YOU can help decide who RFPU – NW endorses in local elections this year!

It’s time to start to think about the 2021 elections! Local elections are critical to seeing progress in our local labor movement, and various issues that intersect with healthcare accessibility. RFPU – NW is committed to supporting candidates who will fight to make Seattle and our region equitable for those who live here (including our patients).

This year we will be supporting candidates for City Council, (potentially County Council), and Mayor of Seattle. You are our union, so we need your help! We are seeking new members to join our Political Advocacy Working Group.

We estimate that the endorsements process will be a 3-4 hour commitment, spread over two (virtual) meetings in May. As a member of the political advocacy working group you will assist with updating our candidate questionnaire, review the submitted questionnaires, rate candidates based on criteria that aligns with our mission and values, and make endorsement recommendations. The working groups’ recommendations will then go on to our full dues-paying membership to approve.

You don’t need to have prior political experience, just an interest in supporting intersectional, pro-labor candidates. The working group is open to all dues-paying members, including incoming ‘21-22 members who have filled out a membership card.

Fill out this form if you’re interested in joining the Political Advocacy Working Group!

If you want to partake in the endorsements process, please fill out the form by May 1st. We will then follow up with a doodle to schedule the meetings and get you in the slack group.

If you are unable to join the endorsement process, the working group still does work throughout the year and accepts team members on a rolling basis.

In solidarity,

RFPU – NW Political Advocacy Working Group

APPLY TODAY: Executive Board and General Board Nominations are Open!

If you’re interested in getting more involved with us, APPLY HERE: https://bit.ly/21-22RFPUBoard

The following are the remaining open positions:

Vice President: The Vice President is responsible for assisting with day-to-day operations for RFPU-NW, including managing the board. During negotiation years, the Vice President also assists the Lead Negotiator with negotiations and grievances.

Membership Engagement Coordinator: This position will be responsible for co-leading the planning, coordinating, and overseeing of social and charitable events of RFPU-NW in partnership with members of the member engagement team and RFPU-NW staff. This includes membership recruitment, social events, and social media.

Collective Action Chair: This position will be responsible for co-leading the planning, coordinating, and execution of collective member escalations in partnership with members of the collective action team and RFPU-NW staff.

Political Engagement Chair: This position will be responsible for co-leading the planning, coordinating, and overseeing of political engagement and advocacy, and lobbying efforts in partnership with members of the political engagement team and RFPU-NW staff.

General Board Members (multiple positions): General Board Members assist the Executive Board members with duties, in addition to leading the RFPU working groups. All General Board Members shall be involved in at least one working group. General Board Members should consider themselves visible representatives of RFPU-NW and work closely with the Program Representatives from their program to increase engagement with all union members.

If you have any questions, please reach out to any of our current board members or reach out to us at admin@rfpu.org!

Meet Our New President-Elect and Lead Negotiator!

Dr. Amy Zhang (Anesthesia) – 2021-2022 President. She will begin as President – Elect on May 1st and transition to President on July 1st. 

Dr. Amy Zhang (she/her) is a first-generation/low-income resident physician in anesthesiology. She went to Harvard for undergrad with a need-based scholarship, then obtained joint MD and MBA degrees from Yale. She feels strongly about advocacy, especially with regards to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Most recently, she has been speaking out against anti-Asian racism. Her favorite sport is swimming, and her physical abilities are similar to those of penguins- agile in the water but clumsy on land. 

Over the past academic year, Dr. Zhang have been actively involved in RFPU-NW leadership as a general board member. As a union leader, she strongly believe in advocacy for residents and fellows, and she plans to continue efforts to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion for all UW trainees. Dr. Zhang has experience in union actions, media and inter-union relations, and grievances, which would allow for a smoother leadership change.


Dr. Kevin Steehler (Internal Medicine) – 2021-2022 Lead Negotiator. They will begin shadowing in this role on May 1st and transition to Lead Negotiator on July 1st.

Kevin (they/them) is an internal medicine resident working their way to become an HIV primary care physician. They grew up in Erie, PA and moved to Seattle last year after graduating medical school at Emory in Atlanta, GA.

During undergrad, Kevin developed an interest in social justice while volunteering at an LGBTQ+ community outreach center in Pittsburgh, PA. They are passionate about addressing inequities in healthcare access, and explored these inequities via research among transgender/gender non-conforming patients during their MPH year at Emory.

Kevin first became interested in RFPU while watching last year’s negotiation sessions prior to moving to the Central District in Seattle. It became clear to them that the compounding credit card debt required to move across the country for residency must be a limiting factor for many residents in our profession. Inspired by the labor movement, Kevin joined RFPU as an intern, and served on the grievance team. In their new role as Lead Negotiator, Kevin plans to fight for more benefits in our contract so that residents from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds will be able train and thrive at UW despite the high cost of medical education.


Attn: Incoming Interns, Residents, & Fellows!

Congratulations on matching to UW and RFPU – NW! We’re so excited to welcome you all to Seattle in the coming months.

Now that you’ve matched, we encourage you to:

  1. Sign your membership card! We have a strong union because over 80% of residents and fellows at UW are dues-paying members! We have some of the lowest dues in the country at just 0.5% of your salary… and dues don’t start till you get paid! 
  2. Join one of our New Member Town Halls to learn more about our union! Open to everyone! There will be one on April 15th (7pm PT) and one on April 22nd (4pm PT)!
  3. Join our Buy/Sell group on Facebook to find an apartment (or even a roommate!), furniture, and more!
  4. Follow RFPU on Social Media to stay up to date on what we’re doing (you can find our accounts at the bottom of this email)

Take Action: Support SHB 1348

RFPU – NW has recently endorsed SHB 1348, Providing medical assistance to incarcerate patients. 

The majority of people incarcerated are incarcerated for less than 30 days. This bill updates current language around not suspending Medicaid for those incarcerated for 30 days or less. New language includes that a person’s incarceration status does not affect the person’s enrollment in medical assistance and that a person not enrolled in medical assistance at the time of incarceration will have the ability to apply for medical assistance.

The next public hearing is on Thursday, March 11th, at 1:30pm. 

RFPU – NW encourages our members to show support for this bill. There are three very easy ways to do so, by (in order of ease to do):

  • signing in PRO for the legislative record (anytime up until 1:30pm on 3/11)
  • submitting a comment (anytime up until 1:30pm on 3/11)
  • testifying live (registration by 1:30pm on 3/10)

All you have to do is:

  • Go to the Committee Sign In page
  • Choose Committee: Human Services, Reentry, and Rehab
  • Choose Meetings: 3/11/21 at 1:30pm
  • Choose: SHB 1348 Incarcerated persons/medical
  • Choose “written testimony,” “testify live,” or “position noted for the legislative record”
  • When registering, you may enter “Resident & Fellow Physician Union – Northwest” under organization affiliation because RFPU – NW has endorsed the bill. 
  • If you plan to testify live, please let us know!

NOW OPEN: Spring 2021 Childcare Fund Application

Eligibility and disbursement criteria that are used for this fund can be found here on our website. 

Purpose: The RFPU Childcare Program is a benefit to help support residents and fellows with young children.

APPLY HERE!  

Timeline
Application Deadline: 11:59pm on March 15, 2021
Notice from RFPU: March 18, 2021
Appeals Deadline: 11:59pm on March 25, 2021
Disbursement from UW HR: Usually within 2-3 pay periods after appeals date.

You will hear from us regarding your eligibility for the fund, including your weighted score by March 18, you will then have until March 25 at 11:59p.m. to appeal these decisions if needed.

As a reminder, we are able to disperse $50,000 per year. We will continue to fight for more funding as we know the cost of childcare in Seattle creates a huge burden for resident families.

If you have questions, please email admin@rfpu.org.

Now Open: President & Lead Negotiator Nominations for 2021-2022

The Application for President-Elect and Lead Negotiator Opens Today!

Please fill out this form to nominate yourself for RFPU President or Lead Negotiator for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

President & Lead Negotiator Elections
Nominations Open: March 1st through March 22nd
Election: March 24th through midnight March 31st

RFPU-NW staff will reach out to all those who apply before the election. 
 

President-Elect/President

Role: The President is responsible for overseeing the direction of the union during their term and building momentum for future years. The President is the most visible face of the union and rallies the membership to action. They also serve as the primary representative of RFPU-NW members to UW Medicine Leadership and GME
Term: President-Elect begins May 1st (shadowing the current President), and officially takes over as President on July 1st through June 30th
Compensation: Twice the Chief Stipend rate per month

Lead Negotiator

Role: The Lead Negotiator is responsible for working directly with GME and labor relations to negotiate the contract and grievances in partnership with the Negotiation and Grievance teams. The negotiator also coordinates responses with our legal counsel
Term: Lead Negotiator begins June 1st (shadowing the current Lead Negotiator), and officially takes over as Lead Negotiator on July 1st through June 30th
Compensation: During open negotiations, twice the chief stipend rate per month. During non-negotiation, the chief stipend rate per month

Soon: Executive Board and General Board Nominations!


Please Note: Per the RFPU-NW Constitution, we host the election for Vice President, Chair of Member Engagement, Chair of Political Advocacy, Chair of Collective Action, and the General Board later in the Spring.

(remaining) Executive Board & General Board Elections
Nominations Will Be Open: April 8th through April 29th
Election: May 1st through midnight May 8th

Please consider if you want to apply or encourage those you think should. RFPU-NW will send out the nomination form for this election on April 8th.

Descriptions for each role below:

Vice President

Role: The Vice President is responsible for assisting with day-to-day operations for RFPU-NW, including managing the board. During negotiation years, the Vice President also assists the Lead Negotiator with negotiations and grievances.
Term: June 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Compensation: Chief Stipend rate per month

Membership Engagement Chair

Role: The Membership Engagement Chair will be responsible for co-leading the planning, coordinating, and overseeing of social and charitable events of RFPU-NW in partnership with members of the member engagement team and RFPU-NW staff. This includes membership recruitment, social events, and social media.
Term: June 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Compensation: Chief Stipend rate per month

Collective Action Chair

Role: The Collective Action Chair will be responsible for co-leading the planning, coordinating, and execution of collective member escalations in partnership with members of the collective action team and RFPU-NW staff.
Term: June 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Compensation: Chief Stipend rate per month

Political Engagement Chair

Role: The Political Engagement Chair will be responsible for co-leading the planning, coordinating, and overseeing of political engagement and advocacy, and lobbying efforts in partnership with members of the political engagement team and RFPU-NW staff.
Term: June 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Compensation: Chief Stipend rate per month

General Board Members

Role: General Board Members assist the Executive Board members with duties, in addition to leading the RFPU working groups. All General Board Members shall be involved in at least one working group. General Board Members should consider themselves visible representatives of RFPU-NW and work closely with the Program Representatives from their program to increase engagement with all union members.
Term: June 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Compensation: The outgoing board will vote on this each year for the following years board, with the ability to approve up to 2x the Chief Stipend rate per month. This will most likely begin with 0.5 of the Chief Stipend rate per month for the 21-22 academic year.