Decline to Sign “Compassion” Seattle

Housing is Healthcare! Seattle needs long term, sustainable solutions for our neighbors, many of whom are our patients in the hospitals we work within. This includes a dedicated, progressive revenue source, not unfunded mandates. RFPU – NW endorses the House our Neighbors campaign, in opposition to the Compassion Seattle Charter Amendment.

#DeclineToSign the “Compassion Seattle” charter amendment! If you’ve already signed mistakenly – it’s not too late to remove your signature (see graphic below for how you can remove your signature).

Check out House Our Neighbors, a coalition of folks who are currently homeless, residents who have experienced homelessness, and advocates who are committed to ending the homelessness crisis in Seattle for more information.

GRIEVANCE WIN: NOW ALL RESIDENTS WILL BE REIMBURSED FOR USMLE/COMLEX STEP III

Previously, UW was not reimbursing residents who took and paid for their USMLE/COMLEX Step III exam before arriving here; despite that our contract states all residents are to be reimbursed for this exam. This was impacting a large number of residents who do their prelim year elsewhere. This exam costs $850, so this will put a significant amount of money back in residents’ pockets!

Grievance Team members filed this grievance in August 2020.

This grievance win is memorialized for residents starting on 1/25/21, in addition to reimbursement for the resident who was the grievant.

Read below for the full details. Great job to the grievant for bringing this to the grievance team’s attention. 

Negotiation Prep Time – Article Planning Meetings

Join your co-residents & fellows to discuss how these articles can be improved in our next contract & draft language for our proposals. No prior contract/legal experience required, and we highly encourage first timers!

It’s important that we get different perspectives from our Union Members (you!) in order to make sure that our contract proposals represent as many resident voices as possible. See below for meeting registration links.

There will be a follow-up meeting to finish the first drafts on July 28th at 6pm – register here!

RFPU – NW Picnic

Join us this Sunday, June 27th to meet your new co-residents and fellows!

When: Sunday, June 27th from 12:00-2:00pm
Where: Volunteer Park (in the field next to the Amphitheatre) 
Who: You, Your new co-residents/fellows, Your (vaccinated) Family/Friends
Food: We will bring individually packed food & drinks!

Come get your new RFPU – NW gear!

New & Current Members are welcome!

RSVP Here!

RFPU – NW Endorsements for 2021 Elections

We have the utmost confidence that these candidates will be allies and partners with our union, healthcare workers, and the labor movement at large in the Seattle region.

Read below to learn more about who we endorsed and why we encourage you to vote for these candidates in the August primaries.

Seattle City Council, Position 8:

RFPU – NW is honored to endorse incumbent Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda for re-election. CM Mosqueda (she/her) currently serves in this at-large seat, an office she has held since 2017. CM Mosqueda has succeeded in many large accomplishments in her short time on the Council, including championing the country’s first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, and most recently leading the passage of JumpStart Seattle – a progressive revenue plan and COVID relief bill that brings in $214M/year to fund affordable housing, equitable development, and green new deal programs that invest in small businesses and our most vulnerable workers. CM Mosqueda has also been a healthcare champion for not only our city, but also our state – having served on the WA Affordable Care Act Exchange Board where she fought for healthcare access for working families, women, people of color, immigrants, and the lowest wage individuals. In addition to her nearly decade long experience working for the state labor council, we are confident CM Mosqueda will continue to fight for all residents and workers in Seattle – and we’re thankful for her past support in our fight for a fair contract (see the video she made for US in our last round of bargaining!) against UW. 

You can read her response to our endorsement questionnaire here.

Seattle City Council, Position 9:

RFPU – NW is honored to endorse Nikkita Oliver for City Council, Position 9. Nikkita Oliver (they/them) is a community organizer, cultural worker, artist, and attorney. They have organized with key community groups working towards social justice, including Decriminalize SeattleFree Them All Washington, and No New Youth Jail. They are currently the executive director of Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration for at-risk youth. Over the past summer, Nikkita Oliver helped advance the participatory budgeting plan through the Seattle City Council, which ultimately invests $30 million in community investments and could be expanded by the next City Council. Nikkita Oliver plans to address the affordable housing crisis, a key issue for our membership, by ending exclusionary zoning, building “missing middle” housing ($400 million units/year for 10 years), and investigating rent control options in association with the Tenants Union “No Debt, No Evictions” campaign. The Nikkita Oliver campaign is further committed to supporting working people by advancing progressive taxation, expanding access to affordable childcare, and implementing legislation to protect workers’ rights. Nikkita Oliver has demonstrated strong support for labor rights and working people and has been endorsed by many local unions, including SEIU Local 925 and UAW Local 4121. Through their work with other UW worker’s unions, they are familiar with the adversarial techniques used by UW to limit contract benefits and believe in ensuring good faith bargaining. 

You can read their response to our endorsement questionnaire here.

Seattle, Mayor (Dual Endorsement):

RFPU – NW is honored to endorse Andrew Grant Houston and Lorena González for Seattle Mayor. We are confident both candidates have the skills, experience, and intersectional mindset that Seattle needs for this influential role.

Andrew Grant Houston (“Ace”) (he/him/his) is a queer, black and latino architect, environmental advocate, housing activist, and high-risk individual living on Capitol Hill. Ace is Founder and Head of Design of House Cosmopolitan, board member of Futurewise, and is a member of American Institute of Architects (AIA). He has been a longtime advocate of more housing at all income levels, and highlights the urgency of addressing our homelessness, housing, and climate crises. Andrew has also recently served as the Interim Policy Manager in Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda’s office. Ace furthers his commitment to housing by advocating for Functional Zero, a rigorous standard for ending homelessness. This standard is a milestone that indicates a community has measurably ended homelessness for a population — and that they are sustaining that end. Ace solidified his platform on advocating for housing issues through his Stay in Seattle Plan, which includes building 2,500 Tiny Homes, fighting for rent control, updating Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA), and a $23 minimum wage by 2025. Ace is a strong supporter of worker’s rights, being one of the only mayoral campaign’s with unionized staff and membership in Transit Riders Union (TRU). He has also been fighting for the right of Architects to organize through The Architecture Lobby, a national organization pushing for the unionization of architectural workers. Ace’s personal and professional experience advocating for housing issues, climate issues, and commitment to the labor movement, make him a candidate likely to fight for the communities who need it most.

You can read Andrew Grant Houston’s response to our endorsement questionnaire here.

Lorena González (she/her/ella) currently serves in the District 9 at-large seat, an office she has held since 2015, and was elected Council President in 2020. Lorena has a lifelong commitment to fighting for workers, having been born & raised in a migrant farm-working family in the Yakima Valley – she received her first paycheck as a migrant farmworker at the age of eight. Lorena went on to work as a civil rights attorney fighting for the rights of workers, victims of wage theft and employment discrimination, and victims of police misconduct and sexual abuse. At the state level, Lorena successfully fought for a statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program. She has also prioritized childcare funding and accessibility issues in Seattle, an issue of great importance to many of our members. While many mayoral candidates have similar platforms, Lorena has been a consistent advocate for housing issues within Seattle – having passed various funding measures for rental subsidies, incentives for building affordable housing for renters and homeowners, and legislation to protect communities at high risk of displacement due to zoning. Lorena’s personal and professional experience demonstrates her ability to connect with and prioritize those in our community who are struggling to make ends meet. Lorena has also received the labor endorsements of MLK Labor, Teamsters 28, UFCW 21, Unite Local 8, and Laborers Local 242. 

You can read Lorena González’s response to our endorsement questionnaire here.

RFPU-NW Endorses Representative Jayapal’s Medicare for All Act

The Resident & Fellow Physician Union – Northwest board is proud to join numerous other local and national unions and healthcare advocacy groups in endorsing Washington state representative Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare for All Act of 2021 (H.R. 1976).

This bill would establish a national single payer universal healthcare system, bringing the United States up to speed with many other nations around the world to provide universal access to affordable healthcare. 

Representative Jayapal’s endorsement says it all: Today’s healthcare system fails to provide quality, therapeutic healthcare as a right to all people living in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans are uninsured, and at least 40 million more cannot afford the costs of their co-pays and deductibles. The quality of our healthcare is much worse than other industrialized countries—the life expectancy in the U.S. is lower than other nations, while our infant mortality rate is much higher. Yet the U.S. spends more money per capita on healthcare than any other industrialized nation. We waste hundreds of billions of dollars every year on unnecessary administrative costs, while healthcare industry executives measure success in profits, instead of patient care. The current healthcare system in the United States is ineffective, inefficient and outrageously expensive. It is time to remove the profit motive in healthcare, to resolve the inefficiencies and to guarantee quality, therapeutic healthcare to every person living in the United States.”

Many residents and fellows and our families have personally been uninsured, underinsured, or impacted by high healthcare costs. We have all seen the effects of lack of insurance, high cost to consumers, and profit-driven insurance decisions on our patients. Yet, US physicians have long failed to advocate for universal coverage. Worse, the AMA has overtly opposed nationalized healthcare for decades. Lack of insurance coverage has the most devastating impact on marginalized communities, including low-wage earners and communities of color. Achieving universal coverage is an issue of health equity, racial justice, and workers’ rights. Complicity with the current system directly violates our ethical imperative to be agents of justice in the practice of medicine.

No bill or system is perfect, but the current Medicare for All bill is a significant step in the ongoing process to achieve universal, affordable coverage and restructure healthcare for patients and workers. As physicians, we must advocate for all of our patients and our communities by demanding change to our disastrous for profit healthcare system and re-centering the patient-physician relationship. Public trust in physicians has been falling for some time – something we saw contribute to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans during the COVID pandemic. Now is the time to earn back the trust of our communities by joining them in advocating for this important piece of legislation. Still, passing M4A is not enough. We must fight for a seat at the table to shape single payer health insurance and ensure that efficiency, equity, and evidence are prioritized in M4A’s implementation.

We applaud Representative Jayapal for advocating for the most vulnerable in our society, and encourage other physician groups and union partners to join in support of Medicare for All.

Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions about Medicare For All – National Nurses United

Help us get the PRO Act Passed this year!

As union members, we are lucky to work in one of the most unionized and labor friendly states in the country. That being said, there was a mountain of hurdles we had to overcome to unionize and we still face a huge fight in bargaining our contract and holding our employer accountable. 

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act is the biggest labor reform bill our country has seen in decades. This bill promotes workers’ rights to organize a union and bargain collectively. 

RFPU – NW supports the PRO Act because we believe all workers, regardless of their employer and the state they work in, should have the right to collectively organize and bargain. 

The PRO Act has already passed the House of Representatives and still needs three more Senate co-sponsors to be introduced on the Senate Floor. Workers across the country are tirelessly organizing to pressure Senators Mark Warner (VA), Mark Kelly (AZ), and Krysten Sinema (AZ) to join as co-sponsors.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: 

If you are from Virginia or Arizona: we encourage you to call your Senators in support of this bill. All you have to do is call their office and say “Please Co-Sponsor the PRO Act.”

If you’re not from one of these states, but want to help: there are daily phone and text banks you can join for any amount of time you’re available. Reach out and we’ll get you looped in

Interested in learning more?