Resident Wellness Day

Residents are the backbone of clinical care provided across UW Medicine. Residents work countless hours in the service of their patients. All too often this is at the expense of our personal health. Join your colleagues for Resident Wellness Day on January 10, 2020.

Pledge here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe5Jf906FuG3hGr4zfJ32BZOWAddEJlfWJXw0F37s-4Pf14tw/viewform?usp=sf_link

If you did not receive information, please contact admin@uwha.com

November 14th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the sixteenth bargaining session on November 14th. Articles 6, 23, 25, XX (Union Activities) were discussed. This was an abbreviated session.

Multiple subjects in Article 6 (Fringe Benefits) were covered including liability coverage, meal reimbursements, white coat laundering, etc. Laundering was discussed in a recent negotiation session, and Hayley Fisher from GME reported back with an update on the process. Many departments are having an issue with this service and GME is setting up meetings with departments and vendors to improve the process. 

The conversation around Article 23 (Salary) continued from last session. UWHA asked various questions about how the institutions on the list given during the last session were chosen, why did the most recent salary proposal not close this gap, and pointed out the multiple numbers were outdated (from previous years), and which actually led to a 5% deficit between current salaries and the average salary of peer institutions. LR continues to stress they want to find a balance between what they can afford and being competitive for trainee compensation. 

LR brought a new proposal on Article 25 (Transportation), which includes creating a fund for the Safe Ride Home program totaling $500 on reimbursement for all residents over a year. Currently, there is no financial cap on the amount spent on safe ride home reimbursements. UWHA has strong concerns about what would happen after the reimbursements hit $500 before the end of the year. 

UWHA moved parts of their newly proposed Miscellaneous article to Article XX (Union Activities) to match LR’s organization. Conversation continued regarding bulletin boards, information requests, and union access to state owned spaces and communication. 

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, November 20th from 3:00-7:00pm at Roosevelt Commons West, Rm. 271. UWHA urges all members to attend.

November 12th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the fifteenth bargaining session on November 12th. Articles 2, 12, 15, 18, and 23 were discussed.

Article 2 (Committee Memberships and Hospital Committee) was updated to include the most recent list of committees and language to match LR’s most recent proposal. 

Article 12 (Leave-Holidays) was updated to ensure that if a resident or fellows takes vacation days the day before and/or after a holiday, that they are not forced to take the holiday as a vacation day as well. 

Article 15 (Leave-Sick) contained minimal language changes, however, both UWHA and LR want to make sure the language is clear regarding using sick leave as a second option after bereavement leave. Both LR and UWHA updated language to match each other’s proposals. 

Article 18 (Moonlighting) was updated to match more language between LR and UWHA’s most recent proposals. It still stands that UWHA proposes creating a system where moonlighting opportunities would be visible to everyone, to create a more accessible and equitable system for all residents and fellows interested and eligible to moonlight.

Article 23 (Salary) was proposed at the end of the session and will continue to be discussed during the next session. LR proposed a 2-1-1% (90 days after ratification, on July 1, 2020, and on July 1, 2021, respectively) increase to the salary, with no addition to base pay. LR also proposed an increase to the housing stipend to $2,000/year. LR presented a table of self-selected peer institutions to compare salaries and some benefits to, which was presented to UW Medicine leadership who ultimately approved the prior salary proposals from LR. This table shows that with the most recent salary proposal, residents and fellows at UW would still be 3.3% behind these peer institutions – a percentage which was not adjusted for cost of living in Seattle (that if adjusted for cost of living would make the percentage even higher). 

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday, November 14th from 4:00-7:00pm at Roosevelt Commons West, Rm. 271. UWHA urges all members to attend.

November 4th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the fourteenth bargaining session on November 4th. Articles 5, 7, 21, 22, and 23 were discussed.

Article 5 (Dues Deduction, Fair Share, and UWHA Membership) consisted of updated language regarding notifying potential candidates and new employees of union representation. 

Article 7 (Grievances) had updated proposals from both UWHA and LR. LR has proposed an introductory paragraph stating the priority to resolve disputes at the earliest opportunity is in the best interest of both the employer and the employee, with a preference to do this outside of the formal grievance procedure. LR wants to also reduce the amount of time UWHA has to file a grievance from 60 days to 30 days from when the incident occurred. It was agreed upon that protection from retaliation should be included; however, disagreement still stands on whether Step 1 of the procedure could be voluntarily skipped.

Regarding Article 21 (Professional Development and Licensing), LR again proposed to eliminate the fund rollover from year to year to “minimize the administrative burden”.  LR then proposed a few new options for disbursing professional development. The first of which is to automatically provide a $350 stipend at the beginning of the academic year, and the second option would be to continue to current reimbursing on an ad-hoc basis. Both options do not include either an increase to the fund or again, the option to rollover the amount between years. UWHA has concerns that transitioning to a stipend would mean the amount would be taxed, which would actually reduce the professional development money residents and fellows would receive per year. Lastly, UWHA continues to advocate for full reimbursement of licenses that are required by programs.

Article 22 (Progression by Training Year) consisted of proposals from LR to remove the charts explaining the progression, due to feedback that it creates more confusion. UWHA continues to assert that it is of extreme importance that when members do a non-acgme research year during residency that their compensation is not reduced when they fall out of the bargaining unit (Separate note: UWHA also continues to assert that these individuals should be added to the bargaining unit). LR has stated that they will do research into what programs require these research years.

Article 23 (Salary) did not include counter proposals from either UWHA or LR; however, UWHA presented an additional packet (see below) with updated data consisting of newly released salary numbers from various institutions. This packet includes data from the top 50 medical school programs in the country, including compensation, housing stipend, retirement benefits, relocation stipend, and additional benefits. LR continues to state that they don’t have enough money to meet our requests for fair compensation.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12th from 3:00-7:00pm at Roosevelt Commons West, Rm. 271. UWHA urges all members to attend.


October 31st Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the thirteenth bargaining session on October 31st. Articles 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 25 were discussed.

In the current counter proposal on Article 5 (Dues Deduction, Fair Share, and UWHA Membership), UWHA included language that if the employer incorrectly deducts dues from an employee who is no longer part of the bargaining unit, they would be responsible for reimbursing the funds. This has been an ongoing issue. UW HR has claimed to have fixed the issue of incorrectly deducting dues and removed a number of individuals this was happening to, as of the most recent period. There was also language to clarify how applicants applying to residency and new hires would be notified of the unions existence.

Articles 10-15 cover an array of Leave topics. UWHA proposed language updates to all. Most notably, Article 13 covers pregnancy accommodations, and UWHA continues to propose expanding the protections to pregnant residents and fellows. Additionally, UWHA continues to assert that a fourth week of vacation is vital in reducing resident burnout and to make UW more competitive with the 75% of residency programs across the country that already offer a minimum of four weeks of paid vacation. LR has asserted this would constitute a large administrative burden. UWHA requested a counter proposal to our ask of 4 weeks of vacation as LR has had 3 months to already prepare a counter proposal however they stated they were still “working on it” and could not guarantee when their counter proposal would be ready. 

UWHA continued the conversation on Article 25 (Transportation) from the last bargaining session, regarding the Safe Ride Home program. Many peer institutions have no questions asked safe ride home programs to ensure resident safety, irregardless of the time of day of the trip. LR has concerns about the program being abused by individuals; however, UWHA has shown data that is not the case at peer institutions who have expanded this benefit to be more inclusive. There were minor changes regarding shuttles, and UPASS.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Monday, November 4th from 3:00-7:00pm at Roosevelt Commons West, Rm. 271. UWHA urges all members to attend.

October 29th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the twelfth bargaining session on October 29th. This session was a continuation of the October 15th session. The only additional article discussed was Article 25 (Transportation). 

The most recent counter proposals from LR and UWHA for Article 6 (Fringe Benefits) differ a great deal – and UWHA has continued to ask questions and receive clarification on the intention for multiple items, including pay for training modules before and after a resident’s official start date, professional liability coverage, laundering services, fitness access, and a relocation stipend. Extensive and productive conversation was discussed regarding the current and potential staffing of counselors for residents and fellows, as well as intricacies with PHP (Physician Health Program). LR discussed the areas in which they are currently working to improve wellness among residents and fellows, including in the recruitment of more diverse counselors to better match the resident and fellow population, improving schedule release times, partnering with NURF, and ensuring that all ACGME requirements are being met.

UWHA has also proposed a $50/month phone stipend due to the necessity of having a personal cell phone to perform job responsibilities. LR states that because UW policy does not provide cell phones or stipends for any employees, regardless of their position, this will continue to be the policy for residents and fellows as well. UWHA continues to assert that the University of Washington is severely behind in these benefits compared to peer institution residency programs.

Article 25, Transportation was brought forth to discuss both questions and concerns with current policies. UWHA is proposing to expand and improve the current Safe Ride Home program, which is not currently serving residents and fellows in its intended purpose.

Conversation and debate on these topics took the entirety of the session and UWHA’s proposals were postponed to the next session. 

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday, October 31st from 3:00-7:00pm at Roosevelt Commons West, Rm. 271. UWHA urges all members to attend.

October 15th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the eleventh bargaining session on October 15th. LR supplied counter proposals on Articles 1 (Childcare), 3 (Definitions), 6 (Fringe Benefits), 18 (Management Rights), 23 (Salary), and newly submitted article “Union Activities.” UWHA brought forth counter proposals for Articles 7, 10-13; however, they were not discussed due to lack of time. 

The counterproposal for Childcare contained no additional funding to the Childcare Fund, only including language updates based on feedback from GME. UWHA reiterated the importance of a more robust Childcare Fund and it’s value in recruiting and sustaining a diverse cohort of residents. 

Regarding, Article 6, Fringe Benefits – LR proposed updates to the Resident Orientation section with language specifying which activities residents would receive pay for, in addition to adding language to “Relocation” to state that departments may reimburse for relocation expenses consistent with administrative policy. UWHA is concerned about how that would occur in practice and what that means for residents and fellows in programs with less funding. 

LR proposed language updates to Article 18, Moonlighting. UWHAs priority for this article is to make moonlighting easily and fairly accessible to all residents in good standing. Current proposed language from LR is limiting in who can participate, however, LR is concerned about the mechanism for which this information would be shared across programs.

LRs brought forth an additional proposal to their newly submitted “Union Activities” article. This proposal contained a new section, outlining limits to staff representatives of the union and access of work sites. In addition, this proposal included language to allow for union bulletin boards at all UW medicine sites. 

Lastly, Article 23 (Salary) was discussed at length, as LR brought forth two proposed changes from their most recent proposal, which included an increase to the Chief Resident Stipend, by $25/month, up to $175/month and increasing the Home Call Stipend, starting July 1, 2020 to $1900 per year. The proposed salary increases per year, remain the same from their first proposal. 

Conversation and debate on these topics took the entirety of the session and UWHA’s proposals are postponed to the next session. 

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, October 29th from 3:00-7:00pm at Roosevelt Commons West, Rm. 271. UWHA urges all members to attend.