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SEIU 925 Contract Negotiation Updates

SEIU 925 represents employees covered by four University-wide bargaining units (Non-Supervisory, Supervisory, Research Technologist, and Research Technologist Supervisor) and one Healthcare Professional/Laboratory Technical contract covering employees in designated healthcare classifications. SEIU 925 represents a wide variety of job classes at UW's campuses and medical centers, including administrative and technical support, service workers, analysts, and healthcare specialists.

Geoff Miller
Assistant Director, UW Labor Relations (Lead Negotiator)
Alieu Ann
Director, CSS and Planning Administration
Maria Card
Human Resources Consultant, Campus HR Operations
Sue Carr
Technical Services Director, UWPD
Bob Ennes
Director of Finance and Administration, Health Sciences Administration
Stephanie Godwin-Austen
Sr. Compensation Consultant, UW Compensation
A.J. Hartman
Communications Specialist, UW Labor Relations
Karen Holloway
Associate Administrator, Laboratory Medicine
AnaMarie Keeney
HR Consultant, UW Medical Centers
Darren Layman
Director of Administrative and Support Services, AACS Administration
Susan Lawrence
Director of IT HR, UW Information Technology
Jennifer Mallahan
HR Specialist, Labor Relations
Pamela Morris
Facilities Director, Comparative Medicine
Erin F. Rice
Assistant Vice President, Campus HR Operations
Patty Riley
Senior Associate Administrator, UWMC Administration
Mara Stevens
HR Manager, School of Medicine Dean's Office
Randy West
Director, HR Compensation

Negotiations Recap for September 4, 2014

This recap details the fifth session for the renewal of the master collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 925 for the 2015-17 contract term.

UW Market Wage Data Presentation

A compensation expert from Milliman delivered a presentation to the parties explaining the compensation survey process, and detailing current data on how base pay at UW compares to that of the organizations that comprise UW's labor market. The analysis only compares base wages, and does not factor in the variety of benefits and premiums provided to UW employees.

Key Takeaways

Purpose of a Survey – An organization participates in a compensation survey to see how its compensation compares to that of its market. This information helps an organization to remain competitive, identify problems, and effectively carry out its compensation philosophy.

Conducting a Quality Survey – A quality compensation survey must be administered by an independent third party and must use consistent criteria in determining peers. The data must be current, with clear compilation practices, and it must be aggregated rather than individually reported.

Defining the "Market" – An organization's market is the group of employers with which it competes for labor. Geography, industry, function, and size are critical factors in determining which organizations constitute an appropriate market.

UW's Philosophy – UW's compensation philosophy is to ensure that its pay is closely aligned with the middle of its market – the point at which half of its comparators pay more and half pay less (known as the market median, or the market 50th percentile).

Pay falling between 80 and 120 percent of the market median is considered to be within a "normal," acceptable range.

Summary of Findings – Actual pay for UW's non-healthcare jobs falls generally within the "normal" range between 80 and 120 percent of the market median, with some jobs falling below 80 percent. Actual pay for most of UW's healthcare jobs falls within the "normal" range of the market median.

SEIU 925 Proposals

General Wage Increase – SEIU 925 proposed general wage increases of 5 percent effective July 1, 2015, and 5 percent effective July 1, 2016. SEIU 925 proposed adjusting pay tables such that no steps are less than $15 per hour, including increasing pay accordingly for jobs with pay linked to affected jobs.

"Flat" Steps – SEIU 925 proposed to adjust SEIU 925 pay tables such that all healthcare steps are 3 percent more than the previous step, and all non-healthcare steps are 2.5 percent more than the previous.

Adding Automatic Pay Steps – SEIU 925 proposed eliminating the merit-based Career Enhancement/Growth Program (CEGP) steps and adding automatic pay steps to all SEIU 925 pay tables as follows:

  • SEIU 925 pay tables with CEGP steps: Convert the first CEGP step into an automatic step on July 1, 2015, and make the second CEGP step (where applicable) automatic on July 1, 2016. For pay tables with only one CEGP step, an extra automatic step would be added on July 1, 2016.
  • SEIU 925 pay tables without CEGP steps: Add one automatic pay step on July 1, 2015, and another one on July 1, 2016.

U-Pass – SEIU 925 proposed to increase the University's contribution to the U-Pass to 17 percent in first year of contract, and to 27 percent in second year. SEIU 925 proposed that employee contributions be decreased by 7 percent in the first year of the contract, and by an additional 10 percent in the second year.

SEIU 925/1199 Identical Titles – SEIU 925 proposed adding cardiac, vascular, and electroneurodiagnostic sonographers to the SEIU 925/1199 "Identical Titles" list, as well as several positions that supervise existing jobs classifications on the list.

Childcare – SEIU 925 proposed a 20 percent discount for on-campus childcare for 925 members, and that UW implement a plan to reduce waitlists to less than six months by June 30, 2017.

Continuing Education – SEIU 925 proposed a requirement that all fees and related costs of continuing education that is required due to an employee's continued certification be paid by the employing department.

Tentative Agreement

Article 8.16: Teleworking – The parties tentatively agreed to remove section 8.16 from article 8 in its entirety.

Next Steps

The next UW/SEIU 925 bargaining session is scheduled for September 8.

Ergonomics Discussion: August 21, 2014

Representatives from both bargaining teams met with representatives from Environmental Health and Safety ("EHS") to discuss the process by which ergonomics assessments are requested.

SEIU 925 Concerns

In support of its proposed requirement that employee requests for ergonomics assessments be scheduled and completed within 20 working days, SEIU 925 argued that the current system lacks accountability and a clear process.

SEIU 925 Suggestions

SEIU 925 suggested the notion of EHS assuming a gatekeeping function, whereby requests for ergonomics assessments would go through EHS initially, and be delegated to outside vendors as needed. EHS would be responsible for maintaining and evaluating data on employee requests over time, which would be available to the union upon request.

UW Response

EHS explained that while ergonomics has not historically been within its scope, the department has taken steps to become more directly involved, including handling preventive cases through its recently-hired ergonomist. UW pointed out that given EHS's lack of direct control over outside vendors, it could not guarantee compliance with SEIU 925's originally-proposed language as written.

UW explained that the parties share similar visions for success, but that securing adequate resources to establish and perpetuate such a program presents a challenge. UW noted that such a system would likely need to be implemented more globally, as opposed to only serving SEIU 925 members.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 925 bargaining session is scheduled for September 4.

Negotiations Recap for August 7, 2014

This recap details the fourth session for the renewal of the master collective bargaining agreement between the UW and SEIU 925 for the 2015-17 contract term.

Cardiovascular Technologist Presentation

UW Medical Center (UWMC) cardiovascular technologists delivered a presentation explaining the scope and complexities of their work, and provided testimony in support of being included in eligibility for preceptor and rest between shifts pay premiums.

SEIU 925 Proposals

Cardiovascular Technologist Preceptor – SEIU 925 proposed a preceptor premium of $3 per hour for cardiovascular technologists at UWMC.

Rest Between Shifts – SEIU 925 reiterated its July 31 proposal to clarify its intent to include UWMC cardiovascular technologists in eligibility for rest between shifts premium pay.

Video Security Systems – SEIU 925 withdrew its proposal to expand department-specific restrictions on security camera use to apply throughout the entire SEIU 925 master contract.

UW Responses

UW declined SEIU 925's initial series of proposals, explaining that the decisions contemplated by these proposals are beyond the scope and authority of the parties' bargaining. UW pointed out that many of the demands within are directed toward the UW Board of Regents, and entail fundamental changes to University policy and even the tax structure in Washington State.

Representation – UW declined SEIU 925's proposed waiver of the University's right to oppose any efforts by the union to add new bargaining units.

Request for Ergonomics Assessment – In response to SEIU 925's proposal, UW proposed that representatives from both sides meet on August 21 to discuss issues related to employee requests for ergonomics assessments, and to establish mutually agreeable contract language.

Next Steps

The next UW-SEIU 925 bargaining session is scheduled for September 4.