I’m pleased to announce that the Higher Education Bargaining Team has concluded negotiations on the 2019-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The next step in getting a new CBA is yours! As a member in good standing of WPEA, you get to vote on whether or not to accept this contract.
On this site, you’ll find a summary of changes between our current CBA and the new CBA that your bargaining team negotiated this summer with the State of Washington.
After the longest summer of negotiations since we gained the right to bargain salaries in 2004, your bargaining team (a group of WPEA members from across the state) has put together a strong contract. Your bargaining team recommends ratification of this contract!
For the first time, members will be voting online. This allowed the team to continue bargaining for an additional week in September while still leaving time for you to vote. During that week, the State increased their COLA offer to what you now see in the summary. The instructions on how to vote are being sent to you by both email and mail. If you have questions about the voting process, please call the main WPEA office at 360-943-1121.
Voting will be open from 10 am Tuesday, September 25 until 5 pm Sunday, September 30.
Please review the proposed changes and vote! This is your contract and it’s one of the most important things your union does for your rights as a state employee.
Kent Stanford WPEA President
Summary of Changes WPEA Higher Education Coalition Collective Bargaining Agreement for 2019-21
Cost of Living Increases: 6% over the life of the contract: 3% on July 1, 2019 and 3% on July 1, 2020
The 2017-2021 contracts together total a 12% across the board increase, the largest gain in two back-to-back contracts since we won the fight to bargain wages in 2004. That’s also the largest four-year gain since 1990-1993.
5% Premium Pay for all bargaining unit members working in King County. This is in addition to base pay, calculated after the COLA’s, and will include all Cascadia College and Bellevue College members. The State had previously claimed it was legally unable to provide members with locality pay. We will continue to try expanding this to other counties.
Class-Specific Increases for Proven Recruitment & Retention Issues: *
Budget Analyst 4
Communication Officer 1
Fiscal Analyst 4 and 5
Library & Archives Paraprofessional 2 and 4
Maintenance Mechanic 1,2, and 3
Warehouse Operator 2 and 3
*The charts of exact range moves for these increases are included with the voting materials. Together, these increases cover 39% of bargaining unit positions.
For an electronic copy of the targeted increases please clickhere.
A $14/hour “Minimum Wage” for all employees. * All members at salary range 29 or below will be moved to salary range 30 or 32.* Members in a job series with those moved up also will go up in salary range to keep distance between salaries. * Current salaries will change July 1 for people making under $14, everyone else affected will have more annual step increases before maxing out. Moving to $14 on July 1, 2019:
Custodian 1 and 2
Digital Printing Operator
Fiscal Technician 1
Food Service Worker
Grounds & Nursery Services Spec 1
Office Assistant 1 and 2
Printing & Duplication Specialist 2
Retail Clerk 1
Stockroom Attendant 2
Utility Worker 1
Warehouse Operator 1
Moving up in range:
Administrative Assistant 1,2, and 3
Custodian 3 and 4
Customer Service Specialist 1 and 2
Data Compiler 2 and 3
Fiscal Technician 2, 3, Lead and Supervisor
Food Service Worker Lead
Grounds & Nursery Serv Spec 2 and 3
HR Consultant 1,2,3, and 4
HR Consultant Assistant 1 and 2
Office Assistant 3 and Lead
Office Support Supervisor 1
Retail Clerk 2 and Lead
Snack Bar Lead
Stockroom Attendant 3
HEALTHCARE The cost of premiums will continue to be split 85%/15% between the state and the employee. Employees making under $50,004 base pay per year (not including the King County premium, or any earned OT) will receive a $250 per year flexible spending account to be used for healthcare costs.
To see a pdf of the chart for the cost of premiums for the 2019 calendar year, please click here.
LEAVE ISSUES Expanded access to sick leave for overtime-eligible employees who are leave without pay for part of the month. If leave without pay exceeds 10 days, they can still accrue an sick leave at the rate of 1 hour for 40 hours worked, up to 8 hours.
Access to sick leave if an employee’s child’s school or care facility has been closed for public health reasons.
In the event of a multi-day campus closure, employees may be offered the option to work from home or at a similar location within a reasonable commute distance instead of having to use leave.
An employee who calls out because they are unable to reach the campus during inclement weather will have their leave restored if the campus later closes because of the weather.
Expanded definitions for Shared Leave eligibility, to include pregnancy-related medical conditions and parental leave to care for a newborn or newly placed foster or adopted child. An employee is not required to completely exhaust their other leave to get shared leave for these situations; they can still have 40 hours each of sick leave and vacation leave.
A change and clarification of how a “severe or extraordinary” health condition is defined for Shared Leave eligibility. This is to fix the misinterpretation by some colleges that the condition has to be life-threatening.
Leave covered by worker’s comp may either be taken concurrently with, or separately from, FMLA at the employee’s request.
Stronger language on when travel time is considered work time. Travel time is work time unless the employee is travelling as a passenger and is outside their regular work time. So you are on paid time as long as you are either during your regular work hours, during those same hours on what is usually not your work day (for example, 8-5 on a Saturday), or regardless of the time if you are driving yourself. The only travel time that’s not paid time is outside work hours when you are a passenger.
Improved language requiring the Colleges to start discrimination and workplace behavior investigations within 21 days.
College administration will bring a list of all vacant bargaining unit positions to Labor-Management Communications meetings so we can discuss the plans and timelines for filling those jobs. Employees may use alternate or flex schedules, with supervisor approval, to attend Labor Management Communication meetings or Employer-created committees or meetings if the employer is there in a Union-related role. A new hire, promotion, demotion, or transfer will receive an accurate position description within 21 days of their start date. (Note that most employees already receive this on Day 1, but some Colleges have not been providing them.)
When a College decides to extend a probationary or trial service period beyond 6 months, the employee will be notified in writing and if the extension is based on performance issues the supervisor will provide written feedback about needed improvements.
Plans and requests for training and professional development may be done either in the annual evaluation process or outside that process if requests are made in writing. Approval or denial of these requests will be made in writing and will include reasons for denial. Release time may be used for both on-campus and off-campus professional development and training.
New hires may meet with a representative of the Union on the clock for at least 30 minutes within the first 90 days of hire to discuss the Union and this contract. This may occur either at a formal orientation or informally. Shop stewards will have reasonable time on the clock to take part in these discussions with new hires.
An employee who receives discipline that is recorded in their personnel file may authorize the Union to track timelines and make the request that outdated discipline records be removed from the file. This is instead of the employee needing to track and request removals.
Employees may now make requests for accommodations if they or a member of their family has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Accommodations may include but aren’t limited to schedule changes, moving workstations, and leave.
Employees may now make requests for accommodations related to pregnancy. Accommodations may include but aren’t limited to changes in break schedules, temporary transfer, job restructuring, and assistance with manual labor. Clearer language for dues deduction authorization and cancellation, bringing the CBA process in-line with the WPEA Executive Board’s approved process.
If there is a temporary layoff because the legislature doesn’t pass a budget before the start of the new biennium, employees will not get back pay or holiday pay during the layoff unless later authorized by the legislature. The Shop Steward lists provided to the colleges will note which stewards are available to represent a member in a discipline or Weingarten Rights situation.