May 22, 2014
The anti-MICRA ballot measure has officially qualified for the November 2014 ballot. Drafted by trial lawyers, the ballot measure is seeking to change current law to file more medical lawsuits against health care providers. If they get their way, medical lawsuits, payouts, and insurance premiums will skyrocket. Some doctors will be driven out of the profession by high costs, leaving more people without access to care.
UAPD is part of a campaign is geared up to defeat this misguided and costly measure. As part of CAPP, UAPD has been building the capacity to defeat this dangerous initiative for the better part of a year. If you haven’t already, you can sign up directly with the campaign committee formed specifically to fight this initiative here.
May 12, 2014
The current collective bargaining agreement between UAPD and the City runs from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015. In spite of the contract being closed, two important changes have just been negotiated.
The UAPD contract has a “re-opener” clause concerning recruitment and retention. This clause dictates that if there’s a demonstrable recruitment/retention problem, the Union can bring the City to the bargaining table. UAPD easily demonstrated DPH’s inability to recruit enough COPC primary care physicians back in December. Read more …
April 28, 2014
On April 26th, more than 100 UAPD members were in attendance to watch well-known plaintiff’s attorney Bruce Fagel, M.D., J.D. square off against the California Medical Association President Richard Thorp, M.D. and others during the UAPD-sponsored CME/CE entitled “Malpractice and MICRA Reform: What Every Doctor Must Know.” Dr. Fagel presented his evidence in favor of raising the cap on non-economic damages set by MICRA in 1973, while Dr. Thorp argued that doing so would have many deleterious consequences on the practice of medicine. Attorneys Erin Muellenberg and David J. Weiss presented an overview of the current malpractice climate for physicians and dentists, respectively, and offered dozens of best practices which can help doctors avoid litigation. Attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions, and to offer their own analyses of how the legal context of medicine affects care.
March 30, 2014
UAPD members elected six delegates (Stuart A. Bussey, M.D., J.D., Ernest W. Fessler, D.D.S., Ronald Lewis, M.D., L. Lee Nelson, M.D., Alice Faye Singleton, M.D., and Robert W. Starr, D.D.S.) to attend the AFSCME PEOPLE Convention in Sacramento in mid-March. The PEOPLE program is the lobbying and political fundraising apparatus of AFSCME, the international union with which UAPD is affiliated; their convention is held every year in California.
At this year’s convention, the delegates heard from AFSCME President Lee Saunders and many others about the political challenges that public employees will face in the coming year. It probably comes as no surprise that public workers continue to be scapegoated and that retirement benefits are still under attack. Having learned that UAPD was lagging behind in the number of people who contribute to the AFCME PEOPLE fund, the delegates sent a letter to members encouraging them to support the program. More than 50 doctors responded by becoming PEOPLE contributors at the MVP level, a very strong response. Those interested in signing up as PEOPLE MVPs can still contact the UAPD Oakland office (1-800-622-0909).
March 15, 2014
UAPD Members in Los Angeles County Bargaining Unit 325 (Dentists and Psychiatrists) overwhelmingly ratified a agreement reached by the negotiating team on February 20, 2014. The 18 month agreement includes three across-the-board pay increases of 2% each. In addition, psychiatrist pay will now follow the physician pay scale, which has 20 steps instead of 13. The agreement also provides legal representation to those responding to Medical and Dental Board inquires, and enhances health benefit plans. In total, the value of the salary and benefits of BU 325 members will increase between 6% and 16% over the 18 months of this agreement.