UW Bargaining Update 8/22/18

The coalition unions FACED A TOUGH GO ON August 20

— Coalition Unions include WFSE 1488 and 3488, and SEIU 925 with support from SEIU 1199 NW — who are not bargaining right now.

We all signed on to 925's two proposals to address and track racism and discrimination in both hiring and operations at the UW and the medical centers and clinics.

  • We want them to "show their work" when it comes to this complex and important issue. This is not like watching a video on hand washing!
  • We want to see hiring committees that look a lot more like our work communities.
  • We want the UW to track all the various complaints so that problems and trends can be easily spotted.

Right now there is no such system! We proposed paying for this out a tiny portion of the 'Be Boundless" endowment funds raised this past year. As with any money ask the employer was not happy to see this.

We asked the UW to pick up the full cost of the new Washington State Paid Family Leave Act. That got a resounding "no" as did our earlier proposal for employer-paid U-Pass and a freeze on parking rates for our members who must drive to work

We sought parity with professional staff on how fast vacation is earned. They were not happy to see that either. To be clear we can't ask for additional days (limited by state law), but professional staff reaches the top rate in 11 years rather than 25 years it takes us to reach the top rate.

We proposed an MOU to allow our contract to keep pace with Seattle minimum wage, This one looks like one they are willing to act on.

We then made our initial proposal for cost-of-living adjustment, also called across the board raises. Your union teams feel that 8% each year PLUS any market rate changes for classes that are behind is a good start. Our employer does not agree.

Oh our employer has no system to track hiring problems or retention issues unless a department head brings it to the compensation office. No data on how long a position is vacant — ZIP! Easy way to ignore a problem!

So, now that we have put the first money proposal on the table it is now a power game.

The power of the unions is not paid staff or the few people at the table. The power of our unions is all of us at work every day.

So stand by for a series of actions to demonstrate that power. Some will be as easy as stopping by for a quick lunch at the Harborview Unity Picnic. Others might mean leaving a building for a few minutes to rally and perhaps upset management just little.