Rebranding Announcement!

The University of Washington Housestaff Association was first formed in 1964 as a collective of residents and fellows with the intent to unionize. Multiple attempts to do were unsuccessful until 2014, when the UWHA was legally recognized as a union and our collective bargaining unit formed. Since then, we have successfully negotiated two contracts which have won our members extra yearly salary increases, extra vacation, various stipends, transportation benefits, and much more.

For three major reasons, the UWHA will be rebranding our name and logo this year.

1. the general public does not typically understand what the term “housestaff” means. 
2. we are no longer an informal association, but an incorporated union.
3. we want to keep open the possibility that we will one day expand beyond the University of Washington.

For these reasons, our Board has decided on a new name:
the Resident and Fellow Physician Union-Northwest, or RFPU-NW for short.

The new name emphasizes that we are a doctors union, whose members care for patients from the Puget Sound all the way to Boise.

As we continue to grow, we hope that this new name will speak to our place in the labor movement. We will continue the important work of advocating for the rights of residents and fellows, building solidarity with all healthcare workers, and serving our community. We will advance progressive legislation that will positively impact both our working conditions and the healthcare systems that our patients must navigate.

Please Note: Our website will be transitioning over in the near future. In the meantime you can still access our resources at – once this is finalized it will automatically forward to the new address at

As of now, you can contact us at

Any emails sent to will forward to our new email address.

Parking Grievance Reimbursements

Due to a recent settlement agreement between the UW and UWHA, UWHA members are entitled to free night and weekend parking going forward (as specified below), and may be entitled to a refund of previously paid night and/or weekend parking at UWMC and/or HMC. Please read this entire email for details of how to request your refund.  

At HMC, free night and weekend parking is already available as below. For UWMC-Montlake, free night and weekend parking will be available as below starting on June 8, 2020. 

Effective June 8, 2020, UWHA members will have access to free parking during the following dates/times:  

·       Weekends: 12am Saturday to 11:59pm Sunday 

·       Nights: 4pm to 8am, Monday to Sunday 

Free parking will be available in the following locations:  

·       UWMC-Montlake: Triangle Parking Garage 

·       HMC: P1, P2, P3, and P4 Lots 

The process for obtaining free parking will be as follows:  

·       UWMC-Montlake: When a resident enters the Triangle Garage after 4 p.m. or on a weekend, they should take a ticket at the gate. Prior to exiting the Triangle Garage, a resident must stop at the kiosk and obtain a card for exiting the garage gate for free. If the resident exits after 8 a.m. for scheduled or emergent patient care and is charged an overage, the resident shall request reimbursement for such charges directly from their department. The department is required to pay this overage and any questions or concerns about this should be directed to GME. 

·       HMC: Residents shall use their PPUP cards to enter and leave the garage. When a resident enters the parking garage after 4 p.m. or on a weekend, the resident will not be charged for parking if they exit the garage before 8 a.m. or on the weekend. If the resident exits after 8 a.m. for scheduled or emergent patient care and is charged an overage, the resident shall request reimbursement for such charges directly from their department. The department is required to pay this overage and any questions or concerns about this should be directed to GME. 

Residents are not allowed to park in the Triangle Garage during weekday day shifts. Those who do so may be subject to corrective action. 

Current and former UWHA members can claim refunds for past night and weekend parking paid back to 9/28/18 using the following process: 

·        All claims must be submitted by July 25, 2020 

·        To claim a refund, send an email including the following information: 

o   Identify dates on which resident parked during a night or a weekend and the amount resident was required to pay on each occasion. 

o   Contacts are: 

§  For UWMC: Harper Olsen (

§  For HMC: 

o   You will then receive compensation by September 23, 2020 

Additional information: 

·       If either HMC or UWMC has reasonable cause to believe that claims submitted did not involve the resident incurring fees during a night or weekend period, the office may request additional proof from the resident that the claimed amount was actually incurred.  

·       Reasonable cause requires the UW to identify particular evidence supporting its belief that the claim is invalid, such as evidence that the resident was not scheduled to work a night or weekend shift on the date of a particular claim, or that the claimed amount did not correspond with the rates the resident would have incurred. 

o   A request for additional proof will be made within 30 days of the claim being submitted. You will then have 30 days to submit additional proof to support the claim. 

o   You will then receive your refund within 60 days as above. 

o   If you do not receive what you feel you are owed, let UWHA know at and UWHA will help you file a grievance.  

If you are charged for night or weekend parking in violation of the above, please report this to GME at and copy UWHA at immediately for resolution. If your claim is questioned or rejected, please let UWHA know immediately at You can read the entire settlement agreement here.

Welcome to all our Incoming Residents!

We are excited to welcome you to Seattle! For those of you staying in Seattle, we’re happy to keep you here!

Starting residency during a pandemic has it’s challenges, but we’re here to help!

Couple of reminders:

  1. Send in your membership card! Being a member is not automatic, you have to sign a card to receive membership benefits. We’re proud to have over 80% dues-paying members!
  2. Make sure you understand all the benefits and what RFPU is about! If you haven’t joined an Intern Town Hall event already, you can RSVP for our live event (via Zoom) on Sun, 6/21 at 6:00pm where we will tell you everything you need to know. This will include a live Q&A segment. OPEN TO EVERYONE, you don’t have to have sent in a membership card yet.
  3. If you can’t join in person, watch a recording here or reach out to and we’ll get you up to speed!

UWHA Stands with LGBTQ Community

On Friday, the Trump administration finalized changes to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Disguised in a late-Friday announcement as “respect[ing] the dignity of every human being”, these changes removed legal protections for LGBTQ individuals against discrimination in healthcare settings. By limiting the definition of “sex discrimination” to male or female biological sex, these changes legalize discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. Not only does this change allow health insurance companies to charge different rates, but it also allows healthcare providers to refuse care to LGBTQ patients.

At UWHA, we believe LGBTQ rights are human rights and everyone deserves access to healthcare. Legal definitions do not change our duty to our patients, and we pledge to continue caring for all our patients to the best of our ability, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

This announcement comes at the time of a painful anniversary, the Pulse nightclub shooting, during Pride month, and in the backdrop of the recent murders of two black transgender women. We understand that many of you may be hurting right now. No matter who you are, you belong in our medical community and have our support. 

We will continue to advocate for justice for marginalized communities and work towards diversity and inclusion. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support or to share with us how we can do better. 

In solidarity,

UWHA Board

How we fight for racial justice

Sent to full membership via email on June 7, 2020

Thank you to each and every one of you who has shown up this week (in-person and from home) for Black Lives Matter.

We saw incredible showings of people at Friday’s Show of Support, hosted by NURF, and over 10,000 healthcare workers and allies showed up for the Doctors for Justice Rally yesterday morning. 

If you haven’t already, please review the Doctors for Justice demands.

Many of us are showing up to protest after working long shifts, bringing our children out with us, making phone calls to elected officials, and having conversations about how we need to change the culture and institution of medicine. 

If you have ideas for actions residents can take on an individual or system-wide level, let us know. We will support you. 


As a labor union, racial justice intersects with everything we do. The language we use in our contract, the benefits we fight for that ensure that residency at UW isn’t only accessible to those from the most privileged backgrounds, and how we fight against racism and discrimination in our workplace and community.

We also feel strongly that being a leader means speaking out against the way that our city and university continue to uphold systems of oppression. 

In the last week, as an organization we endorsed:

We also encourage our members of color to sign the BIPOC Petition to remove the Seattle Police Officers Guild (police union) from MLK Labor

You can sign the above actions as an individual as well.
Decriminalize UW – individual
Defund SPD – individual
 A large portion of city (and university funding) goes towards policing our communities. Seattle budgeted $409 million on police this year, a quarter of the city’s general fund budget. As healthcare workers, we know that funding should be going towards health and education services in our community instead.

Units at our hospitals are being consolidated or closed entirely, and our state ranks one of the worst in the country for mental health care. Thousands of healthcare employees at UW and across this city have been furloughed during a pandemic. This is unacceptable. 

Remember, we all are UWHA – so if you see actions we can participate in, or demands you want us to advocate for – reach out and let us know how we can help amplify! You can do this by emailing us, posting in the UWHA slack, or tagging us on social media.


Learn more about where you’re living:

Educational Resources:

Donate to local Black led, Seattle-based organizations

Anti-racism Message To Members

Sent to full membership via email on May 30, 2020

Dear UWHA Members, 

We feel compelled to write to you today as we see what has happened in Minneapolis, Tallahassee, Louisville, and Georgia recently, and acknowledge that the history of this country and of medicine is rooted in racism. We each have a responsibility in combating structural racism.

While it may veil itself differently, our city, our workplace, and the labor movement have all perpetuated racism in different forms and we do not talk about it enough. As we mourn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, we must each evaluate our own privilege, and confront how this influences the way in which we live and work. It is imperative that we continue educating ourselves and confronting the parts of our system that need to be dismantled. 

We send our solidarity to protesters across the country.

As an organization, we also need to show up more, and ensure that every part of our work is done with a racial equity lens. We will continue to use our collective voice to speak out against violence against communities of color. Please do not hesitate to reach out and share with us how we can do better. 

In solidarity,

UWHA Board

What you can do today:

Show Up:

Educational Resources:

One of the best ways you can help is to financially support Black-led organizing efforts:

Donate to Minnesota-based organizations rooted in anti-racism:

Donate to Local Seattle-based organizations rooted in anti-racism:

UWHA Settles Vacation Time Grievance with employer

After nine months of debate, UWHA and Labor Relations were able to come to an agreement in ensuring that residents and fellows are not improperly losing vacation time guaranteed to them.

Previously, residents and fellows who scheduled vacation time (or sick time) that sandwiched a holiday (or weekend depending on the program), would have the already scheduled day off, count against their vacation (or sick) time. Vacation time is already minimal for residents and fellows, and many residents were losing additional days due to this guidance.

The employer has agreed to update the policy, stating that programs cannot code holidays or weekends as vacation, when the resident is not scheduled to work.

This will go into effect on July 1, 2020.

Thank you to the residents who brought this to our attention and our grievance team for their persistence and dedication.

UWHA Submits Full-page Ads in Sunday Edition of Seattle Times

After more than ten months of negotiating, UWHA continues to fight for a fair contract. Over the course of this year, we have sent the university multiple petitions, hosted a 15-minute Unity Break with over 500 residents in attendance, hosted a resident-wide Wellness Day, engaged in multiple boycotts, and added political pressure through City Council.

The below letters were published in the Sunday Edition of the Seattle Times to CEO of UW Medicine, Dr. Paul Ramsey, urging the university to bring forth a fair contract to the residents and fellows of the University of Washington.

You can help our residents and fellows today by sending an email to UW Medicine.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the media attention of our past actions.

May 14th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the thirty-first bargaining session on Thursday, May 14th, hosted virtually. The state appointed mediator was in attendance.

Article 6 (Fringe Benefits), UWHA accepted additional meals language from the employer, and updated the fitness section to include language explaining how residents can gain access to fitness facilities at the VA. LR proposed language for this section stating all residents will have access to fitness facilities at non-employer owned sites, per the site policy. UWHA also decreased the relocation stipend ask to $250 per incoming resident.

Article 15 (Leave – Sick), UWHA agreed to language proposed by LR that residents must be given the opportunity to attend medical, mental health, optical, and dental appointments. UWHA also updated language to agree with referencing parental leave as in article 13.

Article 18 (Leave – Vacation), UWHA agreed to language proposed by LR in regards to effects of leave on board eligibility. UWHA continued to discuss the need for including four full weeks of vacation in the upcoming academic year. 

Article 25 (Transportation), LR added language specifying parking site locations, which UWHA agrees to, and accepted returning to contract language for parking during nights and weekends.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday, May 28th from 3:00-7:00pm via Zoom. UWHA welcomes all members to attend, please email by 9:00am on May 26th if you would like to join.

April 29th Bargaining Session

UWHA and UW Labor Relations (LR) met for the thirtieth bargaining session on Tuesday, April 29th, hosted virtually. The state appointed mediator was in attendance.

Article 2 (Committees), UWHA updated language regarding committee representation for residents and fellows per the last negotiation session conversation.

Article 6 (Fringe Benefits), LR agreed to language in line with ACGME common program requirements that residents must be given the opportunity to attend medical, mental health, and dental care appointments, including those scheduled during their working hours. 

Article 15 (Leave – Sick), LR agreed to language, similar to in Article 6, regarding personal medical, dental, or optical appointments.

Article 18 (Moonlighting), UWHA continues to include language in the proposal to memorialize policy and make moonlighting opportunities more accessible to residents in good standing. 

Article XX (Miscellaneous/Union Activities), LR agreed to strike language referring to Article 7 (Grievances).

Side Letter – Communication, LR removed language stating that only one email to a UW email is permitted. UWHA acknowledged it would sign a tentative agreement on this letter.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday, May 14th from 3:00-7:00pm via Zoom. UWHA welcomes all members to attend, please email if you would like to join.