June 1, 2016
Four members came to bargaining today to discuss the lack of parity between Physician Surgeons from the Department of State Hospitals and those doing the same work within the Department of Corrections. The presenters were Hossein Akhavan, MD (Atascadero), Dr. Ali Akhavan, M.D. (Napa), Dr. Teneese Nguyen (Metropolitan), and Dr. Stephanie Nguyen (Patton). UAPD followed the presentation with a proposal that DSH Physician and Surgeons receive a pay increase to bring them to 95% of what CDCR pays for the same position.
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May 24, 2016
Last week the State made a presentation on OPEB, Other Post-Employment Benefits. OPEB are the benefits other than pension that retired workers receive from the employer, such as retiree health benefits. The State provided data indicating $436 million in unfunded liability for the retiree health benefits for our unit. They have proposed raising the prefunding contribution to 1% of salary next year (from 0.5% currently) and 1.4% the following year. Under their proposal, the State would be contributing an equivalent amount to the retiree health benefit fund. For new employees, the State also wants to introduce a vesting schedule for health and dental benefits, so that the State would pay 50% of benefits for those who retiree with 15 years of seniority and 100% of benefits for those with 25 years. For new employees, the State also wants decrease the amount the State will pay towards Medicare supplemental plans. The presenter argued that changes are necessary to make the retirement health program economically stable, but UAPD has questions about whether the costs they are projecting are truly realistic. We also know that cutting the benefits for future employees will make recruitment more difficult. Read more …
May 12, 2016
At today’s meeting with the State, we continued to discuss their responses to our information requests. Their Chief Negotiator clarified which of the dozens of reports they have provided gives the clearest picture of the vacancy rate in our unit, an important issue when we begin to discuss recruitment and retention of doctors.
The UAPD team raised our concerns about new mechanisms of investigating doctors that seem to violate the terms of our contract. Some managers claim that doctors facing “administrative reviews” or “audits” are not being “investigated,” so they are not subject to the protections in Article 12.2. Others say that investigations done by certain outside or internal units can proceed without regard to that contractual language. Next week we will continue listing our objections to this change in practice, and later this month the State will bring representatives from DSH and CDCR to present information and answer our questions. Read more …
May 11, 2016
Due to the strength and unity of UAPD NEVHC members, the midterm bargaining team won the establishment of a new salary scale for providers. The comprehensive grid incorporates substantial salary increases for all UAPD members at NEVHC, ranging from 9% to 23% cumulatively.
The UAPD team worked hard on this, meeting regularly, often weekly, with management for the past several months on behalf of all members. This tremendous achievement was accomplished by a diverse group of members working together, as a team, on unpaid time outside of their clinic hours. This group of remarkable providers is committed to ensuring just and fair working conditions and compensation, while equally committed to always providing the best, safest patient care.
This historic achievement is remarkable not only because it represents an unprecedented mid-contract salary increase for every classification, but because it establishes a salary scale for the first time at NEVHC. The salary scale is based on years of clinical experience.
April 22, 2016
On Wednesday April 20, UAPD joined AFSCME 3299, the California Nurses’ Association, and the Teamsters in a united lobbying effort against a proposed attack on the University of California pension. Ten teams of employees and staff met with 54 legislators and key staffers, explaining the problem and urging them to sign a letter demanding that UC’s proposition 2 funding for fiscal year 2016-2017 be contingent on elimination of the 401(k) opt-out. Since the Assembly Speaker, Senate President, and Lt. Governor all signed letters opposing the opt-out, we are hopeful that with continued pressure, the legislature will agree to compel UC to do the right thing.
UAPD members will remember that the Coalition of UC Unions strongly oppose UC president Janet Napolitano’s Task Force’s recommendation to introduce caps on pensionable salary for all employees hired on or after July 1, 2016. You can read the emails describing those efforts and see UAPD President Stuart Bussey’s testimony here: January 15 email and January 29 email.
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