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.

Week of Action Media

UW’s medical trainees need fair pay, will walk out Sept. 25 – The Stand (9/20)
UW Residents Will Strike for 15 Minutes This Wednesday – The Stranger (9/23)
80-hour weeks, bad pay, exhaustion: Here’s why UW medical residents are walking out – Crosscut (9/24)
“We’ve Reached a Breaking Point:” Hundreds of Residents Strike for 15 Minutes Across Seattle – The Stranger (9/25)
UW medical residents hold walk out, cite low pay and understaffing – KOMO News (9/25)
In Solidarity: Response to the University of Washington Resident Physician Strike – In-House (9/29)
Unionized medical residents continue struggle with the UW, stage walkout for improved benefits – The Daily UW (9/30)

September 26th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the tenth bargaining session on September 26th. LR supplied non-financial counter proposals on Articles 2, 5, and 13. UWHA brought forth seven counter proposals for Articles 1, 2, 3, 6, 21, and counter proposals for newly submitted articles on “Miscellaneous” topics and “Duration and owed wages.” This session came the day after roughly 500 residents participated in a Unity Break at 6 sites across Seattle (and one in Boise). Dr. Byron Joyner, vice Dean of GME joined for the first few minutes. This was the first negotiation session with UWHA he had attended.

Both UWHA and LR brought forth very similar counter proposals on Article 2 (Committee Memberships and Hospital Committee) and clarified that despite recent changes to the structure of the IRFAC committee, there would still be guaranteed resident representation. Article 5 included a conversation regarding UWHA seeking to expand union publicity to potential and incoming candidates for residency. As well as finding a solution for employees who are no longer part of the bargaining unit, but whom are still having dues deducted from their paychecks by UW. LR has agreed to have a meeting with UWHA separately to amend this issue. 

Article 13 (Leave-Miscellaneous) was discussed in great length due to proposed changes that would limit benefits and protections for pregnant people. LR confirmed that newly legislated FMLA benefits in Washington state would not be extended to Idaho residents, causing a discrepancy of benefits between residents in different states. The proposed article limits accomodations for pregnant people – of which LR stated it was the responsibility of the individual to reach out to the disability office to amend. UWHA preference is for accommodations to be protected within the CBA to promote cultural change. Historically, residency has been very unsupportive of pregnant residents and fellows, and UWHA looks to change this through specific language in the CBA, to which Cindy Hamra, assistant Dean of GME agreed.

Counter proposals brought forth by UWHA for Articles 1, 3, 6, 21, and 26 included language changes – some of which were accepted language from LR’s last proposals; however, did not include decreases to any of the financial asks. In reference to Article 1 (Childcare), UWHA again brought forth the importance of being supportive of resident families, and the detriment that lack of subsidizing child care has on recruiting qualified and diverse candidates. 

UWHA asked LR about their thoughts on the Unity Break. Banks Evans, director of Labor Relations said he only heard about it the next day. It was confirmed that Dr. Paul Ramsey did receive the petition signed by almost 800 residents in support of a fair contract however they had no further comment on the matter despite prompting. 

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, October 15th from 3:00-7:00pm at Roosevelt Commons West, Rm. 271. UWHA urges all members to attend.

September 5th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the ninth bargaining session on September 5th. This was an abbreviated 2 hour-session due to scheduling conflicts. Mindy Kornberg, Vice President of Human Relations, UW came to discuss childcare needs at the University and answered questions from UWHA. Articles 1, 7, and the newly LR proposed “Union Activities” Articles were discussed. Appendix IV was Tentatively Agreed.

LR presented a counter proposal on Article 1 (Childcare), which included language changes, but no increases to funding for the Childcare Fund, or increased priority for childcare center openings for residents. Mindy Kornberg discussed the ongoing struggles of childcare accessibility and cost universally, what the University has done to try to improve this, and that they understand this is a problem for resident families. There are currently 972 people on wait lists for childcare, with a 2-3 year long wait. UWHA feels strongly that the University has an imminent responsibility to make childcare more accessible and less of a financial burden to its employees. 

LR also presented a counter proposal on Article 7 (Grievances), which clarified language and updated procedures based on the last discussion. UWHA also rejected the proposal for an article titled “Union Activities” stating that most of the proposed language is already covered by state law, or publicly available to the university. 

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday, September 26th from 3:00-7:00pm. UWHA encourages all members to attend.

September 3rd Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the eighth bargaining session on September 3rd. In between the August 20th and September 3rd sessions, LR sent UWHA their counter proposals for Articles 6, 21, 23, and 25 – in addition to letting UWHA know that the proposal for a “super stipend” would not be moving forward. LR supplied financial proposals for a number of previously held placeholders. UWHA brought forth counter proposals for Articles 5, 7, and 9. Tentative Agreements (TA) were signed for Articles 8 and 9. 

Article 5 consisted of a few updates including a provision that would reinforce the onus on the employer to correctly administer dues to only eligible bargaining unit members. Currently, if the employer incorrectly takes dues out of the paycheck of a non-member, UWHA receives this money and has to later reimburse the non-member. 

Counter proposals from UWHA on Articles 7 and 9, consisted of keeping a majority of the current contract language as is. Article 9 was agreed upon and signed. 

LR submitted their first proposal on Article 21 that contained numbers, instead of placeholders. LR proposes no increases to the professional development fund, and removed the eligibility of rollover of funds between residency years. This manifests ultimately as a proposed pay cut from LR. This is a concerning proposal to UWHA as a large majority of residents allow their funds to rollover between years to pay for study materials, conferences, memberships, etc. that cost more than the $350 per year allotment. 

LR presented few changes to their initial proposal on Articles 23 (Salary) and 25 (Transportation). LR proposes a 1% increase to salary for two of the three contract years, a home call stipend of $1800 per year, and a significantly smaller $100 per year travel allowance. When pressed, LR admitted that their travel allowance proposal was not based on any actual data. 

Katie Bloom, Campus Compensation Consultant, UW presented a price out of the UWHA proposals and asked for guidance on many items in order to create further estimates. There is  disagreement on many of the proposed costs and this conversation will continue. 

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday, September 5th from 3:00-5:00pm (abbreviated session) on the UW Campus. Mindy Kornberg, VP of HR, UW will be attendance to answer questions about the Childcare process at UW. UWHA encourages all members to attend.

URGENT: Sign the Petition for a better contract!

Sign the Petition to UW here!

We work hard, we provide excellent patient care for this institution, and our wages are severely behind our peer institutions – in addition we live in one of the most expensive cities in the country!

We deserve better. Please sign the petition and share with your colleagues to tell UW it’s time they pay us the salary and benefits we deserve. Everyone needs to sign this.

This is your contract. We can do this together.

UPDATE: This Petition is now closed. 786 residents and fellows signed.

August 20th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the seventh bargaining session August 20th. LR had agreed in the last session to present their financial proposal for a “super stipend” and counter proposals on Articles 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 15, 19, 20, and UWHA newly proposed Article 26. All were discussed except the new Article. UWHA had agreed to come prepared to sign “Tentative Agreements” (TA) for the appendixes. 

LR clarified that their proposal for the “super stipend” is to keep the dollar amounts they are currently paying the same, but to roll them all into one stipend. Further, they propose no increase to any stipend residents receive for housing, transportation, professional development, etc. 

LR presented counter proposals on a number of articles which included minor language updates. No substantial debate occurred during the meeting until Article 15 (Sick Leave) was discussed. UWHA proposed paying residents out for their sick leave accrued at the end of residency and LR immediately rejected this proposal, stating no state employees receive this benefit. UWHA then refuted this claim, referencing other unions at the university who receive this benefit. LR then acknowledged some employees do indeed receive this benefit. 

There was then a minor debate on both Article 19 (No Strike) and Article 20 (Non-Discrimination). UWHA pressed LR to when proposals on financial articles would be presented. LR did not have a straightforward answer, saying they were still calculating the numbers and could not promise when they would have estimates on cost. 

UWHA received confirmation from LR/GME that LR/GME will not honoring FMLA benefits for Idaho residents at this time, even though our Idaho-based residents have been paying into the system since July 1, which is of serious concern. LR said they are looking into the matter, but at this time it is not in their jurisdiction. UWHA pressured LR/GME that our residents need an immediate answer regarding this benefit, especially when they are paying for something they may not receive. 

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3rd from 3:00-7:00pm on the UW Campus. UWHA encourages all members to attend.