Negotiations Update to the GME Community
To the GME Community:
The University of Washington recently began bargaining with the Resident & Fellow Physician Union–Northwest (RFPU-NW) on our 2022-25 contract. We look forward to providing regular updates on that process and want you to know that we are committed to negotiating in good faith to reach a fair and equitable outcome.
Our residents and fellows play an important role in caring for our patients at UW Medicine and they continue to be vital in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We value their work and their commitment to our community.
The last two years have been challenging for everybody in healthcare. The pandemic has strained all areas of our system and fundamentally changed our learning environments and how we provide care to our patients.
The financial impact for healthcare systems, including our UW Medicine hospitals and clinics, has been significant:
- The postponements of non-urgent surgeries and procedures has led to many millions of dollars in lost revenue across our system;
- Staffing shortages from vacancies or absences due to COVID-19, have necessitated a reliance on contract labor that has driven expenses higher; and
- Although one-time sources of government funding and non-cash items have helped offset some of the losses, particularly last year, they cannot be counted on for relief moving forward.
Despite these challenges, we must and will continue to support the well-being and education of our residents and fellows through exceptional training programs in a supportive learning environment. Our hospitals continue to support additional residents and fellows well beyond the number for which Medicare provides partial reimbursement and we recognize their critical contributions to the care of our patients.
However, these financial realities impact and shape the context for negotiations.
Yesterday, we completed the third virtual bargaining session with RFPU–NW. During that meeting, UW offered its first proposal on compensation, which included compensation increases in each year of the contract as well as an increase to the annual stipend. (Full recaps for all bargaining sessions are posted by Labor Relations here.)
Compensation is one of many issues on the table to be bargained. It is expected that initial proposals by both parties will be different at the beginning of bargaining. As we continue with negotiations, we are confident in the ability of leaders from both sides to find common ground and operate with a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration.
We look forward to more productive and collaborative sessions with RFPU–NW in the weeks ahead and to providing further updates on our progress.
Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer | UW Medicine
Executive Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs | UW School of Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs | University of Washington
President | UW Physicians