This comes in response to what UW describes as major revenue losses and projected finan­cial deficits. Furloughs are intended to be a money saving measure by the employer.

What is a furlough? A furlough is a leave of absence. It may be forced or volun­tary in nature.

After a house wide announce­ment went out on Monday morning, May 11 regarding the employer’s intent to impose furloughs on UWMC staff, WSNA immedi­ately submitted a Demand to Bargain” and requested all infor­ma­tion pertaining to their motiva­tions and imple­men­ta­tion of this decision.

We will know more after this infor­ma­tion is received in the next week or two.

How is this going to look and when will it start?
We are told that depart­ments are working on plans for their individual employees which UWMC plans to provide to WSNA on Monday, May 18.

The Employer and WSNA are working to set up a time to bargain these changes in your working condi­tions.

These are what the employer passed along as guiding princi­ples they are using for the furloughs:

  • The employer will ensure tempo­rary layoffs occur by depart­ment in inverse seniority order by most recent date of UW hire.
  • The union(s) will be provided the tempo­rary layoff plans for each impacted individual.
  • Notice of early return to work or exten­sion of tempo­rary layoff shall be made verbally and confirmed by email.
  • Employees may utilize 8 hours per month of eligible paid time off to maintain their health­care. Employees will continue to accrue vacation time off and sick time off while on furlough. Employees will continue to receive all paid holidays while on furlough.
  • Employees on furlough are still consid­ered to be employed and thus are still eligible to receive previ­ously agreed to lump sum payments.


It is impor­tant for you to know that WSNA is working with our WSNA regis­tered nurse leaders at UWMC to hold UWMC account­able to the terms of our collec­tive bargaining agree­ment.

We will be keeping you informed along the way and working to ensure that these unexpected furloughs (essen­tially tempo­rary layoffs) are equitable and trans­parent.

For questions or concerns, please contact your WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive Ed Zercher at ezercher@wsna.org.