Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for July 6, 2015

This recap details the 12th bargaining session between the UW and the UWHA to form the first union contract for UW medical and dental residents and fellows (collectively referred to below as “trainees”).

Discussion of Proposals


Union Proposal – UWHA delivered a proposal on childcare with several different elements, including:

  • Childcare Subsidies: UWHA proposed that UW grant $400 per month to eligible trainees who have registered for UW-affiliated childcare and not been offered a spot for at least one dependent.
  • Childcare Grants: UWHA proposed that UW deposit grants of $5,000 per year into eligible trainees’ Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) accounts, which could be put toward childcare expenses. Eligibility requirements would include that the trainee:
    • Have a total gross household income of less than $100,000 per year (but no income limit would apply if both parental caregivers are residents or fellows).
    • Have a child under age seven or be pregnant and anticipating childcare expenses for the upcoming academic year.
    • Be enrolled in the UW DCAP.
    • Be unmarried or have a co-applicant who is employed at least part-time, a full-time student, considered legally disabled, or unemployed but actively seeking employment.
  • Waitlist Fees: UWHA proposed that waitlist fees be waived for trainees applying for on-campus childcare at any childcare center with which the UW has a formal relationship.

UW Response – Given the economic implications of this proposal, UW reminded the union that there is a finite amount of money that will support all provisions of this contract, including possible wage increases, and that committing funding to one priority necessarily makes it unavailable to others.

Professional Leave

Union Proposal – UWHA proposed that trainees receive five days of paid leave per year for activities such as attending or presenting research or other scholarly work at a professional meeting, sitting for exams, serving on professional organization committees, or participating in interviews.

Requests for professional leave would be subject to prior approval by the program director, and would be considered per program policy and practice as well as educational merit. Requests to present at meetings, participate in interviews, and sit for examinations would be prioritized, and days in excess of five could be granted at the discretion of the program.

UW Response – UW expressed concern with language guaranteeing five days of paid professional leave across the board, explaining that many programs could not realistically accommodate a scenario where every trainee takes an added five days off per year for professional leave alone. The union explained that language elsewhere in the provision is intended to recognize that at times program directors will be unable to accommodate such requests.

Extended Paid Leave

Union Proposal – UWHA accepted most of UW’s proposed extended leave benefit whereby eligible trainees could receive up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave during their appointment as a resident or fellow at the UW. Rather than referencing UW’s Shared Leave Policy, the union proposed listing qualifying conditions, including cancer, inpatient substance abuse treatment, and inpatient psychiatric treatment.

UW Response – UW asked the union what would happen under this proposed language if qualifying conditions under UW Shared Leave policy changed or were expanded. The union confirmed that under its proposed language, such changes would not affect the qualifying conditions for trainees’ extended paid leave benefit.

External Moonlighting

Union Proposal – UWHA declined UW’s proposed language outlining moonlighting eligibility requirements related to academic/program performance, licensure, duty hours, legal compliance, and requirements specific to individual programs.

UWHA proposed that trainees on focus of concern or probation be ineligible to moonlight. Trainees not on focus of concern or probation but who are performing significantly below their peers could continue to moonlight during a six month provisional period, with objective measurable goals outlined in collaboration with the program director. If a trainee fails to meet the established objectives upon conclusion of the six month period, their moonlighting privileges could be temporarily suspended.

UW Response – UW expressed concern with the union’s proposal to allow for trainees performing significantly below their peers to continue moonlighting. UW noted that in the event a trainee is not performing at expected levels, the University’s focus should be to support the trainee’s performance in their program rather than on their ability to make money outside of the program.

Next Steps

The next UW-UWHA bargaining session is scheduled for July 22.