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.


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

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. 


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. 

2021 Constitutional Amendment Election Results

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.”

Approve: 95.63%
Rejected: 1.46%
Abstain: 2.91%

Amend Article IV. Membership

“Article IV amended:

Sections 3 and 4 of article IV are struck. Subsequent sections of Article IV are renumbered accordingly.”

Approve: 95.1%
Reject: 0.49%
Abstain: 4.41%

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.”

Approve: 94.1%
Reject: 0.97%
Abstain: 4.85%

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.”

Approve: 92.68%
Reject: 1.46%
Abstain: 5.85%

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.”

Approve: 93.66%
Reject: 1.46%
Abstain: 4.88%

Amend Article VIII. Vacancies

“Article VIII. amended:

Section 1.

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.

Section 2.

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.”

Approve: 92.72%
Reject: 2.43%
Abstain: 4.85%

Amend Article IX. Finances

“Article IX. amended:

Section 1.

All checks issued by the Union must be signed by an Executive Board Officer, named in Article VI.

Section 2.

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.

Section 3.

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.

Section 4.

The Executive Board is responsible for ensuring the financial security of the Union’s assets.

Section 5.

The Executive Director will be empowered to sign checks on behalf of the Executive Board, named in Article VI.”

Approve: 92.23%
Reject: 1.46%

Amend Article X. Elections

“Article X amended:

Section 1.

Officers will be elected by secret electronic ballot of the membership. All Members in good standing are eligible for office.

Section 2.

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.

Section 3.

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. 

Section 4.

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.

Section 5.

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.

Section 6.

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.

Section 7.

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.

Section 8.

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.”

Section 9.

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.”

Approve: 94.66%
Reject: 0.97%
Abstain: 4.37

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.”

Approve: 95.07%
Reject: 0.99%
Abstain: 3.94%

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.”

Approve: 95.61%
Reject: 0.98%
Abstain: 3.41%

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.”

Approve: 87.8%
Reject: 5.37%
Abstain: 6.83%

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).”

Approve: 82.84%
Reject: 11.67%
Abstain: 5.39%

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.”

Approve: 91.67%
Reject: 1.96%
Abstain: 6.37%

Amendment. Gender Neutral Language

“All references to he/her or his/hers shall be modified to read their or theirs, respectively.”

Approve: 89.76%
Reject: 5.37%
Abstain: 4.88%

Workshop: Caring for Patients Who Are Incarcerated

The Care of Incarcerated Patients Task Force is excited to announce an upcoming workshop on caring for patients who are incarcerated or otherwise involved with law enforcement in the UW Medicine system. The purpose of this session is to train residents and fellows in how best to advocate and care for patients in the ED, inpatient setting, OR, and clinics, including how to navigate working with police and guards and dealing with forensic restraints, issues of privacy and consent, involving family in care, and other important topics. 

The workshop will be put on by Dr. Marc Stern and Dr. Lara Strick and will take place on Saturday March 20th from 9am-12pm via zoom. It will also be recorded. If you are interested in joining or would like us to send you the recording, please register here.



Dr. Marc F. Stern, MD, MPH is an Internal Medicine physician, Affiliate Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington and Clinical Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Albany. He is an expert and consultant in Correctional Health Care and served as the Assistant Secretary for Health Services for the Washington State Department of Corrections.

Dr. Lara B. Strick, MD, MS is an Infectious Disease physician and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington. She works at Harborview Medical Center treating patients with HIV as well as for the Washington State Department of Corrections seeing patients with viral hepatitis and HIV. She is also co-chair of the state prison system’s Infection Prevention Program and works for the Mountain West AIDS Education & Training Center as the Corrections Program Director. 

Reminder: Constitutional Amendment Election Closes at midnight on 2/28/21

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

Grievance Win: Chief Resident Stipends

For the past three years, psychiatry department leadership has made various attempts to avoid paying all chief residents their monthly stipend. This has never sat right with residents. This year, RFPU was enlisted to advocate for psychiatry residents and hold the employer accountable to our contract. In late January, the formal grievance process was pursued to prevent stipend withholding from future classes. Due to the requirements of the grievance process, the RFPU grievance team was able to enforce that psychiatry department leadership work with GME to update their policy and provide a written guarantee to pay all current and future psychiatry chief residents their full stipend. This is a huge success! 

Thank you to the psychiatry residents who reached out to us and advocated for their peers!

If your program is withholding chief resident stipends (regardless of FTE), please reach out to let us know. All chief residents are guaranteed $175/month.