RFPU-NW and UW Labor Relations (UW) met for the second (virtual) bargaining session. RFPU-NW presented the remaining initial proposals for Articles 23-26 and a newly proposed article, and UW presented all of their initial proposals. 

The proposals can be read in their entirety here, along with a short video summary from this session by RFPU-NW Lead Negotiator, Dr. Kevin Steehler. 

Article 23, Subordination of Agreement: Your union proposed no new changes to this article. 

Article 24, Transportation: 

  • Parking: Your union proposed that all parking changes (rates or locations) at UW sites will have to be bargained, and parking at all sites will be provided to residents at no charge, regardless of the hour of day. 
  • Non-WA residents: RFPU-NW proposed that residents based outside of Washington state will receive a $600 stipend for transportation in lieu of the U-PASS to ensure parity.
  • Bike Commuting: RFPU-NW proposed reintroducing bike commuting incentives to reduce parking and traffic congestion, via a $250 quarterly stipend and free access to bicycle cages where they exist. 
  • Safe Ride Program: To promote resident safety, RFPU-NW also proposed expanding the safe ride program to include trips during hours when public transportation is available and to the resident’s preferred destination. RFPU proposed striking the language that limits trips to only being accessible for extreme fatigue, illness, unsafe conditions, or the late hour, as weather-related instances have been an issue. This proposal also includes that reimbursements have to occur within 30 days.

Article 25, Union Activities: Your union proposed language to include that email, fax machines, the internet, and intranets can be used in manners that comply with the Executive Ethics Board rules and that RFPU-NW staff or representatives can access UW-affiliated work sites for meetings with members. Currently, unofficially RFPU-NW bargaining team members are to be excused from clinical duties for negotiations, so RFPU-NW proposed this language to be added to the contract for up to 20 designated residents during bargaining, and that future bargaining will only occur after 5pm on weekdays or after 8am on weekends. 

Article 26, Duration: Your union proposed updating the dates of the agreement to remain in force through June 30, 2025. 

New Article, Scheduling, Hours, Patient Care: 

  • Schedule release: Your union proposed expanding the timeline in which complete schedules, including specific shifts, call and clinic schedules, and days off must be provided no later than ninety (90) days in advance of the rotation start date. 
  • Hours: Your union proposed that no resident will be scheduled to work more than ten (10) consecutive days and residents must have at least six (6) days off her calendar month. RFPU-NW proposed that for all work beyond seventy (70) hours in one (1) week (with the exception of extra pay for extra duty), residents will be paid an additional $125/hour for extra duty hours, unless the rate is higher at a particular site, in which they will receive that rate. RFPU-NW also proposed added language that residents will not work beyond eighty (80) hours in any week and will not be disciplined for reporting work beyond seventy (70) hours or refusing to work beyond eighty (80) hours in one week. 
  • Night shifts: Your union proposed the definition for night shifts, as 5pm to 7am, that night shifts may not exceed twelve (12) hours of scheduled work and four (4) hours to finish up clinical tasks, and the eight hours immediately before and following a night shift must be free of clinical duties. 
  • Call: Your union proposed language to clarify that all overnight call shifts, including home call, will result in a post call day free from clinical duty until the following morning with at least sixteen hours free from clinical duty after completion of the call shift (except scheduled night shifts of twelve (12) hours or less). RPFU-NW also proposed language that the entirety of a call shift, be it in house or home call, will count towards duty hours and no call shifts will be longer than twenty four (24) hours + four (4), including any adjacent clinical shifts.
  • Patient Safety: Your union proposed that all programs will be required to create and adhere to back-up personal/staff policies for when patient census numbers have reached unsafe levels, including patient safety quotas, back-up systems, safe patient census limits, and instructions to report violations of patient safety quotas. 

After RFPU-NW finished presenting all initial proposals, UW presented it’s initial proposals.

Article 1, Definitions: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 2, Committee Memberships & Hospital Committee: UW proposed no changes.

Article 3, Childcare: UW proposed adding language that residents must be employed during the pay period of disbursement in order to be eligible for the childcare fund. UW claims this has not been an issue, but wants clear language on this in the contract. They proposed no additional funding for the childcare fund. 

Article 4, Disciplinary Action and Just Cause: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 5, Dues Deduction & RFPU-Membership: UW proposed a change to an electronic reporting system for our union to provide the list of members to be added to dues-deductions. RFPU-NW welcomes this update as the current manual system allows for error. 

Article 6, Fringe Benefits: UW proposed striking outdated language about prior meal reimbursements amounts. They proposed no increases to meal reimbursement amounts or relocation reimbursements. 

Article 7, Grievance Procedure: UW proposed striking current language that allows RFPU to unilaterally decide to skip Step One of the grievance process. 

Article 8, Health & Safety: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 9, Housestaff Advisory Committee: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 10, Leave – Bereavement: UW proposed changing the word “Leave” to “Time Off” to match the rest of the contract. 

Article 11, Washington Family Medical Leave Program (PFML): UW proposed updating the references to state law and the hyperlinks for how to receive more information and apply for PFML. 

Article 12, Leave – Holidays: UW proposed changing the word “Leave” to “Time Off” to match the rest of the contract.

Article 13, Leave – Miscellaneous: UW proposed changing the word “Leave” to “Time Off” to match the rest of the contract. Additionally, UW proposed adding language from recent ACGME policy, if an employee has exhausted their vacation and sick time off balances, the Employer will provide paid parental time off to cover the first six (6) weeks of the first approved leave of absence taken. If an employee has exhausted all sick time off and has less than seven (7) days of available vacation time off, at the end of the first six (6) weeks of the first approved leave of absence taken, the Employer will add the difference between the remaining balance and seven (7) days of vacation time off to the employee’s balance.

Article 14, Leave – Professional: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 15, Leave – Sick: UW proposed changing the word “Leave” to “Time Off” to match the rest of the contract.

Article 16, Leave – Vacation: UW proposed changing the word “Leave” to “Time Off” to match the rest of the contract and striking outdated language regarding vacation days. 

Article 17, Management Rights: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 18, Working Outside the Training Program: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 19, No Strikes, No Lockouts: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 20, Non-Discrimination: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 21, Professional Development and Licensing: UW proposed striking outdated language from AY21 and proposed merging previously agreed upon language regarding residents being completely reimbursed for USMLE/COMLEX Step III, including when new residents took the exam prior to their appointment, into this article instead of a separate MOU. 

Article 22, Salary/Stipend: UW struck outdated language; however, did not provide a proposal on salary increases. UW claims they plan to present their initial proposal on this topic at the next bargaining session after a presentation. UW proposes no increases to the chief resident stipend, the housing stipend, or travel allowance. 

Article 23, Subordination of Agreement and Authority: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 24, Transportation: UW proposed striking outdated language on the travel allowance (which was moved to Article 22), and striking outdated language on bicycle sustainability and the alternative transportation incentive. 

Article 25, Union Activities: UW proposed no changes. 

Article 26, Duration: UW proposed the same changes as RFPU-NW to update the expiration date to June 30, 2025, in addition to adding language that the agreement will become effective upon ratification or July 1, 2022 whichever is later.
The remainder of the session was spent in caucus for each respective group.

Next (virtual) bargaining session: Wed, February 16th from 3:00-7:00pm. RFPU-NW encourages all of our co-residents to attend, please RSVP here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s