November 26, 2014
Each year the AFSCME Family Scholarship Program provides ten $2,000 scholarships to high school seniors, which will be renewed for a maximum of four years. Children of UAPD members are welcome to apply. Applications must be post-marked by December 31, 2014. More details and and the application can be found online.
November 13, 2014
UAPD held its annual statewide membership meeting in Sacramento on October 25th. Click here to see photos. In addition to the meeting, there was a productive board meeting the evening before, a fascinating ethics CME Saturday morning, and a steward training in the afternoon. The Sanford A. Marcus Service Award and a proclamation from the City of San Francisco were presented to Dr. Deborah Brown, a City and County of San Francisco physician and UAPD Executive Board Member. As Dr. Bussey wrote in a recent UAPD Pulse, “One of the most important outcomes of the weekend was the initiation of our strategic planning committee. Over the next few months we will incorporate our UAPD business plan into a broader strategic action plan. Every successful organization needs self assessment and concrete goals, and UAPD is no exception. Our union memories of past growth and accomplishment must be balanced with vision and direction for future success.”
November 13, 2014
UAPD has filed Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges against the University of California (UC) for unilaterally increasing doctors’ pension contributions after saying they would not, among other things. It has become evident that UC’s bad faith bargaining is making it impossible to reach a fair agreement at the negotiating table. After nine months of negotiations, 33 bargaining sessions, and serious effort on the part of the UAPD team, doctors still have not reached an agreement with UC. While nurses’, medical assistants’, and other workers’ pay will increase up to 30% under their current contracts, UC insists that it can afford to offer doctors no more than 12% in raises over an even longer period of time (5 fiscal years). This is despite the fact that UC’s own salary data show that the overwhelming majority of student health center doctors earn well below the market rate for physicians. It is difficult to recruit and retain talented doctors, especially at the campuses where salaries are $40,000 below the California median for student health physicians.
In light of UC’s unfair labor practices and their effect on bargaining, doctors have been discussing taking action. Now the time has come to make a decision. Between November 17th and November 21st, UAPD-represented doctors will vote on whether or not to grant the UAPD Bargaining Team authority to call a strike if necessary. Details have been sent to UAPD-represented doctors that have provided contact information to UAPD. All others can contact the UAPD office (1-800-622-0909) to join the mailing list and learn about the time and location of the meeting and vote on their campus.
October 27, 2014
By Stuart A. Bussey, M.D., J.D., UAPD President
If they pass, Propositions 45 and 46 will amount to nothing but trouble for doctors. Take Proposition 45. Up to this point California’s insurance rates have been regulated by an independent commission. Prop 45 would shift that awesome power to one political figure, the Insurance Commissioner. He or she would undoubtedly become the pressure point from a variety of political and special interest sources. From a human and organizational perspective this model is unfair and unstable. In the health care insurance arena carriers are already restricted by the ACA to 20% administrative fees. Anything more than 20% must revert back to patient services. Under Prop 45 Covered California, which arduously negotiated rates for millions of lives, might have to reboot all their negotiations. But from the strictly self-serving perspective of doctors, the biggest danger of 45 is the probable reduction in our reimbursements. This would undoubtedly occur if rates to health plans were ratcheted downward.
As for Proposition 46 you probably have already heard all the arguments against it in the media or in our Spring UAPD CME. That it is a money grab by trial attorneys that will pad their pockets via more frivolous lawsuits. That higher malpractice awards will spawn higher insurance premiums for both patients and doctors. It could drive specialists out of practice. That the random drug testing policies under Prop 46 are capricious and potentially mischievous. That the mandatory use of the CURES database would be cumbersome, expensive and potentially compromise patient privacy. There are other, more practical ways to provide consumers medical care at lower cost, as well as restitution for bad outcomes. These two propositions, as written, are a null set.
October 18, 2014
Gardner providers had their first E/PERC Committee meeting on October 16, 2014. Union members and management came together to discuss several issues impacting providers’ schedules and workloads. This E/PERC shall be an ongoing committee between labor and management, which will convene to address Medicine, Dental, and Optometry. The first meeting focused on Medicine’s scheduling templates, work flow, and best practices. Read more …