Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for August 6, 2015

This recap details the 13th 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”).

UWHA Proposals


Union Proposal – For year 1 of the contract, the union proposed the following salaries per year of residency (post-graduate year, or “PGY”):

  • PGY 1 – $72,072 (35.3% increase)
  • PGY 2 – $75,962 (37.2% increase)
  • PGY 3 – $79,919 (38.7% increase)
  • PGY 4 – $84,026 (39.8% increase)
  • PGY 5 – $88,229 (40.9% increase)
  • PGY 6 – $92,618 (42.1% increase)
  • PGY 7 – $97,131 (42.4% increase)
  • PGY 8 – $101,689 (45.7% increase)

The union proposed increases of 2.5 percent in each of the subsequent two years.

UW Response – UW requested that the union indicate where its biggest priorities lie, given the many proposals it has put forth that have significant cost, including parking, childcare, leaves of absence, and now wages. The union declined to prioritize the relative importance of its proposals.

Management Rights

Union Counter-Proposal – UWHA eliminated many elements of UW’s proposal regarding the rights and responsibilities of the University and GME Office, including decision-making authority involving educational policy such as academic standards and curricula. The union expressed concern that UW’s language would eliminate trainees’ right to discuss issues such as academic matters with management. The union instead proposed that the parties use language from the SEIU 1199 RN contract at Harborview.

UW Response – UW clarified that this clause would not prohibit such discussions, rather it establishes areas that are not subject to the formal collective bargaining process, which are two very different things. UW reviewed its interest in many of the subjects covered by the proposal, and asked the UWHA to look over the initial proposal with the additional information provided by the UW.

UW Proposals

Extended Paid Leave – UW maintained its proposed extended leave benefit, through which eligible trainees could receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave during their UW appointment, and proposed additional language to clarify the process.

UW maintained its reference to UW’s Shared Leave policy rather than the union’s proposed listing of specific qualifying conditions. UW explained its preference to use language consistent with the policy on which this benefit is based, and noted that it would be administered by the GME Office, which is more familiar with the residency/fellowship experience than if it was administered more centrally by UW.

Professional Leave – UW proposed revised language allowing for up to five days of paid professional leave per academic year per trainee for attending or presenting scholarly work at a professional meeting, sitting for exams, serving on professional organization committees, or participating in interviews. UW maintained that additional days in excess of five could be granted at the discretion of the program, and new language strongly encourages programs to develop policies that support trainee participation in these activities.

Subordination of Agreement and Authority – UW proposed language for a standard collective bargaining agreement clause establishing that if any part of the contract is invalidated by law or a court ruling, the parties will meet and negotiate the affected provisions. The language also establishes that the contract supersedes the Residency and Fellowship Position Appointment (RFPA) in the event that the two documents conflict on a subject.

Next Steps

The next UW-UWHA bargaining session is currently being scheduled by the parties.