Negotiations Update 7/12/16

"In five years, I see myself with the same job title, about the same salary, and significantly more responsibilities."

Welcome all new UWHA Members!

As many of you are aware, for the Fall of 2014 we formed a union and for the last 18 months we have been engaged in bargaining over the terms of our first contract. It's been slow and contentious at times. At first UW refused just about everything we proposed. With the support of residents, faculty, the Seattle City Council, other unions, and the public we have persevered. 

It's been a long time, but we have made substantial progress in recent months and we are now quite close to a contract. Here's what the new contract is likely to include:

  • A 3% salary increase - effective immediately with 3% annual increases for the next two years
  • All residents get paid on the PGY scale (not NIH scale) and research years in residency/fellowship will count towards the PGY level. This will mean immediate salary increased for some residents.
  • Transportation/parking stipend - $750 per year
  • Housing/home call stipend - $900-1150 per year
  • Reimbursement for WA state medical licenses and USMLE Step III - worth up to $1321 per year
  • A minimum $350 education stipend though individual residency programs will be encouraged to continue to provide larger stipends 
  • A small amount ($50,000 shared for all residents) towards childcare 
  • A small amount towards bike maintenance for residents who commute by bike
  • A just cause provision to prevent residents from being fired without cause
  • Additional leave for residents with serious medical issues
  • A grievance procedure to address changes in working conditions

To be clear, this is progress from where we started but it remains far from perfect. Even with this contract UW's proposed home-call/housing stipend is far less than our peer institutions. UW refuses to offer paid maternity leave, even though many other residencies offer this. $50,000 doesn't do much to fix the problems with childcare (we estimate that UW would need to spend much more to make a dent). 

What does this mean for you? Once the final contract is negotiated we will bring it all the residents for approval. If you vote by majority to ratify it, it will go into effect immediately. For some residents this will mean a more than 15% raise! For others it will be more like 5%. Our hope is that for residents who are struggling this new contract will make it easier to pay the rent, commute to work, and put food on the table. 

Stay tuned for more updates soon.