Take Action by 1/14: Interest Arbitration for UW Residents

Our Interest Arbitration bill, HB 1764 has been prefiled in the state legislature for the upcoming legislative session! 

HB 1764’s first public hearing will be NEXT FRIDAY, JAN. 14TH AT 8AM.

There are 3 ways YOU can support this bill RIGHT NOW:

You can also do all the above here. Choose:

  • Committee: Labor & Workplace Standards
  • Meeting: 1/14, 8:00am
  • Agenda item: HB 1764 Physician bargaining

**Since you are a union member, please list your organization as RFPU-NW when you sign!


During the last round of bargaining, a lot of our members showed interest in pursuing interest arbitration. A group of us have been working with a few legislators over the last year to propose legislation that would allow for our bargaining unit to have access to interest arbitration for bargaining.

What is interest arbitration?
The short summary: interest arbitration is for resolving issues in contract bargaining between the employer and us. When we reach impasse with UW in bargaining, instead of UW’s last offer being the agreement – it would go to a group of neutral arbitrators. The arbitrators host a formal hearing and each party presents their position. The arbitrators review the testimony and evidence to decide on unresolved issues. UW then has to implement this. Interest arbitration for contract bargaining is fairly rare and generally only for classes of employees who work in public safety (police officers, fire fighters, ferry workers). It can be incredibly difficult to pass this legislation, so we need as many of us as possible to speak up!

Don’t we already use arbitration?
Our collective bargaining agreement currently allows for grievance arbitration; however, grievance arbitration and interest arbitration are two separate tools. To receive interest arbitration we have to get legislation passed first. 

Why are we advocating for this?
The resident/fellow physicians of UW are the next generation of attending physicians in Washington state. Resident/fellow physicians employed within UW account for nearly 20% of practicing physicians in King County every year, and these physicians are critical to retain in Washington to treat the patients of this state. In order for the University of Washington to recruit the best, most diverse doctors to our region, it needs to offer compensation that corresponds with Seattle’s rising cost of living. Interest Arbitration would allow for members of RFPU – NW, vital healthcare workers, to avoid going on strike, and balance the power dynamic that currently allows the employer to offer insufficient financial compensation to employees. The purpose of pursuing access to interest arbitration for the RFPU – NW collective bargaining agreement is to improve the salary, benefits, and protections through a fair contract by having third party arbitrators involved when we reach impasse with the employer.

How Can YOU Help?

Mobilize Allies: Do as many of the actions above as you can! And then encourage your co-residents, healthcare colleagues, family, and friends to do it too. 

Organizational Support Letter: If you are a member of an organization, ask for their sign on! Org Sign-On Letter: bit.ly/1764ORGendorse

Reach Out to Your Legislators: If you have relationships with state legislators, you can encourage them to join on as a co-sponsor. 

Be on the lookout for next steps soon!

RFPU-NW Negotiation Kickoff Rally!

When: Jan. 11th from 6:00-7:00pm
Where: Above the Triangle Parking Garage, UWMC – Montlake

Speakers: RFPU-NW Members and Leaders, Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley, and other UW union leaders!

There will be speeches, sign waving, snacks, and solidarity! Come pump up your negotiation team the night before negotiations begin. 

If you want a better contract, you’ve got to show up and fight for it!

Fill out your Annual Survey by 11/24!

Surveys sent to all members via your non-UW.edu email address.

Make sure to fill out your survey & get your co-residents/fellows to fill out by November 24th!

This data is used for negotiations, so it’s highly important that all members fill it out. Takes less than 10 minutes on average.

TAKE ACTION: Email UW Medicine Leadership

Send this email to UW Medicine Leadership to tell them we deserve these protections and compensation for the risks we have taken and continue to take as we care for patients during this pandemic.

UW has received $113 million in federal stimulus awards related to COVID. This is funding that needs to be used to support frontline workers, like us who are struggling to get by, while sacrificing our physical and mental health during this pandemic. We were some of the first doctors in the country to care for COVID+ patients and we’ve encountered an unprecedented amount of death in the last year and a half. Our employer needs to support us physically, mentally, and financially. Most resident physicians make less than minimum wage per hour. Our co-residents and fellows are strong and willing to make great sacrifices to care for our patients, but we should not be stressed about how to support our families and afford food and housing while working on the frontlines.

Many of our peer institutions like University of Michigan, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai have received hazard pay during this time.

Even if you personally have not been impacted by COVID, please send this email on behalf of your Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, etc. co-residents who have been tirelessly working in the ICUs since last March.

We’ve agreed to 3-7pm Bargaining Sessions

We’ve come to a compromise with Labor Relations and GME and will be bargaining from 3:00-7:00pm via Zoom starting in January.

Bargaining Dates:

January 12th, 19th
February 16th, 23rd
March 9th, 23rd
April 6th, 20th
May 4th, 18th
June 1st, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 29th

RSVP for Bargaining Sessions here to receive the Zoom logins before each session! Bargaining Session are open to all RFPU-NW members.

If you’re interested in being on the official Negotiations Team, please sign up here! All Negotiation team members are able to be excused from clinical work during bargaining times. 

RFPU-NW Endorses “Remember Rosie Jiménez: National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice”

This Sunday, October 3rd, people around the country will be mobilizing in support of reproductive justice. October 3rd is the 44th anniversary of Rosie Jimenez’ death from a back-alley abortion (after the Hyde Amendment banned federal funds from covering this procedure). The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear a case challenging Roe V. Wade sometime later this month, with a decision delivered next spring or early summer.

RFPU – NW Members encourage their co-residents and fellows to attend!

Seattle Event:  “Not the Church, Not the State” March and Rally
When: Sunday, October 3, 2:00pm
Where: Meet at St. James Catholic Cathedral (804 9th Avenue) and March to Federal Courthouse (700 Stewart Street)

Reproductive Justice Now: “Jiménez was a Latinx college student who died on October 3, 1977 after she couldn’t pay for a legal abortion and had no choice but to seek out a cheaper, unsafe option. She is considered to be the first person to die after the Hyde Amendment made it illegal for Medicaid to pay for abortions.

This action also connects to a Supreme Court hearing this fall on a Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that could overturn Roe vs. Wade. Let’s work together to demonstrate public support for Roe v. Wade and pressure the U.S. Supreme Court. It took a movement to win abortion and it will take a movement to keep it!


  • Protect & expand Roe v. Wade; safe, legal abortion on demand without apology
  • Repeal the Hyde Amendment
  • Overturn state barriers to reproductive choices
  • Stop forced sterilization
  • No to caged kids, forced assimilation, & child welfare abuses
  • End medical & environmental racism; for universal healthcare
  • Defend queer & trans families
  • Guarantee medically sound sex education & affordable childcare
  • Uphold social progress with expanded voting rights & strong unions”

RFPU-NW Endorses 2022 Solidarity Budget

For the second year in a row, the Resident & Fellow Physician Union – Northwest is proud to endorse the Seattle Solidarity Budget alongside many trusted labor unions and community organizations. 

As healthcare providers, we see the direct impact on our patients, when our city does not adequately fund and support social services, or acknowledge the intersectionality between systems. We know the Solidarity Budget will lead us to a more equitable future for Seattle, because it is a “collective call toward a city budget that centers the needs of the most marginalized and vulnerable Seattle residents, responds with funding that is commensurate with the crises we are facing, and prioritizes collective care and liberation. Our struggles to build a more equitable Seattle are interconnected. The places in our city where inequality cuts most deeply are also the places most heavily policed. At the core of the Solidarity Budget is our refusal to allow our movements to be pitted against each other for funding. Divesting from police systems and investing in Black communities goes hand in hand with climate justice work and housing justice work and Indigenous sovereignty.”  

Over the next two months, we, as members of the Seattle community have the opportunity to influence the direction of our city, through the budget process. On November 22nd, a final budget will be presented. We encourage all our co-residents and fellows (you!) to: