Welcome to all our Incoming Residents!

We are excited to welcome you to Seattle! For those of you staying in Seattle, we’re happy to keep you here!

Starting residency during a pandemic has it’s challenges, but we’re here to help!

Couple of reminders:

  1. Send in your membership card! Being a member is not automatic, you have to sign a card to receive membership benefits. We’re proud to have over 80% dues-paying members!
  2. Make sure you understand all the benefits and what UWHA is about! If you haven’t joined an Intern Town Hall event already, you can RSVP for our live event (via Zoom) on Sun, 6/21 at 6:00pm where we will tell you everything you need to know. This will include a live Q&A segment. OPEN TO EVERYONE, you don’t have to have sent in a membership card yet.
  3. If you can’t join in person, watch a recording here or reach out to admin@uwha.com and we’ll get you up to speed!

UWHA Stands with LGBTQ Community

On Friday, the Trump administration finalized changes to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Disguised in a late-Friday announcement as “respect[ing] the dignity of every human being”, these changes removed legal protections for LGBTQ individuals against discrimination in healthcare settings. By limiting the definition of “sex discrimination” to male or female biological sex, these changes legalize discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. Not only does this change allow health insurance companies to charge different rates, but it also allows healthcare providers to refuse care to LGBTQ patients.

At UWHA, we believe LGBTQ rights are human rights and everyone deserves access to healthcare. Legal definitions do not change our duty to our patients, and we pledge to continue caring for all our patients to the best of our ability, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

This announcement comes at the time of a painful anniversary, the Pulse nightclub shooting, during Pride month, and in the backdrop of the recent murders of two black transgender women. We understand that many of you may be hurting right now. No matter who you are, you belong in our medical community and have our support. 

We will continue to advocate for justice for marginalized communities and work towards diversity and inclusion. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support or to share with us how we can do better. 

In solidarity,

UWHA Board

How we fight for racial justice

Sent to full membership via email on June 7, 2020

Thank you to each and every one of you who has shown up this week (in-person and from home) for Black Lives Matter.

We saw incredible showings of people at Friday’s Show of Support, hosted by NURF, and over 10,000 healthcare workers and allies showed up for the Doctors for Justice Rally yesterday morning. 

If you haven’t already, please review the Doctors for Justice demands.

Many of us are showing up to protest after working long shifts, bringing our children out with us, making phone calls to elected officials, and having conversations about how we need to change the culture and institution of medicine. 

If you have ideas for actions residents can take on an individual or system-wide level, let us know. We will support you. 

NEXT STEPS

As a labor union, racial justice intersects with everything we do. The language we use in our contract, the benefits we fight for that ensure that residency at UW isn’t only accessible to those from the most privileged backgrounds, and how we fight against racism and discrimination in our workplace and community.

We also feel strongly that being a leader means speaking out against the way that our city and university continue to uphold systems of oppression. 

In the last week, as an organization we endorsed:

We also encourage our members of color to sign the BIPOC Petition to remove the Seattle Police Officers Guild (police union) from MLK Labor

You can sign the above actions as an individual as well.
Decriminalize UW – individual
Defund SPD – individual
 A large portion of city (and university funding) goes towards policing our communities. Seattle budgeted $409 million on police this year, a quarter of the city’s general fund budget. As healthcare workers, we know that funding should be going towards health and education services in our community instead.

Units at our hospitals are being consolidated or closed entirely, and our state ranks one of the worst in the country for mental health care. Thousands of healthcare employees at UW and across this city have been furloughed during a pandemic. This is unacceptable. 

Remember, we all are UWHA – so if you see actions we can participate in, or demands you want us to advocate for – reach out and let us know how we can help amplify! You can do this by emailing us, posting in the UWHA slack, or tagging us on social media.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Learn more about where you’re living:

Educational Resources:

Donate to local Black led, Seattle-based organizations

Anti-racism Message To Members

Sent to full membership via email on May 30, 2020

Dear UWHA Members, 

We feel compelled to write to you today as we see what has happened in Minneapolis, Tallahassee, Louisville, and Georgia recently, and acknowledge that the history of this country and of medicine is rooted in racism. We each have a responsibility in combating structural racism.

While it may veil itself differently, our city, our workplace, and the labor movement have all perpetuated racism in different forms and we do not talk about it enough. As we mourn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, we must each evaluate our own privilege, and confront how this influences the way in which we live and work. It is imperative that we continue educating ourselves and confronting the parts of our system that need to be dismantled. 

We send our solidarity to protesters across the country.

As an organization, we also need to show up more, and ensure that every part of our work is done with a racial equity lens. We will continue to use our collective voice to speak out against violence against communities of color. Please do not hesitate to reach out and share with us how we can do better. 

In solidarity,

UWHA Board

What you can do today:

Show Up:


Educational Resources:

One of the best ways you can help is to financially support Black-led organizing efforts:

Donate to Minnesota-based organizations rooted in anti-racism:

Donate to Local Seattle-based organizations rooted in anti-racism:

UWHA Settles Vacation Time Grievance with employer

After nine months of debate, UWHA and Labor Relations were able to come to an agreement in ensuring that residents and fellows are not improperly losing vacation time guaranteed to them.

Previously, residents and fellows who scheduled vacation time (or sick time) that sandwiched a holiday (or weekend depending on the program), would have the already scheduled day off, count against their vacation (or sick) time. Vacation time is already minimal for residents and fellows, and many residents were losing additional days due to this guidance.

The employer has agreed to update the policy, stating that programs cannot code holidays or weekends as vacation, when the resident is not scheduled to work.

This will go into effect on July 1, 2020.

Thank you to the residents who brought this to our attention and our grievance team for their persistence and dedication.

Winter Quarter UWHA Bike Fund Reimbursements Due: April 30th

If you’d like to participate in the UWHA CBA Bike Program, please submit documentation to GME (uwgme@uw.edu) before April 30, 2020.  Please see below regarding what/how to submit:

Quarterly Bicycle Stipend

What: $25 stipend, given quarterly

Eligibility: UWHA members who bicycle > 80% of the AY20 winter quarter (from January 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020)

How:

  1. Legibly complete and sign the attached form. Please ensure that you initial all lines.
  2. Submit to GME by e-mail (UWGME@uw.edu) or mail (UW GME Bike Fund, Box 358047)

Bike Helmets

What: A free bike helmet

How:

  1. Submit receipt to GME by e-mail for electronic receipts (UWGME@uw.edu) or mail for paper receipts (UW GME Bike Fund, Box 358047)
  2. Costs must have been incurred during the AY20 winter quarter (from January 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020)

Bike Maintenance

What: up to $100 in bicycle maintenance costs.

How:

  1. Submit receipt to GME by e-mail (UWGME@uw.edu) or mail (UW GME Bike Fund, Box 358047)
  2. Costs must have been incurred during the AY20 winter quarter (from January 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020)
  3. Examples of reimbursable items: costs of maintenance service, tools, bike tubes, lights, locks
  4. Examples of non-reimbursable items: bicycles, clothing, backpacks, panniers, running shoes, or other non-bike maintenance or non-bike related items.

Rejected requests are commonly due to easily fixable errors

  • Receipts must be itemized.
    • Documenting each individual item purchased or service performed
    • Vendor
    • Cost
    • Date of purchase
  • Bike shop services: they give you two pieces of paper: an invoice itemizing what was done and a receipt showing that it was paid for (often stapled together). Please save BOTH and submit BOTH at the end of the year.
  • Carbon copies: please submit the top sheet. The lower sheets can be damaged easily.
  • Amazon: e-mail receipts are not adequate. Instead, do this
    • Accounts and lists
    • Your orders
    • Order details
    • View or print invoice
  • If you’re sending a scan or picture, please ensure it is legible

Please note:

You must be a member of the UWHA to qualify.  Information about who is covered by the contract is found here: https://hr.uw.edu/labor/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2017/09/UWHA-Bargaining-Unit-Summary-9.14.2017.pdf.

·Reimbursements will be made via whatever mechanism you have in place for your paycheck (Ex: if you are signed up for direct deposit, then the reimbursement will be made via direct deposit).

·Please provide your name and your UW NetID along with the receipt.

·You must approve of the reimbursement in Ariba (as the final step in the reimbursement process).  These notices will come to your UW email account. If you submit for a reimbursement, please check your UW email frequently as these notifications will time out of the system if you do not approve in a timely manner.

Deadline for these submissions is April 30, 2020 at 5pm.  Late submissions will be held until the next submission window.

Announcing 2020-2021 President-Elect, Brandon Peplinski!

Please join us in welcoming our new President-Elect, Dr. Brandon Peplinski!

Currently, Brandon is an Internal Medicine PGY2 and highly-involved UWHA General Board member. He has been championing resident rights over the past year on our Escalation Team.


We’re looking forward to Brandon stepping into his new role! If you are interested in joining the board this upcoming year, please reach out to admin@uwha.com #uwha #iamUWHA

Life Insurance for Residents and Fellows

In light of the SARS2 (nee COVID19) pandemic, there is a lot of current anxiety regarding the health of our resident members – in addition to the financial health. What follows is a somewhat macabre summary of some of our benefits with regards to student loans and the protections in place for residents with student loans in the event of death. 

UW offers Basic Group Life Insurance for all resident employees – amount of $35,000. At the time of hiring, and thereafter, there were opportunities to sign up for additional Term Group Life Insurance. The group number for these policies is the UW Group number (email us if you need this). You should have received letters in the mail detailing your coverage and beneficiaries that you have elected. Unfortunately, the MetLife website is frequently under maintenance and it is very difficult to call – “due to high call volumes.” Be prepared for this if you are trying to change your beneficiary elections. 

With regards to loans, federal student loans are disbanded in the case of the borrowers demise: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/death. What is needed for this to happen is that proof of death be mailed to the borrower’s loan servicer. 

There are, however, some caveats. If you have a co-signer for PLUS loans, co-signers in the past have been taxed on these PLUS loans as income – form 1099-C. However, this also should (hopefully) be a thing of the past based upon the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which protects the family and estate of the deceased borrower. 

Unfortunately, private loans and refinanced loans are much more case-by-case and you must refer to the original terms of the loan and plan accordingly. 

Similarly, private consumer debt such as auto loans, credit cards, etc., are case by case. 

This is a macabre and unfortunate topic, I know; but as this pandemic deepens and more residents are exposed, it behooves us to speak to our families and develop plans, just as we recommend to our patients. 

_______________________________________

Thank you to Dr. Axel Adams (PGY1, Emergency Medicine) for putting together this information to share

Support Letter from UW Radiology Program Director and Faculty

Thank you to all those in Radiology who are standing with residents in support of a fair contract. We highly appreciate your support!

Members: Please encourage your Program Directors to show support – we would love to see Program Directors from every department sign support letters of their own.

Check out the Letter of Support from Internal Medicine Program Directors.

Check out the Letter of Support from the Family Medicine Program Director and Faculty.

Check out the Letter of Support from the Pathology Program Director and Faculty.