Labor Relations

RFPU – UW Negotiations Recap for Wednesday, April 6, 2022

This recap details the seventh 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.

Tentative Agreements
The parties tentatively agreed to the following:

Article 5 – Dues Deduction and RFPU Membership
o Article details employee membership within RFPU and when UW would notify the Union of new unit members. This article also explains the processing of dues and dues related communications.

RFPU Counter Proposals

Article 10 – Leave Bereavement
In response to the Employer’s proposal, the Union proposed changing child to fetus and proposed six days of continuous bereavement whereas the current contract language states three with two additional days if significant travel is involved.

Article 13 – Leave Miscellaneous
In response to the Employer’s proposal, the Union accepted minor language changes and did not change the cost or any other conditions of this article from their previous proposal.

Article 21 – Professional Development and Licensing
In response to the Employer’s proposal, the Union has accepted the format changes proposed and reasserted their proposed section on Required Equipment. The Union also proposed that Residents whose programs reimburse professional development costs may roll over unused Professional Development funds to successive training years for a total of $9000 where current contract language is $1500.

UW Counter Proposals

Article 6 – Fringe Benefits
Wellness and Counseling Services
In response to the Union’s proposal, the Employer proposed that Residents who need urgent mental health support would be prioritized for appointments by the GME wellness service. The Union had proposed that these appointments would happen within 24 hours.
The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal that if SCH changed its policy, then RFPU would have the opportunity for impact bargaining and proposed increasing reimbursement for meals from $10 per meal to $11 per meal.
Uniforms and Laundry
The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal that all Residents on inpatient primary services, inpatient consultation services, and services and clinics in which Residents would be expected to perform procedures shall be permitted to wear scrubs. Residents would also have access to the same scrubs provided to other hospital and clinic employees.
Call Rooms
In response to the Union’s proposal, the Employer proposed that on-call rooms would be as provided for in accordance with ACGME requirements.

Article 13 – Leave Miscellaneous
Pregnancy Accommodation
Cleanup of this article was proposed so that reading it would be easier. A section about pregnant residents would be moved from Reasonable Accommodations to Pregnancy Accommodation.
How to Request Accommodations
The Employer proposed that all Residents, regardless of pregnancy status, would be able to request an accommodation from the Resident’s Program Director or by contacting the Disability Services Office as outlined in this section. The Employer also accepted the Union’s proposal to strike that the Program Director would implement requested accommodations based on good faith efforts and proposed that such accommodations would be implemented as soon as possible.
Family and Medical Leave
The Employer accepted the Union’s proposal to strike that a domestic partner would be described as same or opposite sex so that this section would reference an employee’s spouse or domestic partner in addition to other family members that would qualify for Family and Medical Leave.

The Employer reasserts their proposal that if an employee were to exhaust time off taken under Parental Leave or FMLA then the Employer would provide paid parental time off to cover the first six weeks of the first approved leave of absence taken. Also, that if an employee had exhausted all sick time off and had less than seven days of available vacation time off, at the end of the first six weeks the first approved leave of absence taken, the Employer would add the difference between the remaining balance and seven days of vacation time off to the employee’s balance.

Article 14 – Leave Professional
Professional Leave
In response to the Union’s proposal, the Employer accepted the Union’s proposed language about Program Directors being encouraged to grant requests for Residents in their home programs as well as off-service Residents. The Employer also proposed that Residents would receive up to ten days of paid professional leave consistent with program policy.

Article 21 – Professional Development and Licensing
The Employer proposed some clean up to this article which moved certain sentences to different parts of the article to help with readability. The Employer also proposed to increase reimbursement amounts per academic year to $375 instead of $350.

Article 22 – Salary/Stipend
The Employer proposed to increase the salary of year 1 by 2% and allowance would be $3500 instead of $2400 effective July 1, 2023. The Employer stated that the increases in year one salary and allowance are contingent upon ratification occurring prior to July 15, 2022. The Employer explained the importance of the date is due to reimbursement requirements and that retroactive increases are not reimbursable.

The Employer provided the Union costing information for the parties’ current proposals. The Union’s most recent proposals add $302,594,603 in new money to current CBA. The Employer has proposed $17,963,739 in new funds. Due to the gap between the parties’ proposals the Employer requested mediation. The request for mediation was made verbally during joint session and after the session the Employer formally requested mediation from the Public Employment Relations Commission.

Side Letter B – Scheduling
In response to the Union’s proposal, the Employer agreed that Scheduling should become a new article for the next cycle.

The Employer proposed that in accordance with ACGME requirements, Residents would be given eight hours off between scheduled clinical work and education periods. Residents would also have at least fourteen hours free of clinical work and education after twenty-four continuous hours of in-house call.

The Employer proposed that Programs would be required to develop policies and procedures regarding back-up systems that would be made available when clinical care needs exceed the Resident ability or when a Resident may be unable to attend work. Residents would be encouraged to report patient safety and/or patient census concerns to the Program Director, supervising attending, and GME concern reporting tool. Residents would not be retaliated against for reporting patient safety or patient census concerns.

Next Steps
The next RFPU and UW bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4, 2022 and will be held virtually.