RFPU – UW Negotiations Recap for Wednesday, January 12, 2022
This recap details the first virtual session for the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the University of Washington and the Resident and Fellow Physicians Union (RFPU). Recaps are published online on the UW Labor Relations website.
RFPU Initial Proposals
Definitions – The Union proposed to add some definitions. With this new language, a day would be defined as a 24-hour period beginning at midnight (i.e. 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.) and redeployment would be defined as an unexpected change of schedule, location of work, or adding shifts for a trainee to meet the needs of the healthcare system.
Committee Memberships and Hospital Committee – While making no changes to the UWMC committees, under HMC committees the Union proposed adding the Health and Safety Committee. Within the section Substitutions, the Union also proposed striking language stating that 24 hours’ notice must be given to the chairperson of a committee if they are unable to attend. The Union proposed to add language stating that the Union must mutually agree if the Employer is to modify, eliminate, or consolidate any Employer established committee. Lastly, the Union proposed striking compliance with a program’s leave policy regarding committee members attending committee meetings.
Childcare – The Union proposed adding that residents would be designated “critical hires” to obtain priority access to childcare services at UW Children’s Centers. The Union proposed increasing the Resident Childcare Fund from $50,000 to $1,080,000 per year. The Union proposed waiving enrollment fees at Bright Horizon and KinderCare childcare centers. The Union proposed that the University would underwrite the entire daily fee for each use and vendor registration for back-up and sick childcare. Additionally, the Union proposed that Residents would have access to a total of 15 backup childcare uses per calendar year as well as the University providing $50,000 emergency funds to the Resident Childcare Fund to reimburse Residents who needed to pay for emergency childcare services.
Lactation Accommodations – The Union proposed adding a Lactation Accommodation wherein lactation rooms, or other comparable spaces, would be provided. The Union also requested breaks for lactation purposes as well.
Disciplinary Action and Just Cause – The Union proposed making a “focus of concern” grievable. The Union also proposed that the Employer would make clear to the Union when a member is undergoing disciplinary investigation or disciplinary action and would ensure that the union member is given the opportunity to have union representation. Additionally, the Union has proposed that if a Resident will be discussed at a Clinical Competency Committee meeting as a focus of concern, then that resident would be notified in advance and would have a right to have a union representative present. Lastly, the Union proposed that programs post names of current Clinical Competency Committee members on the program website annually or if changes occur.
Dues Deduction and RFPU Membership – The Union proposed language stating that introductory documents crafted by the employer regarding RFPU’s existence would be sent to RFPU annually to be mutually agreed upon. The Union proposed having 60 minutes to present at new resident and fellow orientations. The Union proposed that only the Employer would engage in an audit every July to ensure that all former members are removed from dues deductions, rather than a joint audit. The Union proposed that if the Employer deducts dues erroneously then the Employer would notify the affected residents and RFPU. The Union proposed striking the subsection Indemnification. The Union proposed that the Employer would notify the Union of all known non-state operated emails and phone numbers for all incoming bargaining unit members by April 1 instead of May 1 each year.
Mental Health Support – The Union proposed new language stating that Residents who need urgent mental health support would be provided with a wellness counselor appointment within 24 hours and if not available then GME would reimburse for out-of-pocket costs for care elsewhere.
Meals – The Union proposed that Residents on call shifts or regular shifts of eight hours or more would receive meal reimbursements and stated proposed values for various shift types. For example, the Union proposed that Residents on call shifts or shifts of 8 or more hours would receive meal reimbursements. The union also proposed that if SCH changes its meals policy then RFPU would have the opportunity to bargain impact. At UWMC-Montlake & Northwest and at HMC, the Union proposed Residents on-call, and in-house, for a 24-hour shift would receive $30 for meals during weekdays and $40 for meals on weekends/holidays. The Union also proposed that a Resident in-house or on home-call for an 8-hour shift would receive $20 for meals. The Union proposed that when providing catering for residents that is not contractually restricted to being sourced from an internal catering service, programs would contract with locally owned and BIPOC businesses.
Pregnancy Accommodation – The Union proposed that pregnant residents would receive a stipend at a rate 50% higher for all shifts during their pregnancy.
Smartphones and Pagers – The Union proposed that Residents who are required to have a mobile means of contact would be provided a smartphone and pager; if a device is not provided then a stipend would be provided instead at a rate of $800 a year. The Union proposed striking language stating that replacement costs due to loss for any devices are the responsibility of the Resident.
Uniforms – The Union proposed that any group that has any risk of exposure to bodily fluids be allowed to wear scrubs and that any site which supplies scrubs would also provide scrubs to Residents.
Relocation – The Union proposed adding a subsection regarding Relocation wherein a Resident who is starting at UW or who is changing locations amongst the residency programs would be granted funds to cover the costs of moving to a maximum allowance of $3000. The Union also proposed that costs incurred by the Resident would be would also be reported to GME, with receipts, by 60 days after the Residents first day. The Union proposed that the Resident would receive reimbursement by 30 days after submitting receipts to the GME office. The Union proposed that items that would be reimbursed would be travel, shipping of goods, cost of transportation, and lodging.
Call Rooms – The Union proposed adding a subsection, Call Rooms, wherein the Employer would provide Call Rooms for Residents to use. The Union proposed that these Call Rooms would be kept safe, secure with functional locks, properly maintained seven days a week, have a bathroom and shower, adequate temperature control, have large lockers for personal items, provided computer equipment, and readily accessible to patient care areas. The Union also proposed that these Call Rooms be a part of an annual survey that would be conducted by local hospital administration to assess their status.
Healthcare – The Union proposed that Residents would receive $1000 a year to cover health care costs associated with insurance and medical expenses to be paid as a lump sum on the first paycheck of each academic year.
Grievances – The Union proposed simplifying the definition of a grievance as well as increasing the time to file a grievance to ninety days instead of sixty. The Union proposed to remove the limitation that only grievances pertaining to bargaining wide issues would be able to start at Step 2. Under the Union’s proposal, any grievance could start at Step 2. The Union proposed that thirty days be allowed to advance a grievance instead of fourteen. The Union proposed that arbitration fees would be paid for entirely by the Employer, instead of jointly by the Employer and the Union.
Health and Safety – The union proposed that training sites would maintain workplace violence prevention programs that would include risk assessment, analysis, and reduction strategies, as well as incident response procedures. The Union proposed that the University would provide residents who are unable to work because of a workplace violence incident with paid medical leave and the Employer would cover the cost of counseling at a place of the Resident’s choosing.
Housestaff Advisory Committee – The Union proposed to increase membership of this committee from three to twenty. The Union also proposed to strike language stating that this committee would not discuss grievances without mutual agreement.
Bereavement – The Union proposed that bereavement time off would be up to seven continuous days or noncontinuous days. The Union also proposed that up to an additional two days may be granted if significant travel is involved.
Washington Family Medical Leave Program (PFML) – The Union proposed that Residents may use other leave types to supplement their PFML.
Holidays – The Union proposed that programs would not code holidays as vacation and/or sick time off when the resident was not scheduled to work.
New Parent Accommodation – The Union proposed that language surrounding pregnancy should be adjusted such that it applies to any new parent, not only people who have experienced or are experiencing pregnancy. The Union proposed that Residents would be supplied with information on accommodations offered by their Program Director and accommodations to schedules and work responsibilities can be sought out during pregnancy and for three to sixth months after a new child enters the family rather than the two months the contract currently states. The Union proposed that Residents would be granted relief from overnight call, shifts including home call, and shifts of 12 hours or more where the contract currently states that they would be able to request relief. The Union also proposed that Residents would be granted regular work breaks or environmental accommodations (for example, letting them sit during procedures, meetings, or rounds). The Union proposed striking language stating that Residents might be required to make up responsibilities. The Union also proposed that any new parent could use sick time off as parental leave.
Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) – The Union proposed that utilizing paid time off past the period covered by FMLA would not need approval by the GME Office.
Civil Leave – The Union proposed that Residents would not be entitled to civil leave for civil legal actions that they initiate or when named as a defendant or respondent in a private legal action; currently, the article states that Residents are not entitled to civil leave for civil legal action that is not directly related to the University appointment.
Leave – Professional – The Union that Residents would receive ten days of professional leave per academic year and removing the discretion of the Program Director. The Union also proposed that in the academic year wherein a Resident is applying for fellowship and/or employment, the Resident would be granted an
additional ten days of paid professional leave.
Sick Time Off – The Union proposed that Residents would receive twenty-five days of paid sick time at the start of each year appointment period, instead of the current seventeen days. The Union also proposed to strike language stating that accumulated sick time off that is not transferable is not compensable; instead, the Union proposed that accumulated sick time would be transferable and would be compensable at the completion or expiration of the appointment to the program to be paid to the Resident as a lump sum to the amount of 1/365th of their annual salary per unused day accumulated. The Union proposed that if a Resident contracts an infectious disease or is injured at work they would be granted paid administrative leave. The Union additionally proposed that sick time off may be used not only when the employee’s child’s school or day care has been closed by a health official for a health-related reason, but any time the school or day care is closed for any reason. The Union also proposed to expand the definition of family member as defined for sick time off to include many more relations of the spouse.
Vacation Time Off – The Union proposed adding a definition of vacation that states a vacation day is a calendar day off of 12am – 12am and that a vacation day must be requested by the individual Resident and not assigned involuntarily. The Union proposed language stating that a post-call day would not be considered to be a vacation day or a Resident’s day off that week and could not be coded as either. The Union proposed that Residents would receive a minimum of twenty-eight days of paid vacation at the start of each one-year appointment period, instead of the current fifteen weekdays and six weekend days. The Union also proposed that Residents appointed less than full time would receive vacation leave credit on a pro rata basis and to strike language stating that Residents less than 50% FTE are not eligible to receive vacation time. The Union proposed that unused vacation time would either be paid out or rolled over to subsequent training years and that this decision would be up to the Resident. The Union proposed that each day of unused accumulated vacation leave would be paid out to the Resident at a rate of 1/365th of annual salary at the end of the appointment year upon completion of the program.
Management Rights – The Union proposed striking language stating that management has a right to determine Resident hours within ACGME duty hour limit and to take whatever actions necessary in the event of an emergency.
Moonlighting – The Union proposed adding definitions for Additional Non-Clinical Work, Extra Pay for Extra Duty, External Moonlighting, Internal Moonlighting and that individual programs would not be able to impose additional eligibility requirements to moonlighting beyond those listed in this proposed agreement. The proposed definitions reflect current practice and are not meant to propose a new process. Lastly, the Union propose to strike language stating that the decision to deny a moonlighting request could not be escalated beyond step 2 of the grievance procedure.
No Strikes No Lockouts – The Union proposed to strike the article pertaining to No Strikes No Lockouts in its entirety.
Non-Discrimination – The Union proposed to add socioeconomic background and body type as identities protected from discrimination. The Union proposed new language stating that a grievance alleging a violation of the non-discrimination article could be grieved within one hundred and eighty days of when the individual knew or could have known about an alleged occurrence and that the University would implement interim measures if appropriate.
Professional Development and Licensing – The Union proposed that Residents would receive $2,000 per academic year in professional development funds instead of the current $350. The Union also proposed that new Residents and Fellows who are members of the collective bargaining unit would be reimbursed for their Washington State medical license regardless of when it was obtained. The Union proposed that post-graduate Residents would also receive $1,750 towards medical or dental licensing, instead of the current $400. The Union proposed that unused Professional Development Funds would rollover to successive training years and to increase the amount of rollover funds from $1,500 to $9,000. Lastly, the Union proposed adding language from Appendix IV Regarding Reimbursement for USMLE COMLEX Step III language into the body of the contract in Article 21 – Professional Development and Licensing.
Salary/Stipend – The Union proposed that Residents would be paid according to total number of years of post-graduate medical training instead of according to the year in which they are participating in the UW training program. The Union also proposed that Residents would receive an eight percent salary increase each year of the 2022-2025 collective bargaining agreement with initial value based on year in their training program.
Chief Resident Pay – The Union also proposed that a Resident appointed Chief Resident would receive additional salary/stipend during the appointment period equal to $750/month.
Housing Stipend – The Union proposed that Residents would receive a housing stipend of $1,100 per month as a lump sump that would increase by 8% each year and that individual programs would be able to offer more if they so choose.
Leadership Stipend – The Union proposed that Residents elected to the Network of Underrepresented Residents & Fellows and/or the Housestaff Quality & Safety Committee Board would receive additional salary/stipend in the amount of the Chief Stipend per month, regardless of their FTE status.
The next RFPU and UW bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, January 19, 2022 and will be held virtually.