January 7th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the twentieth bargaining session on January 7th Articles 2, 3, 5, 7, and 11 were discussed.This was the first negotiation session with PERC Mediator, Chris Casillas in attendance. Tentative Agreements were signed on Articles 14 and 22. 

Article 2 (Committees), UWHA and LR have disagreement regarding alternate designees for committee representation. UWHA maintains that unpredictable resident schedules prevent resident representation on various committees, and the rules for who can attend needs to be less restrictive.

Article 3 (Definitions), UWHA continues to assert that the definition of a resident or fellow is not limited to only residents and fellows in ACGME accredited programs.

Article 5 (Dues Deduction), there are still discrepancies between the two proposals regarding how to ensure that dues are not erroneously removed from UW employees, who are no longer members of the bargaining unit.

Article 7 (Grievances), LR updated language in their proposal to more closely align with UWHA proposal. 

Article 11 (Leave – Extended), UWHA updated language to better reflect new state law.

Articles 14 (Leave – Professional) and 22 (Progression by Training Year) were discussed and tentative agreements were signed by both parties.

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

State of Negotiations

As many applicants are deliberating institutions they plan to rank in the near future, we feel responsible for sharing the progress that has been made in our ongoing contract negotiations. We know that salary, benefits, and culture are high priorities when ranking programs across the country. We also feel that having union representation is a huge strength of the University of Washington, and we are excited and optimistic about the improved benefits we will receive with our new contract. 

UWHA and the employer have tentative agreements on Articles 4 (Disciplinary Action and Just Cause), 8 (Health and Safety), 9 (Housestaff Advisory Committee), 10 (Leave – Bereavement), 24 (Subordination of Agreement and Authority), and Appendixes I-V. 

We have seen good progress on the following issues:

  • We have agreed to an increase in professional leave days for attending conferences and job/fellowship interviews
  • We have agreed to make it easier for residents who need to travel due to bereavement to get more time off to do so
  • The proposed salary increase from the employer has increased from 0% to 2%, though is still much lower than we hope and expect to receive

Among other items, we continue to fight for:

  • Salary: 4% increase each year, with an increase in base salary
  • A fourth week of paid vacation
  • An increased housing stipend
  • An increased Childcare Fund to supplement childcare costs
  • A fully-supplemented UPASS
  • A no questions asked Safe Ride Home program

Notably, the employer’s current proposals include: 

  • Salary: 2% (90 days after ratification), 2% (starting July 1, 2020), and 1% (starting July 1, 2021) increases for the three year contract
  • Housing Stipend: $2,100/year housing stipend
  • Maintaining 3 weeks of paid vacation
  • $100/year travel allowance

Our initial proposals and supportive data can be found on our website

Having a union to fight for our rights and benefits has brought accountability and power to the voices of our resident and fellow members. Our first contract was ratified in November 2016. In this contract, UWHA was able to win: 

  • significant annual salary increases and a signing bonus
  • new housing and parking stipends 
  • full reimbursement for medical licenses and other required expenses
  • an annual education fund for all residents
  • a childcare fund, administered by UWHA
  • a bike transportation fund, jointly administered both UWHA and GME
  • extended paid leave for residents with serious medical issues
  • increased bereavement leave
  • legal protections to prevent residents from unfairly being disciplined or terminated
  • a fair process that guarantees the right to moonlight for all residents

As employees of the University of Washington, and members of the University of Washington Housestaff Association, we continue to encourage potential candidates to come to our institution; however, we encourage each individual to review the salary, benefits, and program and make their decision based on their individual situation. We feel privileged to work at a university with a strong union and we will continue to fight for the fair compensation and rights of our members.

December 30th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the nineteenth bargaining session on December 30th. Articles 5, 7, 11, 14,  21, and 22 were discussed. 

Article 5 (Dues Deduction), both parties have come to agreement, with one remaining issue – regarding, dues that are erroneously taken from employees who are no longer members of the bargaining unit. 

Article 7 (Grievances), language was removed to simplify the notification process. The only outstanding disagreement is in regards to the selection process for an arbitration panel for grievances. 

Article 11 (Leave – Extended), UWHA brought a proposal to clarify language around time taken during PFML and closer align with LR’s most recent proposal. 

Article 14 (Leave- Professional), LR agreed to language allowing for up to 10 days of professional leave per year, additional days can be granted via individual programs. 

Article 21 (Professional Development), UWHA agreed to restructuring the language. If the professional development funds are dispersed as a stipend, then the allotted amount would be increased to reflect the rate at which the stipend was taxed.

Article 22 (Progression by Training Year), LR updated language to closer reflect the UWHA proposal, and included language to give credit for research years and a one-step stipend for those transferring. 

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

December 17th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the eighteenth bargaining session on December 17th. Articles 1, 2, and 25 were discussed. 

LR updated their proposal on Article 1 (Childcare) to further reflect the language from UWHA’s counter proposal. LR maintains no increase to the fund. 

Article 2 (Committee Membership & Hospital Committees), UWHA updated language to reflect LR’s language regarding the updates to the GMEC Policy Subcommittee. The two proposals differ in the number of representative seats from UWHA and general residents who are allotted for this committee. UWHA has requested that alternatives are designated for the UWHA positions due to the unpredictable schedules of residents/fellows. Additionally, LR proposes to limit the number of seats available to UWHA. 

UWHA made two major updates to the counterproposal for Article 25 (Transportation). The new proposal contains a simplification to the bicycle fund, that would create a two-tiered stipend, allowing residents who bike commute either <80%, or >80% to request their stipend in advance, reducing the administrative burden on a quarterly basis, in addition to increasing the fund to account for the stipend being taxed. The other point of contention was around the Safe Ride Home program. LR has proposed to transition the approval process to UWHA and cap the fund at $500 (currently there is no cap on funds; however, the program is highly restrictive). UWHA is open to handing the approval process, but proposed a cap of $10,000. Resident/ Fellow safety is of utmost concern, and UWHA is concerned about how quickly the $500 would be used by residents, limiting the safe ride home program for the remainder of the year. 

Additionally, GME gave an update on laundering services. GME has been meeting with departments and the laundry vendor to identify issue areas. Changes are being made to improve the system and reduce turnaround time for laundering services.

Article 10 (Leave – Bereavement) was tentatively agreed and signed.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Monday, December 30th from 3:00-7:00pm at Roosevelt Commons West, Rm. 271. UWHA welcomes all members to attend.

December 11th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the seventeenth bargaining session on December 11th. Articles 1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18,  22, 23, and newly submitted Articles “Duration” and “Union Activities” were re-proposed. 

Article 1 (Childcare) was updated to reach a closer consensus on matching language between the UWHA and LR proposals. LR maintains a $50,000 childcare fund, while UWHA continues to propose $506,000 to cover childcare expenses for members. 

LR updated Article 2 (Committee Memberships & Hospital Committees) to reflect the most recent changes regarding the GMEC Policy Subcommittee (previously known as the Institutional Resident/Fellow Advisory Committee, IRFAC), with a maximum of two representatives from UWHA. UWHA continues to assert that maximum resident/fellow representative on this committee is essential.

Article 10 (Leave – Bereavement) was updated by UWHA to reflect the most recent LR language. UWHA kept language to be more inclusive of those who necessitate further travel for bereavement.

Article 11 (Leave – Extended), LR added language to their proposal which would clarify that employees can take additional leave in addition to PFML payments.

Article 12 (Leave – Holidays), UWHA updated language to reflect Native American Heritage Day, and kept proposed language to pay out paid personal holidays.

Article 13 (Leave – Miscellaneous), LR increased the amount of parental leave an employee can take to 18 weeks – using a combination of sick leave, personal holiday, and unpaid time off. UWHA still has substantial concerns regarding accommodations made for pregnant residents/fellows. 

Article 15 (Leave – Sick), LR agreed to language to reflect UWHA language on bereavement leave and childcare needs during sick leave. UWHA continues to maintain payout of sick leave at the end of residency. 

Article 18 (Moonlighting), LR updated their language to reflect the UWHA program performance language. 

Article 22 (Progression by Training Year), UWHA updated the proposal to reflect concerns made my LR about the tables being confusing – removing the tables entirely. UWHA continues to assert that members who are required to take a research year, will progress in their program during this time. 

Article 23 (Salary/Stipend), LR updated their salary proposal to be 2% (90 days after ratification, equating to <1% even if immediately implemented), 2% (July 1, 2020), and 1% (July 1, 2021). Additionally, the housing stipend proposal from LR was increased by $100, raising the stipend to $2,100 per year. 

LR brought forth the same counter proposals on Article XX “Duration” and Article XX “Union Activities” as they did last time these articles were discussed.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, December 17th from 3:00-7:00pm at Roosevelt Commons West, Rm. 271. UWHA urges all members to attend.

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.