborview proposed that the parties continue to discuss and review available data at the health care specialist joint labor-management meeting.
Floating
UW/Harborview proposed language to clarify that employees who voluntarily and/or regularly work in more than one department do not meet the definition of floating.
Paid Bargaining Time
UW/Harborview agreed to incorporate SEIU 1199's proposed definition of what constitutes a "bargaining session," with the added clarification that such time will not result in paid overtime or paid meal breaks.
UW/Harborview maintained its proposal to uphold the current practice of paying release time for 12 SEIU 1199 members to attend negotiations.
Clinic Staffing
UW/Harborview proposed that clinic social work staffing be discussed at joint labor-management meetings, and that clinic nurse staffing be a standing agenda item at the nurse staffing committee.

SEIU 1199 Counter-Proposals

Rest Between Shifts
SEIU 1199 proposed expanding the rest between shifts policy covering registered nurses to include anesthesiology technicians and END technologists, and expanding the rest between shifts policy covering social workers and health care specialists to include respiratory therapists and medical imaging technologists.
In-service
SEIU 1199 maintained its original proposal, that in-service education only occur during an employee's normal working hours and within their FTE.
Paid Bargaining Time
SEIU 1199 proposed that UW/Harborview provide paid release time for 15 employees to attend negotiations.
Airlift Northwest Proposals Withdrawn
SEIU 1199 withdrew its proposals that Airlift Northwest management pay for an extra round-trip flight to Seattle for Juneau-based nurses, as well as for all nurse passport costs.
SEIU 1199 also offered several verbal amendments and counter-proposals to other Airlift Northwest-specific provisions.

Tentative Agreements

The parties reached tentative agreements on the following articles and memoranda:

Article 6.9: Certification
END technologists would be eligible for premium pay for one certification, and contract language for respiratory care practitioner certification pay would remain the same.
Article 7.3: Overtime
For the purpose of calculating overtime payment, health care specialists and social workers may select either a fixed shift or an adjustable schedule.
The fixed shift would allow for overtime accrual on a daily basis. The adjustable schedule would provide added scheduling flexibility, but would allow for overtime accrual only for time worked beyond 80 hours in their 80 hour work period.
Article 22.7: Layoff Notice
In the event of a layoff, a seniority list of the most recent hires would be sent to the union along with materials regarding the employees identified for layoff.
Article 22.15: Airlift Northwest Base Closure
The parties would maintain current contract language.
Article 23: Job Posting and Transfer
For health care specialists, job opportunities would be posted or emailed internally for seven days prior to posting externally, and for Airlift Northwest registered nurses, job opportunities would be circulated internally for two weeks prior to posting externally.
Medical Errors
The parties tentatively agreed to a memorandum establishing that if a medical error occurs, the surrounding events will be reviewed to determine mitigating factors before corrective action occurs.
KRONOS Committee
The parties tentatively agreed to language outlining the duties of the KRONOS Committee going forward, which includes monitoring the system's accuracy and recommending improvements.
Clinic Social Work Staffing
The parties tentatively agreed that clinic social work staffing will be discussed at joint labor-management meetings.
Airlift Northwest Addendum: Mileage
The parties tentatively agreed that when a nurse must work at a base other than their home base, all mileage driven to the base will be reimbursed.

Further Dialogue

Membership Vote

SEIU 1199 explained that after the October 19 bargaining session it solicited its members' opinions of the proposals put forth to date by UW/Harborview. SEIU 1199 pointed out that most of those who voted were not favorable toward UW/Harborview's proposals.

SEIU 1199 expressed that based on this, it will continue its efforts toward a public action of some sort.

Bargaining Protocol

UW/Harborview requested that SEIU 1199 commit its outstanding verbal counter-proposals to writing.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is currently being determined by both parties.


Negotiations Recap for October 19, 2012

This recap details the eleventh session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the second session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.

UW/Harborview Presentation

UW/Harborview Counter-Proposals
Education Support Funds
UW/Harborview proposed expanding its prior proposal - to increase individual education funds and eliminate pooling for registered nurses - to now include employees in several other work groups.
Each fiscal year, per full-time equivalent (FTE), respiratory therapists, anesthesiology technicians, and electroneurodiagnostic (END) technicians would receive $500, social workers would receive $850, and health care specialists would receive $1,800. Unused funds for each group would no longer pool.
Educational and Professional Leave
UW/Harborview proposed amendments to create consistent contract language across work groups, which included listing leave allotments in terms of hours instead of days, and clarifying that such leave is allocated based on the fiscal year.
Layoff Notice
UW/Harborview proposed that in the event of a layoff, a seniority list of the most recent hires be sent to the union along with materials regarding the employees identified for layoff.
In-service Education
UW/Harborview proposed maintaining current contract language regarding in-service education.
Airlift Northwest Management Proposals
Base Closure
Airlift Northwest management proposed maintaining current contract language surrounding base closures.
Day Basing
Airlift Northwest management proposed new language surrounding "day basing" - when crew and aircraft launch from their home base to work in prearranged areas, in order to better serve communities in need. The language guarantees that when day basing is to occur, every effort will be made to provide 60 days' advance notice to the union and affected staff, and to arrange for rest-area accommodations.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

SEIU 1199 Counter-Proposals
Preceptor Pay
SEIU 1199 maintained its proposal to expand eligibility for preceptor pay to include health care specialists and social workers, but amended it to exclude medical imaging technologists.
Memoranda of Understanding
SEIU 1199 put forth slight language modifications to its previously proposed memoranda regarding nurse staffing in clinics and medical errors.

Tentative Agreements

Article 5.3: Union Delegates
The parties tentatively agreed to establish one union delegate representing END technicians.
Article 5.10: Delegate Training
The parties tentatively agreed to increase delegate training to 144 hours, to accommodate eight hours of training for one delegate representing END technicians.
Article 17.1: Joint Labor/Management Committees
The parties tentatively agreed to allow for two END technician representatives and three health care specialist representatives to attend such meetings, and for the union to decide which units the three health care specialists come from.

Further Dialogue

Education Support Funds

SEIU 1199 voiced dissatisfaction with UW/Harborview's proposals to maintain the existing practice of prorating education support funds based on an employee's FTE status.

UW/Harborview explained that prorating such funds according to an employee's FTE status has always been the practice, as it is fair to all employees and consistent with other benefits, such as vacation accrual.

Economic Proposals

SEIU 1199 requested that UW/Harborview present a counter to the union's proposal for general wage increases of 4 percent each year during the 2013-2015 biennium.

UW/Harborview pointed out that per SEIU 1199's request, the parties had agreed to finish negotiating the remainder of the 2012-2013 contract year before commencing negotiations on the 2013-2015 contract.

UW/Harborview noted that its economic proposal for the 2013-2015 biennium will be aligned with the University's overriding goal of providing realistic general wage increases as part of a calculated reemergence from the recession.

UW/Harborview explained that SEIU 1199-represented employees are among a small minority that has received wage increases in the past four years, and the University's priority now is to benefit employees across the institution.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for October 29.


Negotiations Recap for October 15, 2012

This recap details the tenth session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199, and the first session to be facilitated by neutral mediators.

UW/Harborview Presentation

UW/Harborview Proposals
Hours of Work and Overtime
Establish two work period options for health care specialists and social workers for the purpose of calculating overtime payment.
A "Fixed shift" option would allow for an employee to accrue overtime pay for hours worked in excess of their scheduled shift, but any flexing of scheduled hours would be subject to supervisory approval. A "Flex shift" option would allow for flexible hours within an 80 hour work period, but overtime would only be accrued for hours worked beyond 80 hours in this work period.
Union Delegates
Establish one union delegate representing electroneurodiagnostic (END) technicians.
Joint Labor/Management Committees
Allow for one END technician representative to attend such meetings.

Tentative Agreement

Article 13.13: Staffing Practices
The parties tentatively agreed that for health care specialists, the collection of available data regarding relative value units - a measure used to compare the cost of performing certain services - will be discussed at joint labor-management meetings.
Articles 15.13 and 15.14: Leaves of Absence
The parties tentatively agreed to integrate language from the Washington State Nurses Association contract regarding domestic violence leave and military spouse leave, which both outline applicable state law.

SEIU Presentation

SEIU 1199 Counter Proposals
Union Delegates
SEIU 1199 proposed allowing for two union delegates representing END technicians, as opposed to UW/Harborview's proposed one.
Education Support Funds
SEIU 1199 countered UW/Harborview's October 4 proposal, requesting that the education support funds available to each registered nurse not be prorated according to their full-time equivalent (FTE).
SEIU 1199 also proposed that the education support funds guaranteed to respiratory therapists be increased from $200 to $500, and not prorated according to FTE.
Joint Labor/Management Committees
SEIU 1199 countered UW/Harborview's October 4 proposal, voicing that of the three health care specialist representatives present at such meetings, the union should determine which department each comes from.

Further Dialogue

SEIU 1199 cancelled the bargaining session scheduled for October 24, indicating that after the October 19 bargaining session it will put the contract in its existing form to a membership vote.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for October 19.


Negotiations Recap for October 4, 2012

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

Scope of Negotiations

As the parties had previously agreed, today's discussion focused on proposals and issues specific to Airlift Northwest, and primarily involved representatives from Airlift Northwest on both the management and union bargaining teams.

Airlift Northwest Market Wage Data

UW/Harborview presented pay data comparing wages for Airlift Northwest flight nurses to that of flight nurses on a regional and national scale. UW/Harborview explained that the data, derived from the 2011 "Critical Care Transport Workplace and Salary Survey" published in Air Medical Journal, measures earnings based on 100 percent full-time equivalent (FTE).

At a 100 percent FTE, the average total earnings (salary plus premiums) for an Airlift Northwest flight nurse is $112,770, and average base salary (without premiums) is $89,196. UW/Harborview explained that each of these metrics is above the 90th percentile of the market on both the regional and national scale.

SEIU 1199 Response

SEIU 1199 expressed that the numbers seem too high, and pointed out that most Airlift Northwest flight nurses are 90 percent FTE.

UW/Harborview acknowledged this, and reiterated that all Airlift Northwest wages were calculated based on what they would be as 100 percent FTEs in order to accurately compare the wages relative to market averages. UW/Harborview explained that these calculations were based upon Airlift Northwest's actual payroll data.

UW/Harborview Counter-Proposals

Airlift Northwest management offered a comprehensive counter-proposal in response to SEIU 1199's proposals that were specific to Airlift Northwest. Among the topics discussed were float pool usage, protocol surrounding "day basing," and reimbursement for mileage traveled between bases.

Key Points of Airlift Northwest Management's Response
Wages
Airlift Northwest management declined SEIU 1199's proposal for a 4 percent wage increase and raising pay premiums for all Airlift Northwest flight nurses during the 2012-2013 contract year.
Airlift Northwest management also declined SEIU 1199's proposal to double the Alaska assignment pay differential to 10 percent, and proposed eliminating shift differentials to more closely align with regional and national industry standards.
Educational and Professional Development
Airlift Northwest management proposed increasing individual educational support funds from $300 to $500 per flight nurse FTE, and eliminating the pooling of such funds.
Airlift Northwest management declined paying for an additional round-trip flight from Juneau to Seattle, but instead proposed that management work to schedule the existing annual trip to Seattle, which Airlift Northwest provides each nurse for training purposes, to coincide with a conference that the nurse wants to attend.
Stuck Out of Town
Airlift Northwest management would pay employees who are stuck out of town on a day they are not scheduled to work at their regular rate of pay on an hourly basis until 240 hours are reached, at which point they will be paid at the overtime rate.
Travel Pay
In addition to being provided quarters that include a kitchen, flight nurses assigned to work outside of their official duty station would be paid $52 per day, consistent with what is paid to pilots.
Current Practice
UW/Harborview proposed maintaining current practices surrounding pay for attending staff meetings, paid bereavement leave, and passport reimbursement.
SEIU 1199 Response

SEIU 1199 expressed dissatisfaction with Airlift Northwest management's proposals, and committed to preparing counter-proposals. SEIU 1199 voiced its belief that many of these issues should be "large table" discussions that involve the entire union negotiations team, not just those directly associated with Airlift Northwest.

"Large Table" Discussion

Following the Airlift Northwest discussion, UW/Harborview met with the entire union negotiations team to respond to certain union proposals beyond those specific to Airlift Northwest.

Key Points of UW/Harborview's Response
Registered Nurse Educational Development
UW/Harborview proposed increasing educational support funds for Harborview registered nurses from $200 to $500, and eliminating the pooling of such funds.
Joint Labor/Management Committees
UW/Harborview proposed increasing the amount of health care specialist bargaining unit representatives at such meetings to three - one from inpatient, one from outpatient, and one from the emergency department.
Employees Injured Due to Workplace Injury or Assault - UW/Harborview declined SEIU 1199's proposal to compensate such employees for loss of pay for hours deducted by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), explaining that this is an L&I policy.
UW/Harborview also declined SEIU 1199's proposal to add language into the contract about the provision of "light duty" work, pointing out that Harborview already has a successful and growing light duty program.

Further Dialogue

SEIU 1199 expressed frustration over having not yet received UW/Harborview's comprehensive economic proposal for the 2012-2013 contract year.

UW/Harborview replied that it only received the union's 2012-2013 economic proposal two meetings prior, which its costing analysis revealed would altogether cost Harborview roughly $7.9 million. UW/Harborview confirmed that its overall economic proposal for the 2012-2013 contract year will be presented at the next bargaining session.

UW/Harborview explained that its economic counter-proposals to Airlift Northwest for the 2012-2013 contract year reflect the current economic realities across the institution, and are indicative of what can be expected for the remainder of the current contract year.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview bargaining session is scheduled for October 10.


Negotiations Recap for October 1, 2012

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

UW/Harborview Presentation

Cost Analysis - SEIU 1199 Proposal

UW/Harborview calculated the cost of SEIU 1199's proposals to date for the 2012-2013 contract year, and explained that implementing the union's proposals, including marginal benefit cost, would cost Harborview roughly $7.9 million.

UW/Harborview presented findings from the new Classified Staff Compensation Study, demonstrating how UW wages in both health care and non-health care settings compare against market averages.

UW/Harborview pointed out that overall, most pay for positions in UW's health care system is closely aligned with the market 50th percentile. UW/Harborview explained that collaborative efforts between the UW and several unions toward targeted recruitment and retention adjustments have helped produce substantial results, despite the economic climate.

UW/Harborview noted that wages for non-health care UW jobs, while still within what is considered a "normal" range of the market average, show more room for improvement relative to the market. UW/Harborview explained that this information demonstrates where great need still remains, and reinforces the value of emerging from the recession in a way that helps employees across the institution.

SEIU 1199 Response

SEIU 1199 questioned why the UW and Harborview would strive to align with the market average instead of paying their employees at the top of the market.

UW/Harborview explained the importance of recognizing that both institutions are stewards of state funds, and therefore must strike a responsible balance in their allocation of resources. UW/Harborview also pointed out that using the market 50th percentile as a benchmark for setting competitive wages is a common practice for many employers.

SEIU 1199 announced its intent to propose across-the-board wage increases of 4 percent per year for the term of the 2013-2015 contract.

Key Points of UW/Harborview's Proposals
Hours of Work and Overtime
Establish that for health care specialists and social workers, an overtime premium of time and one-half would be paid for time worked beyond 80 hours in their scheduled 14-day work period. Sick leave used would not count toward the calculation of overtime.
Float Premium
Registered nurses would be compensated with a $3.75 per hour float premium when assigned to work outside their clinical group for a defined shift of at least four hours.
UW/Harborview Counter-Proposals
Preceptor Pay
UW/Harborview accepted SEIU 1199's proposal to extend preceptor eligibility to Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, and proposed language memorializing the expectation that staff will assist in preceptor activities.
The language also explained that a preceptor may be assigned to a student when considered appropriate by Harborview, and when no instructor is on site.
Just Culture Surrounding Medical Errors
UW/Harborview proposed language memorializing the importance of addressing medical errors, and recognizing that investigations of such events will consider system issues as well as staff actions and patterns.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

Key Points of SEIU 1199 Proposals
Employees Injured due to Workplace Injury or Assault
UW/Harborview would compensate such employees for loss of pay for hours deducted by the Department of Labor & Industries, and would provide them access to "light duty" work.
Market Adjustments
The parties would commit to meeting at least quarterly to address wage issues, including issues based on market adjustments and matters of recruitment and retention.
SEIU 1199 Counter-Proposals
Personnel File
In response to UW/Harborview's counter-proposal to maintain current contract language, SEIU 1199 proposed that employees be able to request the removal of documents in their personnel file after two years instead of three.
Layoff Notice
SEIU 1199 proposed that in the event of a layoff, the number of full-time equivalents being reduced be sent to the union along with material regarding the employees identified for layoff.
Leaves: Military and Domestic Violence
SEIU 1199 changed its original proposal on leave for victims of domestic violence and leave for military spouses, instead proposing that the contract utilize the same language found in the Washington State Nurses Association contract to memorialize current State policies on such leaves.
Corrective Action Process
SEIU 1199 proposed integrating elements of its original proposals on the corrective action process and written action plans throughout Article 21 of the contract.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for October 4.


Negotiations Recap for August 24, 2012

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

Opening Discussion

Contract Term

SEIU 1199 accepted UW/Harborview's proposal to extend the current contract until October 31, 2012, and noted that it is now willing to hold bargaining sessions on the UW campus in addition to Harborview to increase the availability of meeting spaces.

UW/Harborview reiterated its question of whether the contract currently being bargained is intended to cover the remainder of the current 2011-2013 biennium or the upcoming 2013-2015 biennium.

SEIU 1199 replied that it intends for the contract currently being negotiated to cover the remainder of the current biennium, until June 30, 2013. SEIU 1199 explained that it plans to finish negotiating this current contract and then negotiate the entirety of the 2013-2015 contract, all by the end of October.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

SEIU 1199 Economic Presentation

SEIU 1199 announced having completed its economic proposal, which it introduced by presenting its own analysis of Harborview's financials.

SEIU 1199 referenced the financial presentation delivered by UW Medicine's financial planning officer Paul Ishizuka on August 8, 2012, and disagreed with the methodology used to calculate Harborview's budgetary metrics. SEIU 1199 expressed that revenue was better than expenses in 2012, and that while revenue growth was slow, at less than 1 percent, it was still positive.

SEIU 1199 highlighted Harborview's capital spending, suggesting that this reflects Harborview's overall spending capacity. The union admitted that there have been substantial budgetary deficits, but pointed out that Harborview has not gone bankrupt.

Review of Existing SEIU 1199 Proposals

SEIU 1199 again provided a review of all the proposals it has delivered to date.

New SEIU 1199 Proposals
Economic Proposal
SEIU 1199 proposed 4 percent across-the-board wage increases for all employees and increases to existing pay premiums for all employees.
SEIU 1199 also proposed establishing wage increases for steps on certain wage scales that currently do not provide an increase from the previous step, and to add new steps to the wage scales for selected positions.
Airlift Northwest Proposal
SEIU 1199 presented a comprehensive proposal for Airlift Northwest nurses, which included increasing educational support funds for nurses, allowing for overtime accrual at staff meetings, and guaranteeing that the current number of on-call shifts or hours will not be increased.
SEIU 1199 also proposed expansions to what qualifies for preceptor pay and travel mileage reimbursement.
Proposals for Juneau-based nurses included establishing a standard 24-hour shift, increasing the Alaska assignment pay differential from 5 percent to 10 percent, and covering the cost of a round-trip flight to Seattle each year for continuing education purposes, which would be added to the existing Juneau-Seattle flight that is already covered for training.

UW/Harborview Presentation

UW/Harborview Proposals
Leave Due to Childcare Emergencies
UW/Harborview proposed that absences due to a childcare-related emergency be charged to an employee's vacation leave, sick leave, or leave without pay, with an annual maximum of three days total and 24 hours for each leave type, unless otherwise approved by management.
UW/Harborview explained that this proposal aligns the contract language with the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).
Airlift Northwest

UW/Harborview proposed an additional small table meeting where it will deliver and discuss its proposals specific to Airlift Northwest. The proposal was accepted, and a meeting scheduled for October 4, 2012.

UW/Harborview indicated that its proposal will acknowledge and reflect the operational and organizational uniqueness of Airlift Northwest.

UW/Harborview Comprehensive Proposal

UW/Harborview committed to offering a comprehensive package of its proposals and counter proposals at the next large table meeting.

UW/Harborview explained that because SEIU 1199 has now delivered its economic proposal, it can finally cost out the union's overall package proposal and formulate realistic counter proposals.

Further Dialogue

SEIU 1199 asserted that it will not agree to any UW/Harborview proposals that it perceives as a "takeaway," noting that its membership feels strongly about coming away from these contract negotiations with only gains.

Next Steps

The next bargaining session will be focused on Airlift Northwest, and is scheduled for October 4.


Negotiations Recap for August 13, 2012

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

Opening Discussion

Bargaining Dates and Delays

UW/Harborview acknowledged having received a petition from the SEIU 1199 bargaining team written to the UW Medicine administration, promoting its desire for more bargaining dates.

UW/Harborview referenced the University's response letter and supporting documentation. The letter confirmed UW/Harborview's earlier assertion that SEIU 1199 did not officially request to bargain until May, and that most of SEIU 1199's package proposal for the first two bargaining sessions were simply placeholders for future proposals.

SEIU 1199 admitted that the number of placeholders had increased from the first bargaining session to the second, but reasoned that the parties have not bargained together in four years.

UW/Harborview committed to exploring possible bargaining dates in October.

UW/Harborview Presentation

UW/Harborview Proposals
Leave Policies
UW/Harborview offered a counter proposal to SEIU 1199's proposed integration of Washington state leave policies for military reasons or victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking into the contract.
UW/Harborview proposed that the contract articles simply refer employees to the current UW and state policies on each, which are detailed on the UW Human Resources website.
Rest Between Shifts
Align rest between shifts policies with community standards, such that eligible employees receiving less than 10 hours off between shifts would be paid for the time worked within their 10-hour rest period at a rate of time and one-half.
Representation During Corrective Action
Entitle employees to have a representative during the corrective action process at a "Step B" or higher counseling. UW/Harborview would also notify all such employees of their right to union representation.
UW/Harborview pointed out that SEIU 1199 is the only contract that allows for union representatives to be present at "Step A" counseling sessions.
Responses to SEIU 1199 Proposals
Personnel Files
UW/Harborview voiced its intent to maintain the existing contract language on the timeline for removing documents from employees' personnel files.
Tentative Agreements
Health Care Specialist Labor-Management Meetings
UW/Harborview tentatively agreed to SEIU 1199's proposal to memorialize both parties' commitment to participate in joint labor-management meetings on health care specialist issues as often as once a month.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

Review of Past SEIU 1199 Proposals

SEIU 1199 revisited its proposed memoranda of understanding on meal and rest breaks, commitment to staff, and break relief nurses, which it had presented in detail at the July 20 bargaining session, and provided thorough recaps of its arguments for each.

New SEIU 1199 Proposals
KRONOS for Health Care Specialists
Provide health care specialists with three options for how they record and account for their time worked, adding options to log in once daily or once weekly, while maintaining all options for overtime and compensatory time.
Health Care Specialist Bargaining Team
Make health care specialists eligible for a "preceptor" pay premium for working with new hires and students, create a minimum one-day preceptor training program, and double the number of health care specialists on the joint labor-management committee.
SEIU 1199 also proposed establishing a hire-in rates practice for health care specialists, whereby incoming health care specialists with past applicable experience could get hired on at a higher pay rate.
Representation at Investigatory Meetings
Allow employees to bring representatives to investigatory meetings that may lead to a "Step A" counseling session.

Further Dialogue

SEIU 1199 voiced frustration over having not received more responses from UW/Harborview, and suggested that the Harborview administration's budgetary concerns detract from the quality of patient care its employees are able to provide.

UW/Harborview explained that the budgetary concerns are not only an issue for Harborview administration, but rather are an issue for all the parties, with implications for Harborview's administration as well as its employees and the unions representing them.

UW/Harborview noted that it is a jointly shared responsibility to be mindful of the institution's financial realities.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for August 24.


Negotiations Recap for August 8, 2012

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

Opening Discussion

Bargaining Dates

Through testimonials from seven members, SEIU 1199 expressed frustration over the current state of bargaining, and reiterated the question of why it has fewer bargaining dates in the coming months than other unions.

UW/Harborview explained that Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) and Service Employees International Union, Local 925 (SEIU 925), the unions occupying the most bargaining time in the coming months, had agreed to their current rounds of bargaining roughly one year ago.

Initiating Negotiations

SEIU 1199 voiced that its members are of the understanding that the union had tried in vain for five months to bring UW/Harborview to the bargaining table and initiate negotiations before bargaining actually began.

UW/Harborview replied that this is inaccurate, clarifying that roughly five months before this round of bargaining, SEIU 1199 simply informed the UW/Harborview that it intended to reopen the contract at some point during the 2012 year. It was not until May that SEIU 1199 formally requested to bargain and suggested bargaining dates, and negotiations subsequently began in June.

UW/Harborview Presentation

Harborview Financial Presentation

Paul Ishizuka, UW Medicine Health System's financial planning officer, delivered a presentation detailing Harborview Medical Center's finances. Paul explained that in keeping with its mission, uncompensated care dominates Harborview's economics. Since 2008, Harborview's charity care has grown from $120 million per year to $189 million.

Paul presented a chart comparing the charity care provided by major hospitals in the region, demonstrating the disproportionate amount Harborview provides to the community, and the impacts this has on net income. In FY 2010, Harborview provided $186.7 million in charity care, and suffered a net loss of $10.4 million.

Paul reported that Harborview is forecast to end the year at $1.4 million above breakeven, but emphasized that this represents a very small margin for a medical center with $2 million in operating expenses per day. He pointed out that this year's positive income was made possible by an uncommonly high number of unbudgeted and nonrecurring income items, including cost report settlements from past years and unanticipated state trauma funding.

Without the extraordinary $18.9 million brought in from these unanticipated sources, Harborview would have suffered a net loss of more than $15 million.

UW/Harborview Responses to SEIU 1199 Proposals
Leaves of Absence
UW/Harborview proposed a small table to have further discussion on all leave of absence related articles, including those on disability leave, parental leave, and bereavement leave.
Parental Leave
UW/Harborview tentatively agreed to allow SEIU 1199 members to apply up to 10 days of sick leave toward parental leave.
Bereavement Leave
UW/Harborview tentatively agreed to guarantee SEIU 1199 members three days of bereavement leave.
UW/Harborview Proposals
Corrective Action Process
Based on SEIU 1199's previous input, UW/Harborview proposed establishing that employees will be given a draft action plan before a counseling session. UW/Harborview also agreed to define "Step A" counseling as informal, and require the use of a jointly developed action plan general template for formal counseling.
UW/Harborview proposed a small table to have a discussion related to corrective action.
Layoff Notice
Establish that all layoff notices will be sent to the SEIU 1199 office, as well as the employee.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

Key Points of SEIU 1199's Proposals
KRONOS Committee Side Letter
The parties would convene a joint committee to discuss and monitor KRONOS implementation.
Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologist Proposal Update
SEIU 1199 amended its original proposal to guarantee that two END representatives will be paid to attend 2012 contract negotiations.
Medical Errors MOU
Memorialize the notion that errors are part of human nature, and prescribe criteria to foster a culture that minimizes the potential blame associated with medical errors.
Extended Leave Criteria
Nurses on extended leave could maintain their healthcare coverage by using eight hours of accrued leave, or by directly paying premiums to the University.
Clinic Nurse and Social Work Staffing
For both groups, UW/Harborview would commit to increase staffing in outpatient clinics, offer opportunities to increase full-time equivalencies of staff, and commit to develop staffing plans.
Educational and Professional Development
Increase the annual professional and educational development funding available for nurses (from $200 to $500 per full-time equivalent) and for health care specialists (from $1,500 to $3,000 per full-time equivalent).
SEIU 1199 also proposed that Harborview add $35,000 to a pooled hospital-wide professional and educational development fund for nurses.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for August 13.


Negotiations Recap for July 25, 2012

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

Contract Duration

UW/Harborview responded to SEIU 1199's proposed three-year contract duration, after consulting the Attorney General's office. UW/Harborview reported that the laws governing the SEIU 1199 contract do not allow for a contract exceeding one fiscal biennium.

UW/Harborview explained that the parties can bargain both the current year and the 2013-2015 biennium now, or just bargain the 2013-2015 biennium. In the latter case, UW/Harborview pointed out that the existing contract will automatically roll over for one year anyway if an agreement is not reached by the August 31, 2012, contract expiration.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

SEIU 1199 Proposals
Parental Leave
Allow fathers of newly born or adopted children to apply sick leave toward time spent bonding with their child.
Integrating State Leave Policies
Add new contract articles that paraphrase current state law on employee leave for military reasons, as well as for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
UW Response

UW explained that it is already obligated to adhere to state law, and that state laws such as these have been subject to frequent change. UW suggested adding to the contract a reference to direct employees to the relevant laws, instead of writing the law into the contract, which could require regular updates.

SEIU 1199 Small Table Proposals: Discipline
Discipline/Corrective Action Process
Prescribe a universal process for administering corrective action, which includes starting all discipline at the lowest possible level and encouraging union involvement.
Written Action Plans
Remove any formality surrounding "Step A" discipline, and make the creation of action plans a joint effort between employees and management.
Personnel Files
Enable employees to request the removal of documents from their personnel file only one year after the incident in question, instead of three years.
SEIU 1199 Small Table Proposals: Professional/Technical and Respiratory Therapist/Anesthesiology Technician Bargaining Units
Rest Between Shifts
Apply the minimum hours of rest between shifts that nurses receive to employees in the Professional/Technical and Respiratory Therapist/Anesthesiology Technician bargaining units, making them eligible to receive premium pay for time worked within their guaranteed rest period.
Layoff Protocol
In cases where layoffs are necessary, UW/Harborview and SEIU 1199 would discuss and decide which employees to lay off at joint labor-management meetings.

UW/Harborview Proposals

Contract Distribution
Eliminate printing and distribution of paper contracts in favor of accessing and utilizing the collective bargaining agreement online.

Further Dialogue

Responses to Proposals

SEIU 1199 expressed frustration over UW/Harborview having not responded to more of its proposals. SEIU 1199 reviewed a list of 15 items from its overall proposal that it feels do not have a significant monetary cost to implement.

UW/Harborview pointed out that the majority of SEIU 1199's overall proposal has consisted of placeholders for future proposals, and none of its financial proposals have been delivered.

UW/Harborview explained that it cannot provide a definitive response to proposals that contain any economic value without weighing them in the context of all of SEIU 1199's economic proposals, reiterating the need for a more tangible grasp on the details of SEIU 1199's overall package proposal.

Harborview Culture Change

SEIU 1199 expressed concern that in recent years the culture at Harborview has changed to become more fearful and more punitive.

UW/Harborview acknowledged that change has occurred recently, but with the intention of improving the overall environment at Harborview. UW/Harborview presented a chart showing patient satisfaction survey scores from 2007 to 2012, indicating that in recent years patient satisfaction has actually significantly increased.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for August 8.


Negotiations Recap for July 20, 2012

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

Contract Duration

SEIU 1199 proposed that the current negotiations establish an agreement that covers the remainder of the current biennium and the entire 2013-2015 biennium, effective September 1, 2012, through June 30, 2015.

UW/Harborview expressed appreciation for SEIU 1199 deciding its intended term for the contract currently being negotiated, noting that such a decision could provide more opportunity for additional bargaining dates. UW/Harborview promised to review the legality of such an agreement, as contracts negotiated under RCW 41.80 (like SEIU 1199's) are typically limited to one fiscal biennium.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

"Meal and Rest Break" Proposal

SEIU 1199 proposed establishing a standard time schedule for all employees' use of meal and rest breaks. Nine members of SEIU 1199's bargaining team gave testimonials in favor of the proposal.

The proposal would establish that breaks may only be interrupted by large-scale emergencies or cases where the employee on break determines that their absence could result in patient harm.

SEIU 1199 members claimed that current practice for many employees is to work through their breaks without bringing it to the attention of management.

UW/Harborview explained that it is critical for all employees to take their designated breaks.

UW/Harborview pointed out that any employees finding it difficult to consistently take their breaks need to report this to their leadership, so that management knows of the problem and can work to fix it. UW/Harborview acknowledged the patient-safety implications of employees not taking their intended rest breaks.

Small Table Discussion: Staffing Issues

SEIU 1199 proposed establishing a "Break-Relief Nurse" position.

The new Break-Relief Nurse job class would work in four, five, six, or eight hour shifts to relieve regular nurses during their rest breaks.

UW/Harborview recognized the importance of uninterrupted breaks for nurses, and voiced its agreement with the intent of the proposal. UW/Harborview suggested that the parties gather data and establish measurable steps toward a solution.

SEIU 1199 detailed its "Commitment to Staff" proposal.

SEIU 1199 explained that this proposal is intended to eliminate periods of being short-staffed, suggesting higher patient mortality rates occur at chronically short-staffed hospitals.

UW/Harborview indicated that appropriate staffing is a priority for Harborview, and voiced its commitment to creating an optimum staffing plan. Harborview noted that its fluctuations in patient volume, inherent to trauma centers, can make for periods of being either understaffed or overstaffed.

Further Dialogue

SEIU 1199 questioned why it has fewer bargaining dates in the coming months than the Service Employees International Union, Local 925 (SEIU 925) and the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE).

UW/Harborview explained that due to the significant amount of state funds typically required for the SEIU 925 and WFSE contracts, their negotiated agreements must be submitted to the state for a financial feasibility test by October 1 of the year prior to the beginning of the contract.

SEIU 1199 expressed gratitude for the decision to delay implementation of the new performance evaluation form.

UW/Harborview voiced its appreciation for the constructive participation of SEIU 1199 and other unions during the performance evaluation planning process, and expressed that the decision to postpone the implementation centered on respecting the mutual interests and concerns of all parties.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for July 25.


Negotiations Recap for July 12, 2012

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

Ground Rules and Contract Extension

UW began by presenting a revised series of ground rules reflecting SEIU 1199's feedback, which SEIU 1199 promised to review. UW/Harborview also confirmed its acceptance of SEIU 1199's proposal to extend the current contract until August 31, 2012.

SEIU 1199 asked UW/Harborview for a response to its initial contract proposals.

UW/Harborview pointed out that most of SEIU's initial overall proposals consist of interrelated placeholders for specific contract language that have not yet been shared with the UW/Harborview, and many contain economic elements. UW/Harborview explained that it is not comfortable responding to individual items that are potentially linked to future unknown proposals, particularly those with economic implications.

UW/Harborview presented to SEIU 1199 a list of the union's 25 placeholders from its initial package proposal.

UW/Harborview Presentation

Terms of the Agreement

UW/Harborview reiterated the importance of establishing the term for which the parties are bargaining, and whether SEIU 1199 is expecting to bargain both the current year and the 2013-2015 biennium during the current negotiations, or just the current year.

UW/Harborview explained that the Washington Office of Financial Management's economic outlook for the 2013-2015 biennium is currently inconclusive, and that it will likely not have a clearer idea of the state's economic forecast until mid- to late-September. UW/Harborview suggested that the parties consider the uncertain economic realities when deciding the term for which they are bargaining.

UW/Harborview Proposals

UW/Harborview outlined the key issues that its overall proposal will address, including economic issues, leave, hours of work and overtime, on-call staffing, and a low census option for Harborview to more effectively make necessary adjustments during times of decreased patient volume.

UW/Harborview also proposed establishing a standard order in which an employee's accrued paid leave would be used while on family and medical leave, to make the process clearer, starting with sick leave, followed by compensatory time, and then vacation time.

SEIU 1199 Presentation

Review of Original Proposal

SEIU 1199 went through its original proposal again, clarifying certain provisions, and reviewed each of the placeholders that UW/Harborview had presented.

New Proposals

SEIU 1199 presented selected new proposals, including an expansion to the type of work that qualifies for a "Preceptor" pay premium and making Respiratory Care Practitioners eligible for two certification premiums instead of one.

SEIU 1199 also put forth a "Commitment to Staff" provision, establishing that Harborview will remain committed to maintaining appropriate staffing levels. This would ensure adequate staffing in times of high demand, while providing for necessary adjustments during times of decreased patient volume.

Additionally, SEIU 1199 introduced five new placeholders for contract proposals that it will put forth at a future bargaining session.

Further Dialogue

Small Table Discussions and Bargaining Dates

SEIU 1199 proposed topics for eight separate small table meetings to discuss specific employee groups (including Airlift Northwest, Nurses and Social Workers, and Health Care Specialists) as well as certain issue areas (including nurse staffing, KRONOS, and all grievance, discipline, and performance evaluation issues).

SEIU 1199 clarified its expectation that the already-established bargaining dates will remain "large table" discussions, and that it will require additional dates for these small table meetings.

UW/Harborview explained that no more dates are available, and emphasized the need for both parties to work creatively and efficiently with the days that have already been established.

UW/Harborview reiterated that members of both negotiations teams have very limited availability during the summer, which is Harborview's busiest season.

SEIU Testimonials

SEIU 1199 members gave testimonials supporting the inclusion of Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologists into the SEIU 1199 union.

UW/Harborview voiced its support for the democratic process and the rights of all its employees to choose union representation if they are so inclined. UW/Harborview noted that as long as the Public Employment Relations Commission legally approves the change, it will endorse the employees' decision.

SEIU 1199 members gave testimonials in opposition to the forthcoming implementation of a new performance evaluation form.

UW/Harborview explained that the creation and administration of performance evaluations is a management duty, which is not subject to bargaining. UW/Harborview clarified, however, that it is obligated to bargain the effects of such a change.

UW/Harborview expressed that it shares an interest in having a collaborative conversation to improve the evaluation format for better understanding and acceptance across the organization. UW/Harborview pointed out that for this reason, it has been discussing the performance evaluation issue with SEIU 1199, SEIU 925, and WFSE for months.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview-SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for July 20.


Negotiations Recap for June 19, 2012

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

Introduction and Ground Rules

Negotiations started with testimonials from several SEIU 1199 members, each outlining their individual priorities for the negotiations to come.

UW/Harborview began by establishing that its overriding priority for these negotiations is to reach an agreement that is best for the patients that are served by Harborview Medical Center and Airlift Northwest.

UW/Harborview proposed a series of ground rules, which were discussed and clarified by both parties. SEIU 1199 committed to submit its proposed revisions to these ground rules in writing to the UW/Harborview soon.

Scope of Negotiations

UW/Harborview proposed that both parties start by clearly establishing whether this round of bargaining should negotiate the entire 2013-2015 biennium, or just the coming year.

UW/Harborview pointed out that given current economic uncertainty and the hope for improvements in 2013, many unions are choosing to roll over their existing contracts in favor of returning to the bargaining table next year to negotiate the 2013-2015 biennium.

UW/Harborview noted that no current union contracts provide for a wage increase until July 1, 2013, at the earliest.

UW/Harborview explained that this decision varies for each union, and that it will work collaboratively within whichever framework SEIU 1199 decides is most strategic.

Union Proposals

SEIU 1199 presented a series of conceptual revisions to the existing collective bargaining agreement. The majority were placeholders for proposals that are yet to come.

The initial set of proposals included expanding the job classes eligible for "Preceptor" and "Rest Between Shifts" pay premiums, and increasing leave time and funding for professional and educational development.

SEIU 1199 also proposed implementing a 24-hour shift schedule at the Airlift Northwest Juneau base, adding break-relief nurse positions at Harborview Medical Center to fill in for nurses during their rest breaks, and increasing the number of union members that are paid to attend negotiations from 12 to 20.

Further Dialogue

SEIU 1199 requested to extend the current contract until August 31, 2012.

UW/Harborview replied that it would consider this and respond soon, explaining that it is in the interest of both parties to allow for organic dialogue instead of rushing the process. UW/Harborview acknowledged that summer is the busiest season for Harborview Medical Center and Airlift Northwest, which will affect logistics for convening bargaining sessions.

SEIU 1199 proposed dividing the main bargaining table into smaller bargaining tables specific to certain bargaining units.

These small tables would address issues that are specific to some of the more unique units, including Airlift Northwest and healthcare specialists, as a supplement to the broader negotiations at the main table. These sub-tables would ultimately bring their recommendations before the main table to seek final approval. SEIU 1199 noted that this will require additional representatives from distinct units to attend negotiations.

UW/Harborview expressed support for this idea, assuming that the need for more union participants at some negotiation sessions does not impact the operational needs of the units from which they are coming.

Next Steps

The next UW/Harborview - SEIU 1199 bargaining session is scheduled for July 12.

Additional negotiations are currently scheduled for July 20, August 13, and August 24.