Event: Improving Gender Equity Through Unions

You know what’s good for improving gender equity at your workplace? Unions!

RFPU Board Members, Drs. Amy Zhang and Heather Barnett will be presenting our abstract, “Improving Gender Equity Through Unions” at this year’s Women in Medicine Training Summit at Mass General.

📆Join us on March 6th!
Summit: 6:00am- 9:15am PT
Abstract Presentation: 7:45am PT

Free Registration: https://bit.ly/WIMsummit21

RFPU – NW Endorses the Sawant Solidarity Campaign

Councilmember Sawant has been the most strong, reliable, and inspiring voice for working class and vulnerable people of Seattle. She was one of the first to show up and lend her support to RFPU-NW and exploited physicians in training from our earliest days, long before we had significant success, power or momentum. We are proud to have a Councilmember who so consistently fights for workers like us, and our patients.

As ordinary people face deep inequality, unaffordable housing and evictions, economic crisis, police violence, and climate crisis, we need her voice in Seattle City Hall now more than ever.

Endorsed on January 13, 2021

Join the Call for Racial Justice at SCH

Last week, you may have come across the highly visible news that Dr. Ben Danielson, Medical Director of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, resigned from his position in November. Dr. Danielson drew attention to how people of color — whether patients or providers — have been systemically discriminated against at Seattle Children’s Hospital. You can read more about Dr. Danielson’s resignation here.

Since the news broke, families, parents, healthcare workers, and community members have come together to demand better of SCH and to demand that its administrators and management take concrete steps to actually address systemic racism. The Board of RFPU-NW has signed onto this petition, and encourage you all to do so in your individual capacity (linked below).


Attn: Med Students!

Are you preparing your rank list for next year (or thinking ahead to the year after) and need some help with the less glamourous logistics behind the pay and benefits you’ll receive during residency? Our residents and fellows are experts and ready to help!

Join members of our RFPU – NW executive board and staff for our second annual, “Make Your Rank List: How to Consider Salary, Benefits, and Union Representation in Deciding Where to Train” webinar and Q&A on Monday, December 7th at 7:00pm!

Open to Med Students everywhere!

RSVP Here: //bit.ly/rfpumedstudents

RFPU – NW is Hiring!

Hiring: Administrative Assistant

The Resident & Fellow Physician Union – Northwest (RFPU-NW) is an independent labor union formed by the medical resident and fellow doctors at the University of Washington affiliated hospitals (members have graduated medical school but are completing specialty training in a residency or fellowship). RFPU-NW advocates for the residents and fellows with respect to compensation, workplace environment, and benefits. RFPU-NW also is expanding its work in inter-union coalition building for solidarity not only with other unionized workers at the University of Washington, but with other unions in Washington state that share common goals. RFPU-NW has existed as an organization since the 1960s; however, has only been legally recognized as a union since 2014. We represent approximately 1,400+ doctors in training, a large percentage of all physicians in King County, serving UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Seattle Children’s, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and numerous affiliated clinics.

RFPU-NW is seeking an administrative assistant to join our organization in a part-time role, intended to average 20 hours per week, with flexible hours. There is potential in the future for this to be expanded to a full time role.

Position Description:

The administrative assistant will primarily function to support our executive board (RFPU-NW residents) as well as the Executive Director and Associate Director, two full time labor organizers employed by RFPU-NW. 

  • Hourly pay is $20/hour. Additionally included: Cell Phone/Internet Stipend, fully-subsidized ORCA Transit Card, Health Insurance, Retirement with employer match, and Two Weeks of Paid Vacation. Salary and Benefits are competitive and will be commensurate with experience. We are committed to providing a living wage and a healthy work-life balance. Work hours are generally flexible, with the exception of meetings which typically take place in the evenings. There is currently no physical office. This individual will work from home unless attending a meeting. Meetings will most commonly be held at the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, or in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, however currently all meetings are held over Zoom given the pandemic. While this is a “remote” position, the selected candidate will need to live in or relocate to Seattle, WA.

The administrative assistant will be trained by the Executive and Associate Directors in their duties. Ideally, the candidate will have interest and/or experience in the labor movement, and/or healthcare. If the candidate has interest, there will be opportunities to expand job duties into a variety of other work, including political advocacy, member engagement, media relations, inter-union cooperation, among other work.

It is vital that the administrative assistant believes in and supports the mission of the labor movement, as much of our work specifically requires challenging the status quo, not only within the UW organization but in local, state, and national sociopolitical contexts.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Manage the schedule and calendar for the RFPU-NW board and working groups
  • Manage bi-monthly membership lists and assist with membership growth
  • Assist in social media engagement, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Arrange financial reimbursements for members and board members
  • Manage benefit programs, including the childcare fund and grant program
  • General website maintenance including updating with upcoming events – Negotiations, Grievances, Publications, Benefit Programs, etc. 
  • Respond to emails from members
  • Arrange logistics for board meetings, including (at times) food
  • Assisting with membership event coordination
  • Other administrative tasks


This position reports to the Executive Director, Associate Director, and Executive Board. 

Required knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • 1-3 years of experience as an administrator
  • Proficiency in Google suite and Slack
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and effective interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to operate in a flexible, less-structured environment – with sometimes irregular hours

Preferred, but not necessary:

  • Understanding of the medical training field
  • Experience with online organizing and social media
  • Proficiency with WordPress or website maintenance 
  • Prior membership in a labor union

There is no degree requirement so long as the candidate has sufficient professional experience.

The candidate will preferably be able and willing to transition to full time employment potentially within the first year after hire.

To apply: Submit a cover letter and resume via e-mail (PDF preferred) to admin@rfpu.org with a subject line, “Administrative Assistant – Application”. Please include two professional references along with their contact information including phone number and e-mail address. The application deadline is December 31, 2020. Interviews will take place on a rolling basis.

RFPU signs MOU with UW re: COVID Protections

To all our members, 

This week, we finalized negotiations for the COVID19 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU is essentially a shorter, time limited version of a contract between the employer and our union. 

We began negotiating this MOU in March, in an attempt to secure protections both for the health and safety of our members and patients, but also in protection of your legal benefits and rights. We were able to secure some of these rights early in the process, which have now become the norm – but as with any benefit we secure, it must be memorialized to ensure it is maintained. Paid administrative leave for those who tested positive for COVID19 and free parking were benefits and rights secured for you and other union members by partnering with the coalition of unions at UW. These were not given freely by the University of Washington: they were hard-fought, direct results of union coalition action.

It took seven months for us to get Labor Relations to agree to this language. It’s disappointing that UW continues to fight us on basic protections for residents and fellows, especially during a pandemic – but this agreement is crucial to:

1. Keep our members safe

2. Keep us in line with protections other institutions have already afforded their employees.

Below you will find the highlights, as well as the MOU language linked.

  • In the instance of redeployment, trainees will have the opportunity to request alternative scheduling options if they are pregnant, have a disability, have a serious health condition or are part of an identified at-risk group
  • No employee will be disciplined or retaliated against for requesting PPE
  • No employee will be forced to work in an environment where PPE required by UW Medicine policies and guidelines cannot be provided by UW Medicine
  • An employee who is unable to work due to childcare needs will be eligible for leave
  • The employer will provide all trainees who have been exposed with notice of exposure
  • Those who rescinded their pre-approved vacations in April 2020, were permitted to rollover 7 days of vacation, will be guaranteed the rollover days in this academic year.
  • GME will conduct regular town hall meetings where trainees can ask question live and can talk in real time

Important reminders:

  • Unfortunately, paid admin leave is only protected for those who were exposed at work. We advise members to continue to exercise caution outside of work and to minimize potential exposures; however, Gov. Inslee has directed the Department of Labor & Industries to assume workplace exposure for health care workers for purposes of workers’ compensation. Please let us know if you have trouble receiving paid admin leave.
  • If any of the language in this MOU is being violated or even if you think it might be, reach out to admin@rfpu.org, your Department Rep or a RFPU Board Member and let them know. We will keep this information secure and anonymous. 

If you have questions/comments/concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

In solidarity,

Your co-residents and fellows at RFPU – NW