August 27, 2015
All UAPD members are encouraged to come to San Francisco this October 23-24 for the UAPD Triennial Convention and free continuing education class. All events will take place at the Westin St. Francis Hotel (MAP), located on Union Square in the heart of San Francisco. Register for the meetings online by clicking here.
What is the Triennial Convention?
As required by the UAPD bylaws, every three years the Union holds a statewide meeting that brings together UAPD members and elected delegates from all sectors. This meeting, called the Triennial Convention, will take place on Saturday, October 24, 2015. At the Triennial, there will be a review and analysis of Union activities that have taken place since the last Triennial. Attendees will also make, discuss, and vote on motions to set the Union’s direction for the next three years.
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August 27, 2015
Deparment of Health Services managers in Los Angeles County issued a memo saying that the 2015 pharmacist competence assessment has been temporarily suspended while DHS works to improve the process for next year. This is great news, and a fitting reward for all the work pharmacists have done over the last year and a half!
When talking to UAPD, Los Angeles County Pharmacists were clear that their number one problem was the competence assessment exam. They told UAPD that the test was poorly designed and did not fairly measure pharmacy skills. Yet managers were in a position to discipline and fire people based on the results. The County did not give pharmacists sufficient time for study, nor did they properly compensate them for time spent preparing. Pharmacists said the Guild never truly conveyed your level of dissatisfaction with the test to management.
UAPD heard that message loud and clear. For months UAPD staff and pharmacist leaders met with Los Angeles County management and elected leaders conveying exactly that message. Those managers now agree that there are better methods for ensuring that pharmacists are competent and that patients receive high quality pharmaceutical care. The County will stop the test for now and continue working with UAPD pharmacists to develop alternative forms of assessment for the future. UAPD staff and pharmacy leaders will continue to communicate with members about the form that the new assessment process should take.
August 12, 2015
On August 11th the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of integrating the existing health care departments into a single agency. More than 25 UAPD members, doctors and pharmacists, testified in favor of integration before the vote took place. Many more took time to write letters to the Supervisors and sign petitions in favor of the integration.
UAPD believes that all members in Los Angeles County stand to benefit from integration. A single agency is better for County workers, patients, and the bottom line — it is simply a good idea.
However, the integration plan faced opposition, most of which was organized by outside contractors who fear that their business with the County will decrease if services are brought together under one agency staffed by permanent County employees. There were hundreds of people on hand at the meeting who opposed the plan. But the County Board of Supervisors also heard from from UAPD members about the benefits of integration. Doctors and pharmacists gave dozens of concrete examples of how integration can improve patient care while saving money.
This was the first time that the Los Angeles County physician unit, dentist and psychiatrist unit, and pharmacist unit were able to join forces to achieve a goal. But it won’t be the last — we are sure that there will be many more opportunities for these UAPD members to work together in the future.
July 20, 2015
After 16 months of negotiations that included 53 bargaining sessions and two strikes, doctors at the UC Student Health Centers settled their first contract with the University of California in June. Doctors ratified the agreement on July 20th. While it was a long and difficult negotiation, the team won language that will significantly improve conditions for all UC doctors. All doctors’ pay will increase by at least 7.1% within two weeks of ratification. Moreover, the doctors succeeded in making their first raise retroactive to last year, regaining the money that was on hold while negotiations were ongoing. The contract also set a new minimum salary and brought all doctors up to that level, with retroactivity to last year. UC had long resisted setting a minimum salary for current employees and making the initial raises retroactive. However, doctors showed a steadfastness throughout this long process that convinced UC they had no choice.
In addition to the economic improvements, the TA contains language to help doctors navigate the increasingly difficult campus health environment. For one, the large number of “contract” physicians who were working half-time or more have now been made permanent “career” employees with all the benefits and protections that includes. As unionized workers, all doctors will have protections against unfair discipline or dismissal, as well as a strong grievance procedure to make sure all of the contract terms are enforced. Doctors will also be able to call regular meetings with health center management to discuss problems before they get out of hand. All in all, the Agreement is a very positive first step for student health and counseling center doctors.
July 15, 2015
Where: Congregation Beth Israel Judea, 625 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco (MAP).
When: Sunday, August 2, from 2 pm to 5 pm.
On July 14th, Dr. Deborah (Beth) Brown, San Francisco County physician and long-time secretary of the UAPD Board, passed away. As a leader in this union, she was known for her deep commitment to serving patients. She advocated tirelessly so that doctors would be able to provide the best possible care under every circumstance. At the statewide meeting last year, she received the Sanford A. Marcus Service Award and a proclamation from the City of San Francisco in recognition of her many years of service to the community and this union. At their next meeting, the UAPD Board will discuss ways to honor Dr. Brown’s memory and her contributions to the union over the years.
Here is a message from her family: Read more …