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.

UWHA Endorses Resident Bill of Rights

The University of Washington Housestaff Association (UWHA) proudly endorses the Resident Bill of Rights, authored by the Yale Medical Residents and the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR). 

Our union was created with the purpose of improving working conditions and salaries for residents and fellows at the University of Washington. We wholeheartedly believe that a Resident Bill of Rights is needed and is a step in the right for direction for resident well being across our country. 

The Resident Bill of Rights includes:

  1. A living wage that allows us to support our family and pay off our educational debt. 
  2. The right to provide the best care possible for our patients and act in the best interests of the community where we live and work.
  3. No more than 80 working hours per week, not as an average and including non-clinical tasks. 
  4. Time off for being sick, access to parental leave and seeking health care without pressure to leave it unused.
  5. Recognition as full-time workers and a right to unionize, giving us the ability to use our collective voices to advocate to employers and lawmakers for our patients and ourselves as workers, not as learners.
  6. Transparency, standardization, and due process from the institutions and employers that make key decisions about our careers and futures.
  7. Access to mental health services without scrutiny or stigmatization.
  8. Equal access to career and learning development.
  9. Adequate hospital staffing and support, including the maintenance of backup call schedules for every residency program. 

You can sign the Bill of Rights at anewrealitynow.com and show your support by spreading the word. Toolkits with posters and social media samples are also available.

UWHA March 5th Package Proposal

This morning we sent a letter to UW Medicine Leadership, including UW President Cauce, Dean Ramsey, Dr. Dellit, and Dr. Joyner regarding our latest contract packet proposal. This proposal was created in response to the negotiation session we had on Tuesday

In the interest of finishing negotiations at the soonest date possible, UWHA has conceded various proposals. Although we still find these requests important and fair (as they are status quo at our peer institutions), we hope these new requests are amenable to the employer and they meet us in finishing this process quickly.

Highlights include: 

  • Reducing the childcare fund ask to $250,000 per year
  • Accepting the employers definition of a “resident”
  • Reducing the relocation stipend to $1,000 and limiting to only incoming residents coming from outside of King County
  • Accepting the employers meal reimbursement amounts
  • Tentatively agreeing to the employers proposal on “Leave – Miscellaneous”
  • Removing the ability to be paid out for unused sick leave
  • Removing the procedure for discovering purpose for unused vacation leave
  • Reducing base salary of R1 to $62,000 (respectively for R2-R9)
  • Reducing ask for housing stipend to $13,000 per year, and accepting flat rate between contract years
  • Reducing travel stipend ask to $750
  • Drop language to expand bargaining unit 

Please see the package proposal for full details.

UWHA Residents at the Front-Line of COVID-19 Response

In the past week, residents of Seattle and King County have been inundated with news about the growing number of confirmed cases of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus. While state and local governments are mobilizing emergency funds to respond to this outbreak, University of Washington Housestaff Association (UWHA) resident physicians are working hard to take care of their patients who are now at risk. UWHA residents and fellows make up approximately twenty percent of the physicians in King County and are on the front-lines of patient care alongside nurses, technicians, and many other healthcare workers. We recognize that this is a particularly scary time for our community. To that end, UWHA residents stand united in reaffirming our utmost commitment to patient safety and health. We are your doctors; we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the best care possible.

In the interim, please refer to this FAQ resource that UW Medicine has provided to patients: https://www.uwmedicine.org/coronavirus


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to the UWHA. You can contact us at: admin@uwha.com.

ROS Action Announcement

The University of Washington Housestaff Association (UWHA) has announced the plan to center documentation on patient care rather than billing codes starting Monday, March 16. Residents and fellows will only include relevant and accurate documentation, allowing them to refocus on patients. We are doctors: we want to spend time with our patients, not computers. Over 400 residents and fellows have pledged to participate as of February 28, 2020. 

This action will not negatively impact patient care. We anticipate this will improve patient satisfaction with their care. All residents and fellows will continue to document what matters for patient care.   

All relevant clinical information is still documented and this does not impact the physician’s ability at current time or in the future to care for the patient. 
Please direct questions or media inquiries to admin@uwha.com.