Labor Relations

UW – UWHA Negotiations Recap for July 16, 18, and 22, 2019

Background & Process

This recap details the first three sessions for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement between the UW and UWHA. Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.

The University of Washington (UW) has a long history of collective bargaining and consistently uses a best practices model of bargaining with all of its unions. To that end, the UW hears all initial proposals by the unions first, then offers the Employer’s initial proposals based on feedback from stakeholders.  The Employer then gathers information on the feasibility of the Union’s proposals through discussions with relevant parties and a rigorous costing of financial elements. This data informs the UW’s counter proposals, which are crafted with budgets in mind and in keeping with guidelines issued by the state.

Once all initial proposals have been made, both parties make counters that clarify priorities for each party in order to come to agreements that are mutually satisfactory. All non-monetary issues are typically the subject of tentative agreements prior to engaging in active bargaining over monetary issues.

Union Initial Proposals

Definitions – UWHA proposed language that clarifies that “accredited” means officially recognized and authorized by the ACGME or the Committee on Dental Accreditation (CODA).  The Union struck language throughout the remainder of the definition section that referred to accreditation.  Should a program lose accreditation, the Union proposed that those residents, fellows, etc. would remain represented by UWHA.

UWHA proposed that for the purposes of the collective bargaining agreement, references to physicians would include dentists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

Childcare – UWHA proposed to increase the existing resident childcare fund from $50,000 to $506,160 per year.  Additionally, the Union proposed that the Employer would create an emergency fund of $50,371 to reimburse Residents who have needed to pay for emergency childcare services when the University subsidized program is inaccessible.

Committees – UWHA proposed to add contract language describing the existing Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) and the Institutional Resident/Fellow Advisory Committee (IRFAC), to include up to three residents designated by UWHA on each committee.  If a designated member cannot make a committee meeting, the Union proposed that a substitute may be designated with twenty-four hours’ notice.

UWHA proposed to establish a joint committee with equal representation from the Employer to create and propose policies to encourage resident committee participation.

Grievance Procedure – UWHA proposed that a grievance could start on Step Two if the grievance pertained to a bargaining unit-wide issue, and that matters involving evaluation of professional behavior may be pursued as grievance. UWHA also proposed quarterly pre-scheduled arbitration hearings.

Housestaff Advisory Committee – UWHA proposed that the scope of committee meetings may include individual concerns and grievances.

Nondiscrimination – UWHA proposed to add language clarifying specific groups protected from discrimination and harassment, procedures to follow for residents who feel they have been the subject of discrimination or harassment, and University policy on retaliation against individuals who report concerns regarding discrimination or harassment.  This language mirrors that found in Executive Order 31 (, which is referenced in the existing contract.

Notification to New Members – The UWHA proposed that introductory documents crafted by the Employer regarding the UWHA’s existence would be sent to UWHA for approval.  The UWHA also proposed striking of the religious exemption.

Progression by Training Year – UWHA proposed that Residents would receive credit for pay level progression for non-ACGME-required research years, including but not limited to research years in General Surgery, Otolaryngology, and Urology.

Salary/Stipend Schedule – The Union proposed to increase all pay levels of the UW GME Stipend Schedule by approximately ten (10%) percent.  On July 1 of each subsequent year, UWHA proposed four percent (4%) across-the-board wage increases (approximately a 18% total increase in salary).

The Union proposed to add four new R levels, 9-12, to the end of the pay schedule, which would increase incrementally each year (on pace with the other R levels).

Housing Stipend – The Union proposed an increase to the housing stipend from $1,150 (2019 rate) to $16,438.73 in the first year of the ratified agreement, and an increase of five percent (5%) per academic year thereafter.

Chief Resident Supplement – The Union proposed an increase to the Chief Resident Supplement from $150 to $500 per month.

Next Steps

The next UW-UWHA bargaining session is scheduled for August 6 during which the Union will continue to present its initial proposals.