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 email@example.com!
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
The Constitutional Amendment Election closed at midnight on 2/28. All the Constitutional Amendments passed, see below for individual results.
These will be integrated into the Constitution on our website in the near future.
Amend Article I. Name and Purpose
“Article I. amended:
All references to the University of Washington Housestaff Association, UWHA, or equivalent shall be changed to Resident and Fellow Physician Union – Northwest, RFPU – NW, or equivalent. All references to the Association shall be changed to the Union.”
Amend Article IV. Membership
“Article IV amended:
Sections 3 and 4 of article IV are struck. Subsequent sections of Article IV are renumbered accordingly.”
Amend Article V. Membership Meetings
“Article V, Section 5 is struck and replaced with the following: A member of the Board or designee of the Executive Board will make a record of the proceedings at membership meetings.”
Amend Article VI. Executive Board
“Article VI is amended to strike Sections 1 to 7. Current Sections 8 to 9 will stay the same, with Sections 1 to 7 consisting of the following:
Section 1. The Executive Board is made up of the Officers of the Union, which includes the President, Vice-President, Lead Negotiator, Membership Engagement Chair, Collective Action Chair, and Political Engagement Chair. The Executive Board is the highest decision making body of the Union between meetings of the entire Board and membership. The Executive Board will not contain more than two members from any given residency and fellowship program.
The Executive Board may retain professional personnel as necessary to carry out the day-to-day operations of the union and other personnel as necessary.
Section 2. President
(1) The President will preside over all union meetings. They will be the Chairperson of the Executive Board. The President will be the official spokesperson for the Union.
(2) The President will be the chief executive officer of the Union and will have the power to carry out and effectuate the business of the Union, including financial transactions, subject to approval of the Executive Board.
(3) The President will interpret the Constitution subject to the approval of the Executive Board.
(4) In any instance where a Secretary or Treasurer of the Union is necessary for a legal, administrative, or other purpose, the President shall act in those capacities, subject to approval of the Executive Board.
Section 3. Vice-President
(1) In addition to serving as an Executive Board Member, the Vice-President will assist with managing the Board and during negotiation years will assist the Lead Negotiator in negotiating and grievance duties.
(2) The Vice-President will perform such other duties as may be agreed upon by the Executive Board.
Section 4. Membership Engagement Chair
(1) The Membership Engagement Chair will be responsible for co-leading the planning, coordinating, and overseeing of social and charitable events of the Union in partnership with RFPU – NW staff members, with the assistance of other members of the Union.
Section 5. Collective Action Chair
The Collective Action Chair will be responsible for co-leading the planning, coordinating, and overseeing of member engagement in escalations with RFPU-NW, with the assistance of other members of the Union.
Section 6. Political Engagement Chair
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 RFPU – NW staff members, with the assistance of other members of the Union.
Section 7. Due to the removal of the Secretary and Treasurer positions, prior duties of these positions will be held by the Union’s professional staff.”
Amend Article VII. Board
“Article VII is amended and existing Amendment 5. Size of the Board is struck to replace “his/her” with “their” in Section 3 and to replace Section 1 with the following:
Section 1. The Board will consist of the Officers (Executive Board) and at least 6 Representatives. There will be no more than 18 total Board members. The Board will have the power to appoint all union committees and to exercise supervision over all the activities of the Union.
(1) The Representatives will assist in the administration of the collective bargaining agreement, in the governance of the Union, and in addressing the problems of members. There will not be more than six from any given residency and fellowship program.
(2) The Representatives will perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President, Executive Board, or professional staff.”
Amend Article VIII. Vacancies
“Article VIII. amended:
If the office of an Executive Board Officer becomes vacant for any reason, the Board in regular or special session will appoint a member in good standing to such office for the balance of the term.
If the office of a Representative becomes vacant for any reason, the Executive Board may appoint, subject to approval by the Board, a member in good standing to fill such office for the balance of the term.”
Amend Article IX. Finances
“Article IX. amended:
All checks issued by the Union must be signed by an Executive Board Officer, named in Article VI.
The Executive Board and any other person who handles funds or property of the Union will seek to obtain a fiduciary bond in an amount not less than 10% of the Association’s assets at the close of its preceding fiscal year.
Any Officer or Board member performing authorized services for the Union will be reimbursed by the union for necessary, reasonable and properly documented expenses incurred in the performance of such services.
The Executive Board is responsible for ensuring the financial security of the Union’s assets.
The Executive Director will be empowered to sign checks on behalf of the Executive Board, named in Article VI.”
Amend Article X. Elections
“Article X amended:
Officers will be elected by secret electronic ballot of the membership. All Members in good standing are eligible for office.
Terms of office for all Officers and Representatives will be 1 year beginning July 1st of each year and ending June 30th of the succeeding year.
The Executive Board and union Staff will be responsible for developing and administering procedures for a fair, democratic and orderly election of Officers and Representatives in compliance with this Constitution. If an Executive Board Officer is running for an additional term, they will forfeit their involvement in assisting with the administration of elections to which they are eligible for office.
Not less than 30 days prior to June 1, notice of nominations and elections will be provided to all members. The notice will set forth the guidelines and the schedule for nominations and the election. Nominations will be open for at least 14 days and elections for 3 days.
Any member may declare themself a candidate for office or nominate any other member for office. Such declaration/nomination must be submitted by written hard copy or electronically sent to the Union. Before the close of nominations, each nominee must submit by written hard copy or email acceptance of the nomination to the Union.
Not less than 7 days prior to June 1, an electronic ballot containing all duly nominated candidates for office will be provided to each member. If there is more than one candidate for a Principal Office, such candidates will be listed alphabetically. If there are more than 6 candidates for Representative, such candidates will be listed alphabetically. If there is not more than one candidate running for an office or not more than six running as a Representative, the candidate(s) is duly elected by virtue of being unopposed. If a slate of candidates runs unopposed, no election is necessary.
Electronic ballots will be counted at the close of voting. Candidates for the Executive Board will be elected by a plurality of valid votes cast for each office (i.e., the candidate with the most votes wins the election for each office). The candidates for Representative with the highest total of valid votes cast wins the election, up to the number of which shall meet the maximum permitted size of the Board.
During the transition period, after the election, and prior to July 1, each outgoing Officer will acquaint his/her successor with the functions of the office and will deliver to the Union all books, papers and other property of the Union that may be in his/her possession.”
The Board shall, not later than three months following this amendment, develop and approve a policy which shall govern if an election should result in more Officer or Board members from a single residency or fellowship program than are permitted by Articles VI or VII.”
Amend Article XII. Ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreement
“Article XII amended:
All collective bargaining agreements negotiated between the Union and the University of Washington must be approved by the Executive Board and must be ratified by a majority of members voting by secret ballot. The Executive Director (if one is employed) or the Executive Board will ensure that all members receive notice of the terms of the proposed collective bargaining agreement and a reasonable opportunity to cast a secret ballot vote for or against the proposed collective bargaining agreement.”
Amend Amendments 2. Presidential Succession and Creation of the President-Elect Position and 3. Creation of the Lead Negotiator Position
“Amendment 2 amended:
(2) By April of each year, a general election will be held to determine who will fill the office of President-elect. All RFPU-NW members in good standing shall be eligible to run for the position of President-elect. The candidate who obtains a simple majority will be designated the President-elect.
(3) Prior to the President-elect becoming the RFPU – NW President, their ascension to the office of President must be ratified by the RFPU – NW Board by a simple majority. The ratification vote shall be held prior to May 1st. Once ratified, the President-elect will become the President on July 1st and serve in this office until June 30th.”
“Amendment 3 amended:
(4) The Lead Negotiator will be elected by the RFPU – NW Board in September each year and shall serve for a period of 12 months. Should the Lead Negotiator not be able to complete their term, then the election of their successor may be held earlier as directed by the RFPU – NW President.”
Amend Amendment 4. Honorarium for Key Board Positions
“Amendment 4 amended:
(1) Certain positions of the RFPU – NW Executive Board are vital to the ongoing viability of the organization and often require a significant time commitment. Residents or Fellows fulfilling these roles will receive an honorarium in recognition of their significant time-commitment to the organization.
(2) The President shall receive an honorarium equal to 2 times the amount of the Chief Resident Supplemental Stipend as designated in the RFPU – NW -UW CBA.
(3) The Vice President, Lead Negotiator, Political Engagement Chair, Membership Engagement Chair, and Collective Action Chair shall receive an honorarium equal to the amount of the Chief Resident Supplemental Stipend as designated in the RFPU-NW-UW CBA
(4) During open negotiations the Lead Negotiator shall receive an honorarium equal to 2 times the amount of the Chief Resident Supplemental Stipend as designated in the RFPU-NW-UW CBA.”
Amendment. Honorarium for Board Representatives
“(1) RFPU-NW Board members are vital to the success of the organization. Board positions carry significant responsibilities and time commitments, and it is important that RFPU-NW recognizes these in a meaningful way. RFPU-NW affirms the importance of a Board which is diverse in background and experiences, and meaningful recognition of the work involved is critical to promoting such a Board.
(2) In support of (1), the RFPU-NW Board will provide an honorarium to Board Representatives which may be up to the Chief Resident stipend as designated in the RFPU-NW-UW Collective Bargaining Agreement.
(3) The Board will, by majority vote, set the Board Representatives honoraria amount (and may similarly modify it subsequently) subject to the limits in (2).”
Amend Amendment 16.Creation of the Office of Immediate Past President
“Amendment 4 amended:
When the President completes their term they may choose to fill the office of Immediate Past President for the duration of their successor’s term as President. If the President, at the end of their term, so chooses not to fill the office of Immediate Past President then this office will remain vacant for the duration of their successor’s term as President.
The Immediate Past President may elect to personally fill a seat of the Board. They do not have to be eligible for membership in the union.
The Immediate Past President provides advice and leadership to the Board regarding past practices and other matters to assist the Board in governing the Association. The Immediate Past President supports the President on an as-needed basis. If the immediate past president is no longer a member of the bargaining unit, they are considered an alumni board member and subsequently do not have a voting role on the Board.”
Amendment. Gender Neutral Language
“All references to he/her or his/hers shall be modified to read their or theirs, respectively.”
Our union’s capacity has grown significantly since we were legally recognized in 2014, starting from just a few board members to now having an eighteen-person board with three professional labor staffers. Due to these changes, we’ve reflected on what has evolved and suggest a number of amendments.
See below for the main highlights or your ballot for all the proposals.
The ballot for this election is open for two weeks.
Voting closes at midnight on February 28, 2021.
All dues-paying members received their personal ballot on their non-UW emails via Survey Monkey on 2/14, with reminders on 2/18 and 2/22.
If you did not receive this ballot, but believe you are a dues-paying member, please check your spam folder first. If it is not there, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
- 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 email@example.com 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.
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 http://www.uwha.com – once this is finalized it will automatically forward to the new address at http://www.rfpu.org
As of now, you can contact us at admin@RFPU.org
Any emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will forward to our new email address.
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:
- 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!
- 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.
- If you can’t join in person, watch a recording here or reach out to email@example.com and we’ll get you up to speed!
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.