UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the seventh bargaining session August 20th. LR had agreed in the last session to present their financial proposal for a “super stipend” and counter proposals on Articles 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 15, 19, 20, and UWHA newly proposed Article 26. All were discussed except the new Article. UWHA had agreed to come prepared to sign “Tentative Agreements” (TA) for the appendixes.
LR clarified that their proposal for the “super stipend” is to keep the dollar amounts they are currently paying the same, but to roll them all into one stipend. Further, they propose no increase to any stipend residents receive for housing, transportation, professional development, etc.
LR presented counter proposals on a number of articles which included minor language updates. No substantial debate occurred during the meeting until Article 15 (Sick Leave) was discussed. UWHA proposed paying residents out for their sick leave accrued at the end of residency and LR immediately rejected this proposal, stating no state employees receive this benefit. UWHA then refuted this claim, referencing other unions at the university who receive this benefit. LR then acknowledged some employees do indeed receive this benefit.
There was then a minor debate on both Article 19 (No Strike) and Article 20 (Non-Discrimination). UWHA pressed LR to when proposals on financial articles would be presented. LR did not have a straightforward answer, saying they were still calculating the numbers and could not promise when they would have estimates on cost.
UWHA received confirmation from LR/GME that LR/GME will not honoring FMLA benefits for Idaho residents at this time, even though our Idaho-based residents have been paying into the system since July 1, which is of serious concern. LR said they are looking into the matter, but at this time it is not in their jurisdiction. UWHA pressured LR/GME that our residents need an immediate answer regarding this benefit, especially when they are paying for something they may not receive.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3rd from 3:00-7:00pm on the UW Campus. UWHA encourages all members to attend.