CBA Article 4

ARTICLE 4 UNION ACTIVITIES 

4.1 Union Representatives 

A. The Union will provide the Employer with a written list of union representatives. The Union will provide written notice to the Employer of any changes within thirty (30) calendar days of the changes. 

B. Union representatives may have access to the Employer’s offices or facilities in non-work areas, as approved by the Employer, to carry out representational activities. The representatives will notify local management prior to their arrival and will not interfere with or disturb nurses in the performance of their work during working hours, nor interfere with patient care or the normal operations of the agency. The union representative may meet with bargaining unit nurses in non-work areas during the nurses’ meal periods, rest periods, and before and after their shifts. 

4.2 Union Delegates/Union Officers 

A. The Union will provide the Employer with a written list of current union delegates and union officers. The Union will maintain the list. The Employer will not recognize a nurse as a union delegate or officer if his or her name does not appear on the list. 

B. Union delegates and officers will be granted reasonable time during their normal working hours to investigate and process grievances in accordance with Article 36, Grievance Procedure. In addition, union delegates and officers will be released during their normal working hours to attend meetings scheduled by management within the delegates/officer’s office or facility for the following representational activities: 

1. Grievance meetings, including attempts at informal resolution, in accordance with Article 36, Grievance Procedure. 

2. Investigatory interviews (in potential disciplinary matters), in accordance with Article 25, Discipline. 

The union delegate or officer will obtain approval from his or her supervisor before attending any meeting. Notification will include the approximate amount of time the delegate or officer expects the activity to take. Any agency business requiring the delegate’s or officer’s immediate attention will be completed prior to attending the meeting. Attendance at meetings during the union delegate’s or officer’s non-work hours will not be considered as time worked. Union delegates and officers may not use state vehicles to travel to and from a work site in order to perform representational activities. 

C. If the amount of time a union delegate or officer spends performing representational activities is affecting his or her ability to accomplish assigned duties, the Employer will not continue to release the delegate or officer and the Union will be notified. 

D. The Employer will release with pay union delegates for training by the Union related to administration of this Agreement for one (1) day per fiscal year, provided the absence does not cause additional expense or workload coverage issues to the agency. The delegates will provide their supervisor with fourteen (14) days’ notice of the date of the training. Time spent during the nurse’s non-work hours in order to attend training will not be considered work time. 

4.3 Use of State Facilities, Resources and Equipment 

A. Meeting Space and Facilities 

The Union may be permitted to use an Employer meeting room to hold a meeting based on availability of the space and with prior written authorization of the agency. 

B. Supplies and Equipment 

The Union and its membership will not use state-purchased supplies or equipment to conduct union business or representational activities. This does not preclude the use of the telephone for representational activities if there is no cost to the Employer, the call is brief in duration and it does not disrupt or distract from agency business. 

C. E-mail, Fax Machines, the Internet, and Intranets 

Union delegates, officers and members may utilize state owned/operated equipment to communicate with the Union and/or the Employer for the exclusive purpose of administration of this Agreement. Such use will: 

1. Result in little or no cost to the Employer; 

2. Be brief in duration and frequency; 

3. Not interfere with the performance of their official duties; 

4. Not distract from the conduct of state business; 

5. Not disrupt other state employees and will not obligate other employees to make a personal use of state resources; and 

6. Not compromise the security or integrity of state information or software.

The Union and its union delegates or officers will not use the above-referenced state equipment for union organizing, internal union business, advocating for or against the Union in an election or any other purpose prohibited by the Executive Ethics Board. Communication that occurs when using state-owned equipment is the property of the Employer. 

4.4 Bulletin Boards 

The Employer will maintain bulletin board(s) or space on existing bulletin boards currently provided to the Union for union communication. Material posted on the bulletin board will be appropriate to the workplace, politically non-partisan, in compliance with state ethics laws, and identified as union literature. Union communications may not be posted in any other location in the agency. 

4.5 Time Off for Union Activities 

A. Conventions and Conferences 

Union-designated nurses may be allowed time off without pay to attend union-sponsored conventions or conferences. Approval for the time off must be approved in advance of the absence. Approval will not be granted if the absence interferes with the Employer’s ability to provide coverage during the requested time off or the operating needs of the agency cannot be met. 

B. Training and Executive Board Meetings 

Union delegates will be allowed time off without pay to attend a one (1) day union training session that will occur annually, if the Employer is able to provide coverage that does not incur overtime and the operating needs of the agency can be met. 

Union executive board members will be allowed time off without pay to attend monthly executive board meetings if the Employer is able to provide coverage that does not incur overtime and the operating needs of the agency can be met. 

C. Nurses may use accumulated compensatory time or vacation leave instead of leave without pay for both A and B above. However, nurses must use compensatory time prior to their use of vacation leave, unless the use would result in the loss of their vacation leave. 

D. The Union will give the Employer a written list of the names of the nurses it is requesting attend the above-listed activities, at least fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the activity. 

4.6 Temporary Employment with the Union 

With thirty (30) calendar days’ notice, unless agreed otherwise, nurses may be granted leave without pay to accept temporary employment with the Union of a specified duration, not to exceed twelve (12) weeks, provided the nurse’s time off will not interfere with the operating needs of the agency. The parties may agree to an extension of leave without pay up to an additional twelve (12) weeks. For leaves of up to twelve (12) weeks duration, the nurse will be returned to their same position. For leaves of more than twelve (12) weeks duration, the returning nurse will be employed in a position in the same job classification and the same geographical area, as determined by the Employer. 

4.7 New Employee Orientation 

When an agency provides a formal new employee orientation program and there are bargaining unit nurses present, the Union will be given an opportunity to have a union delegate/officer or designee or union representative speak to the class for not more than thirty (30) minutes to provide information about the Union and the master agreement. The union delegate/officer must be from the same office/facility where the new employee orientation program is being conducted, unless the union delegate/officer or designee is presenting during his or her off duty time. 

4.8 2015 - 2017 Master Agreement Negotiations 

The following Section governs protocols for bargaining a successor agreement to this Agreement: 

A. Release Time 

The Employer will approve up to a total of eighty (80) days of paid release time for union bargaining team members who are scheduled to work on the day negotiations are being conducted. The Union may propose, and the Employer will consider, paid release time for bargaining team members should the union bargaining team exhaust the eighty (80) days of paid release time prior to the completion of bargaining. Upon an employee’s request or the Union’s request, the Employer will approve compensatory time, vacation leave, exchange time or leave without pay, or at the discretion of their supervisor, an employee may be allowed to adjust his or her work hours to attend additional negotiations. Per diem and travel expenses will be paid by SEIU Healthcare 1199NW for Union team members. No overtime, compensatory time or exchange time will be incurred as a result of negotiations and/or travel to and from negotiations. 

B. Confidentiality/Media Communication 

The Spokespersons agree to notify each other a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours prior to any public disclosure or public discussion of the issues being negotiated. If either party initiates contact with the media after giving twenty-four (24) hours notice, the other party may respond without the required notice period. 

The media are prohibited from attending negotiation sessions. Only identified team members of either party, staff representatives from the Union and OFM Labor Relations Division and invited subject matter experts may attend formal negotiation sessions. By agreement, the parties may issue joint statements to the media about the status of negotiations. 

No initial proposals or counter proposals will be placed on the parties’ unrestricted public websites. The parties may post general bargaining updates on their unrestricted public websites. The Union is not restricted from posting information on members-only websites. The parties are not precluded from communicating with their respective constituencies about negotiations while they are taking place. 

© Paul Vilja 2017