Resident & Fellow Physician Union – Northwest
ARTICLE I. NAME AND PURPOSE
In order to preserve and maintain our interests as individuals, employees and association members, the housestaff employed by the University of Washington join together in this professional association, which is called the Resident & Fellow Physician Union – Northwest (RFPU- NW).
ARTICLE II. OBJECTS
The objects of this Association are as follows:
To unite into one collective bargaining unit the resident and fellow physicians currently in ACGME accredited programs employed by the University of Washington.
To improve and maintain excellent standards of patient care.
To negotiate and administer collective bargaining agreements with the University of Washington so as to insure benefits and conditions appropriate to the services performed by the housestaff. These benefits and conditions include, but are not limited to, salary, health, life and disability insurance, vacation, holiday, working conditions and patient care.
To provide services to the membership so as to encourage professional and collegial relationships among housestaff.
ARTICLE III. INDEPENDENCE OF THE ASSOCIATION AND HEADQUARTERS
The RFPU-NW is an independent professional collective bargaining association. Subject to prior approval by the Board and by the membership, the Housestaff Association may affiliate with other associations to further the best interests of the entire membership. Approval of any such affiliation requires: first, approval by a minimum of Board members; and, second, approval by a majority of Association members voting by secret ballot following reasonable notice of such vote.
The Association headquarters will be at or in the vicinity of the University of Washington Medical Center or Harborview Medical Center, where a majority of the housestaff work.
ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP
All interns, residents, and fellows possessing M.D., D.O., D.D.S. or equivalent degrees and who are employed by the University of Washington in an ACGME-accredited program, are eligible for membership in the Association.
Membership dues will be maintained at the voluntary $10/year for the first two years. In the academic year 2016-2017, the total amount withdrawn in dues will not exceed 0.3% of the intern’s (PGY-1) salary per year.
Residents and Fellows in ACGME-accredited programs are automatically enrolled as members of the RFPU-NW. A member who chooses not to pay dues through contractual dues payroll deduction must remit each periodic dues payment directly to the Association within 7 days after issuance of the applicable monthly paycheck.
A member who elects not to remit dues through payroll deductions and who fails to timely remit any periodic payment of uniform dues will automatically be considered delinquent and suspended from membership. An individual suspended from membership, whose employment by the University of Washington has not been terminated under the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement, may apply for reinstatement by remitting to the Association all outstanding dues plus $100. Reinstatement is subject to approval by the Executive Board.
Following the 2016-17 academic year, any dues increase or special assessment requires prior approval by secret ballot by a majority of voting members following reasonable advance notice to all members of such secret ballot.
ARTICLE V. MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
The President will determine the date and location of any membership meeting. There shall be at least one membership meeting per year.
The President is authorized to call a special membership meeting. Also, the President will call a special membership meeting when so directed by a majority vote of the entire Executive Board or upon written request of 20% of the membership.
The Association will provide reasonable notice at least ten and no more than fifty days in advance of all regular and special membership meetings in order to encourage and facilitate membership participation.
The President, or in his/her absence, the Vice-President will preside over all membership meetings.
The Secretary or designate will make a record of the proceedings at membership meetings. In their absence, the President will designate a member to make a record of the proceedings.
Unless otherwise provided, Robert’s Rules will govern membership meetings.
ARTICLE VI. EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Executive Board is made up of the Officers of the Association, which include the, President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Social Ambassador. The Executive Board is the highest decision making body of the Association between meetings of the entire Board and membership. The Executive Board will not contain more than two residents from any given residency program.
(1) The President will preside over all Association meetings. He/she will be the Chairperson of the Executive Board. The President will be the official spokesperson for the Association.
(2) The President will be the chief executive officer of the Association and will have the power to carry out and effectuate the business of the Association, 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) The President may retain professional personnel as necessary to assist in the operation of the Association. Further, subject to approval of the Executive Board, the President may employ an administrator to carry out the day-to-day operations of the Association and other personnel as necessary.
(1) In addition to serving as an Executive Board Member, the Vice-President will serve as Membership Coordinator and meeting Parliamentarian.
(2) The Vice-President will perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President.
(1) The Secretary will cause a record to be made of the proceedings of the Board meetings and the proceedings of membership meetings. The Secretary, will provide the record of such proceedings to the Board.
(2) The Secretary will maintain an up-to-date list of all Association members and will supervise custody over the books, records and papers of the Association. The Secretary will oversee and be responsible for the notice and conduct of all Association voting. The administrator, if one is chosen, will assist, as necessary, to ensure that the duties of the Secretary are carried out.
(3) The Secretary will be responsible for maintaining and updating the RFPU – NW website.
(1) The Treasurer will oversee the financial records of the Association. He/she will supervise the maintenance of accurate records of all Association expenditures and the collection of all Association dues. The expenditures on behalf of the Association will be reviewed by and be subject to the approval of the Executive Board.
(2) The Treasurer will cause all Association accounts and taxes to be reviewed/prepared annually by a certified public accountant.
(1) The Social ambassador will be responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing social and charitable events of the Association, with the assistance of other members of the Association.
ARTICLE VII. BOARD
The Board will consist of the 5 Officers (Executive Board) and 6 Representatives. The Board will have the power to appoint all Association committees and to exercise supervision over all the activities of the Association.
(1) The 6 Representatives will assist in the administration of the collective bargaining agreement, in the governance of the Association, and in addressing the problems of members. There will be 6 representatives and not more than two from any given residency program.
(2) The Representatives will perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President.
The Board will stand ready to assist in addressing the problem of any Association member and will be available for consultation with any member. The Board will have final authority to address all matters involving grievances under the collective bargaining agreement with the University.
Regular meetings of the Board will be held monthly or semi–‐monthly. Special meetings of the Board will be called by the President at his/her discretion or when so directed by 4 members of the Board. The President or his/her designee will provide reasonable notice of all meetings of the Board. Four members of the Board will constitute a quorum. Each Board member has one vote.
A Board member who is unable to attend a regular or special call meeting of the Board may participate in any action requiring a Board approval by telephonic, written or electronic communication.
The Board will approve or ratify expenditures required for operation of the Association or necessary to promote the legitimate objectives of the Association. Major business or financial decisions affecting the Association will be subject to prior approval by the Board.
Unless otherwise provided, Roberts Rules will govern Executive Board meetings.
The Board will have the power to adopt and modify Bylaws.
ARTICLE VIII. VACANCIES
If the office of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and/or Social Ambassador 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 President will appoint, subject to approval by the Board, a member in good standing to fill such office for the balance of the term.
ARTICLE IX. FINANCES
All checks issued by the Association must be signed by 1 of the 5 Officers named in Article VI.
The Executive Board and any other person who handles funds or property of the Association 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 Association will be reimbursed by the Association 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 Association’s assets.
ARTICLE X. ELECTIONS
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 Secretary will be responsible for developing and administering procedures for a fair, democratic and orderly election of Officers and Representatives in compliance with this Constitution.
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 herself/himself 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 Association. Before the close of nominations, each nominee must submit by written hard copy or email acceptance of the nomination to the Association.
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 offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Social Ambassador 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 6 candidates for Representative with the highest total of valid votes cast win the election.
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 Association all books, papers and other property of the Association that may be in his/her possession.
ARTICLE XI. NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE
A Negotiating Committee of at least 6 members will be established in advance of any complete or partial re-opening of the collective bargaining agreement. Each Officer of the Executive Board will automatically be a member of the Negotiating Committee, provided he/she is willing and able to serve in that capacity. Representatives can be selected for the Negotiating Committee.
Except in special circumstances, no less than 2 months prior to such contract re-opener, members will be notified of the opportunity to apply to serve on the Negotiating Committee. The Board will appoint sufficient member applicants as required to establish the Negotiating Committee. The Committee will require at least one representative from each of the following programs: Medicine, Surgery and Pediatrics. There will be at least one fellow representative on the Committee.
A Chair of the Negotiating Committee will be elected by the members of the Negotiating Committee.
The Negotiating Committee will serve until the re–‐opener negotiations have concluded and a collective bargaining agreement has been approved by the Executive Board and ratified by the membership.
ARTICLE XII. RATIFICATION OF THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT
All collective bargaining agreements negotiated between the Association 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 Secretary 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.
ARTICLE XIII. COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS
Any member/employee represented by the Association who believes his/her rights or interests have been injured by the acts or omissions of any agent or officer of the Association has a right to have his/her complaint heard and decided by the Executive Board of the Association.
The complaining member will reduce his/her complaint to writing no later than 30 days after he/she knew or reasonably should have known of the facts giving rise to the complaint. The complaint will be submitted by written hard copy or email to the Association headquarters.
The President or his/her designee will review and investigate any such complaint. As soon as reasonably practicable, and no later than 60 days after receipt of any such written complaint, the complainant will have an opportunity to be heard before the Executive Board provided the complaint has not been resolved.
The Executive Board will treat any complainant in a manner that is fair and impartial. Within a reasonable time after a complainant appears before the Executive Board, the Board will provide the complainant with a written disposition of his/her complaint. Section 5. Each member has an obligation to utilize the procedures available in this Constitution in order to give the Association an opportunity to investigate, evaluate and resolve complaints regarding the acts or omissions of Officers and/or agents of the Association.
ARTICLE XIV. AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION
This Constitution may be amended as set forth in this Article, provided such amendment is consistent with the Purpose and Objects of the Association.
A proposed amendment signed by 10% of the membership may be introduced at any regular meeting of the Board. The Board also may originate a proposed amendment to this Constitution. The Board will determine if the proposed amendment qualified as consistent with the Purpose and Objects of the Association.
A copy of any proposed and qualified amendment, together with the recommendation of the Executive Board, will be provided to all members at least 30 days prior to the next membership meeting. The membership will vote on such proposed amendment at the membership meeting or, alternatively, by secret ballot contemporaneous with the membership meeting.
The proposed amendment will take effect upon approval by a majority of the voting members.
ARTICLE XV. DURATION & DISSOLUTION
The duration of the organization shall be perpetual. Upon dissolution, the assets of the organization, if any, will be distributed to its members.
AMENDMENT 1. CREATION OF THE OFFICE OF IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
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 does not have to be eligible for membership in the Association.
The Immediate Past President may elect to personally fill a seat of the Board, and in so doing this seat will be considered part of the Executive Board rather than the Board.
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.
AMENDMENT 2. PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION AND CREATION OF THE PRESIDENT-ELECT POSITION
(1) The President-elect shall be a member of the Executive Board and shall fulfill responsibilities as assigned by the current President. The President is encouraged to have the President-elect be highly involved in the management of the RFPU – NW to assist with the transition in leadership at the end of their term.
(2) Before January 1st 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 April 1st. Once ratified, the President-elect will become the President on July 1st and serve in this office until June 30th.
(4) In the event that the RFPU – NW Board fails to ratify the ascension of the President-elect, the position of President shall be included in the next round of elections and shall be open to all RFPU – NW Members in good standing. Whichever candidate obtains a simple majority vote for the position of President, they will become the President on July 1st and serve in this office until June 30th.
AMENDMENT 3. CREATION OF THE LEAD NEGOTIATOR POSITION
(1) The Lead Negotiator will serve as the Chair of the Negotiating Committee whenever this committee is formed.
(2) The Lead Negotiator will be responsible for submitting grievances as directed by the President and the Board, and will be responsible for progressing grievances along the grievance procedures as necessary.
(3) The Lead Negotiator will be the organization’s primary contact for issues that arise which involve individual members.
(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.
(5) The Lead Negotiator will be a member of the Executive Board.
AMENDMENT 4. HONORARIUM FOR KEY BOARD POSITIONS
(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. It can be difficult for residents to fulfill all the responsibilities of these key positions, thus residents fulfilling these residents will receive an honorarium in recognition of their significant time-commitment to the organization.
(2) The President shall receive an honorarium equal to 3 times the amount of the Chief Resident Supplemental Stipend as designated in the RFPU – NW-UW CBA.
(3) The Vice President, President-elect, Treasurer, and Lead Negotiator 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 5. SIZE OF BOARD
The Board will consist of the 5 Officers (Executive Board) and 6 or more Representatives (General Board). The amount of General Board members required may change from year to year and the president is responsible for determining the number of General Board member spots in a given year.
AMENDMENT 6. INCLUSION OF NON-ACGME ACCREDITED MEMBERS
If it is so decided by other means, residents and fellows belonging to non-ACGME accredited programs who meet the remainder of the requirements previously outlined in Article IV, Section 1 shall not be prohibited from joining the RFPU – NW.
AMENDMENT 7. REMOVAL OF REJOIN FEE
The outstanding fee associated with late dues payments of $100 in Article IV, section 4, will no longer apply.
AMENDMENT 8. EXPANSION OF CHECK SIGNING AUTHORITY
If an Administrator or Executive Director is appointed, this person will be empowered to sign checks on behalf of the Executive Board, named in Article VI.
AMENDMENT 9. NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE ELIGIBILITY
The negotiating committee will be open to any RFPU – NW member from any department or program. All residents and fellows are strongly encouraged to participate regardless of department or program. The restrictions on negotiation committee membership based on program will no longer apply as listed in Article XI, section 2.
AMENDMENT 10. REMOVAL OF EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER
The Executive Board reserves the right to dismiss an Executive Board member or Representative (General Board Member) should that individual be found not to be fulfilling the duties of the elected position, as determined by internal policies, enacted by a majority vote of the Executive Board. These policies will be explicated in the bylaws.
AMENDMENT 11. PENDING BENEFITS TO RECENT NON-MEMBERS
If a member has applied for a RFPU – NW benefit that is only granted to RFPU – NW members and subsequently withdraws from union membership due to request or delinquent dues, that member shall no longer be eligible for these dues-paying-member only benefits.
AMENDMENT 12. PROPOSED AMENDMENTS
A copy of any proposed and qualified amendment, together with the recommendation of the Executive Board, will be provided to all members via electronic communication. This may be provided in the form of an electronic ballot that will be open for a minimum of 2 weeks, and amendment votes may be collected via this ballot. Alternatively or in addition, the membership shall be given the opportunity to vote on such proposed amendment at a membership meeting. If this option is chosen, the membership shall still be provided with notice of the meeting and the proposed amendments 2 weeks in advance of the meeting and provided with a secret electronic ballot contemporaneous with the membership meeting.
AMENDMENT 13. DUES INCREASE
Starting in the academic year 2019-2020, after ratification of this amendment, the total amount withdrawn in dues will not exceed 0.5% of a member’s PGY-level salary per year.
AMENDMENT 14. REGULAR AND ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
Article IV is amended to include the following addendum:
Regular Members: All interns, residents, and fellows possessing M.D., D.O., D.D.S. or equivalent degrees and who are employed by the University of Washington and are part of the RFPU – NW collective bargaining unit as defined by PERC shall be eligible for membership in the Association as a Regular Member. Only active, dues paying, Regular Members may vote in elections for board members, vote on changes to the Association constitution or bylaws, and vote on ratification or changes to the CBA.
Associate Members: Any individual who does not qualify as a Regular Member, but who shows an active interest in the affairs of the RFPU – NW may be granted an associate membership by vote of the members of the Board present at any regular or special meeting. This membership will last for the remainder of the academic year. Associate members are not covered under the CBA, are not eligible to serve on the RFPU – NW Board*, vote in elections for board members, or vote on changes to the Association constitution or bylaws. *Appointment to a role such as immediate past president or Alumni board member may supersede these restrictions where specified.
AMENDMENT 15. ALUMNI BOARD MEMBERS
Article VII is amended to include the following addendum:
Alumni Board Member: An individual who is not eligible for regular membership in the Association, who has served on the RFPU – NW board for at least 1 year, may be appointed to serve on the board in an advisory role by vote by the members of the Board present Alumni Board members are not eligible to vote in board meetings, elections for board members, or ratification or changes to the CBA.
AMENDMENT 16. CREATION OF THE OFFICE OF IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
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, and in so doing this seat will be considered part of the Executive Board rather than the Board.The outgoing president must notify the board within 30 days of their term ending of their plan to assume this role. 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.