On April 6, a communication was sent out by UWMC indicating that University Counsel had determined that WSNA had to bargain the contract starting in 2023 this summer and reach a tentative agreement by October 1 to be submitted to the Office of Financial Management for approval.
WSNA has reviewed this directive by the employer and has determined that UWMC has not provided sufficient evidence to support early bargaining under the provisions of RCW 41.80.
What does this mean to you? It means that, at this time, WSNA has no plans to engage in successor bargaining with the employer until the spring of 2023. WSNA is committed to maintaining the rights and benefits included in our current contract and will initiate bargaining in the fall of 2022 for the spring of 2023 as we had initially planned.
The University of Washington Medical Center also filed a petition through PERC (Public Employment Relations Commission) in an effort to combine UW Northwest and UW Montlake into a single bargaining unit with a single contract. Part of their stated goal is to have staffing flexibility to float RNs back and forth between hospitals at their discretion.
Once again, WSNA is in disagreement with this and submitted a response to PERC to dismiss the Unit Clarification effort of the University based on lack of timeliness on filing. If such an effort were to be sought, it should have been at the time of acquisition of NW over two years ago.
WSNA is committed to our RNs, and we are working to continue to achieve a level playing field in bargaining wages, hours and working conditions.
WSNA has no interest in strong arm tactics of the employer to gain the upper hand in bargaining or creating working conditions that equate to hardships for the RNs we represent.
Stay tuned to WSNA.org UWMC Montlake and NW local unit web pages for updates.
Thanks for all you do to keep our community safe and healthy.
Ed Zercher and Sara Frey
WSNA Nurse Representatives