UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the sixteenth bargaining session on November 14th. Articles 6, 23, 25, XX (Union Activities) were discussed. This was an abbreviated session.
Multiple subjects in Article 6 (Fringe Benefits) were covered including liability coverage, meal reimbursements, white coat laundering, etc. Laundering was discussed in a recent negotiation session, and Hayley Fisher from GME reported back with an update on the process. Many departments are having an issue with this service and GME is setting up meetings with departments and vendors to improve the process.
The conversation around Article 23 (Salary) continued from last session. UWHA asked various questions about how the institutions on the list given during the last session were chosen, why did the most recent salary proposal not close this gap, and pointed out the multiple numbers were outdated (from previous years), and which actually led to a 5% deficit between current salaries and the average salary of peer institutions. LR continues to stress they want to find a balance between what they can afford and being competitive for trainee compensation.
LR brought a new proposal on Article 25 (Transportation), which includes creating a fund for the Safe Ride Home program totaling $500 on reimbursement for all residents over a year. Currently, there is no financial cap on the amount spent on safe ride home reimbursements. UWHA has strong concerns about what would happen after the reimbursements hit $500 before the end of the year.
UWHA moved parts of their newly proposed Miscellaneous article to Article XX (Union Activities) to match LR’s organization. Conversation continued regarding bulletin boards, information requests, and union access to state owned spaces and communication.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, November 20th from 3:00-7:00pm at Roosevelt Commons West, Rm. 271. UWHA urges all members to attend.