UW Bargaining Update 8/8/18

Our teams experienced a frustrating session bargaining with the UW on Monday.

The more we respond to some of management's language, the more it looks they don’t want to prioritize classified staff issues. The mostfrustrating issue — among many frustrating proposals — was one to make probation for transfer go from six weeks to six months.

A transfer means the exact same job class and title but in a different department. So if a member wanted to go from cleaning patient rooms at UWMC to doing the exact same job at Harborview, the UW is trying to force members to pass another probationary period for six months. That's unacceptable.

The UW is also trying to add language that would extend probation day-for-day for every day a member is not on the job. So if a member’s family member died and they had to miss work, they would have a longer probation.

Management has shown little interest in improving language about getting back to UW or HMC after a medical separation and no interest in spelling out just what our members’ rights are when facing a medical challenge at work.

On a slightly better note, we are much closer to settling on Joint Labor Management meetings language. This a great tool when we face a problem for a group of members in a given department. Joint Labor Managements allow our union and the University to solve problems that do not fit neatly into grievance, but affect large groups of employees.

Another encouraging item is progress on being able to bid on shifts in your current job and current department. We don't have this language finalized yet and it does not include work locations (e.g. bidding on custodial runs), but we are trying to make progress for members to bid into different shifts during the days, evenings, or nights when vacancies arise in a given department.

The UW continues to claim that the University cannot afford to make the U-PASS free for our members. Right now, WFSE members in General Government state agencies in King County receive free ORCA passes.

WFSE’s next UW bargaining session is August 14th, followed by the University’s first meeting about wages on August 15th. WFSE is negotiating for higher raises with the UW’s main classified unions, including SEIU 925, SEIU 1199, WFSE 1488, and WFSE 3488, on August 16th.

Stay tuned for more updates, in addition to future calls to action to support bargaining.