Parking at the University of Washington is a heavy burden on Residents. During your intern year alone, approximately 10% of your salary goes directly to cover the costs of parking. Due to inadequate alternate means of transportation given our irregular and extended hours, we essentially give back to the University a large portion of our salary simply to take care of our patients. Thus, parking has been an area where we hoped negotiations would lead to meaningful change. Unfortunately, rather than decrease parking rates, the University on July 1st raised parking rates for the Pay Per Use (PUPP) program in the Portage Bay Garage. Specifically, rates were raised 20% (increasing from $5.00 to $6.00/day) for Residents parking up to 4 days in a two week pay period and 6% (increasing from $7.05 to $7.50/day) for Residents parking >4 days in the two week pay period.
State law dictates that employers cannot change work conditions, such as the cost of parking, while parties are in the middle of negotiations. Accordingly, the unilateral increase in parking cost is in violation of state law [RCW 41.56.140(4) and RCW 41.56.140(1)]. The UWHA brought these concerns to the University; however, no changes were made. The UWHA Negotiations Team felt there was no other option than to file an Unfair Labor Practice complaint with the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission. We requested that the University return the parking fees to the pre-July 2015 rates until a contract is agreed upon and refund the costs of the increased fees to UWHA members who have been unfairly (and unlawfully) affected. We await a reply from the University and appreciate your continued support. Also, if you see other areas where your work conditions are changing for the worse, please let a member of your UWHA Negotiation Team know.