March 16, 2012
Local state legislators have sent a letter to Department of Mental Health requesting a moratorium on employee layoffs at state psychiatric hospitals, including Napa State Hospital.
In their March 8 letter, the state legislators told Department of Mental Health Director Cliff Allenby that “massive layoffs” didn’t make sense at a time when the state hospitals have serious safety problems.
Read full story in the Napa Valley Register
View Select Committee Letter to Allenby 3-8-12
March 9, 2012
Dickinson, a former state lawyer whose Sacramento district has a higher concentration of state employees than any other Assembly member’s, argues that his bill would take “full advantage of employee expertise.”
State employees cost less and perform at a higher level, Dickinson said, compared with contractors who charge more for their services.
“My experience is that employees of an organization tend to be more dedicated than contractors,” Dickinson said. “Plus, management has more direct and discreet control (over state employees).”
Read full story in The Sacramento Bee.
February 22, 2012
On February 21, 2012 the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on State Administration held an oversight hearing on the contracting out of State work. UAPD President Dr. Stuart Bussey presented testimony about why contracting out of doctor services presents a problem for all Californians. Dr. Bussey presented evidence that:
Even with full benefits and a State retirement contribution of 18% there is still a monetary savings of about 29% that comes from using civil servant doctors.
He also argued that:
Another troubling State liability regarding contracted employees is that they could demand to be granted retroactive service credits, benefits, even pensions, if they were to seek legal reclassification as civil service employees.
Dr. Bussey presented a list of solutions that included passing the UAPD-sponsored Public Employee Bill of Rights (AB 1655), directing more effort towards recruitment and retention of civil servants, and limiting the circumstances and time period for which a contractor can be used.
Download Dr. Bussey’s Testimony (pdf)
February 13, 2012
“One of the goals for the Public Employee’s Bill of Rights is to mirror the government’s guarantee for a swift trial to its citizens. Another important goal of the bill is to reduce contracting out and achieve the most efficient business model for our cash-strapped state,” says Dr. Stuart Bussey, MD, JD, President of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists.
Read Press Release: Bill of Rights by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento)
Read article in Sacramento Bee
February 9, 2012
Beleaguered by fundraising problems and questions about the viability of its proposals, California Pension Reform shut down its efforts.
Read full article at Group suspends California public pension reform ballot effort - | Sacramento Bee.
February 1, 2012
If lower wages and reduced pensions make it difficult for the public sector to attract these highly skilled workers, the state will either have to contract out this vital work or cede it to the private sector where wages (and thus costs) are higher. Contracting out is particularly expensive.
Read full article at Pension-cutting plans on ballot promise savings but don’t deliver | Sacramento Bee.
January 30, 2012
The governor’s plan doesn’t go far enough,” said Dan Pellissier, president of California Pension Reform, a group led by former state officials that is proposing a ballot measure to rein in pensions further.
Read full article “Clamor grows to rein in California pension benefits” in the Los Angeles Times
October 9, 2011
Michael Allen’s AB 366 streamlines the process for providing involuntary medications to PC 1370s. UAPD sponsored the bill as part of its campaign to improve safety within the State Department of Mental Health. The bill benefited from the active support of UAPD members like Dr. Patricia Tyler, who was instrumental in writing language for the bill and lobbying for its passage. Drs. Richard Frishman and Scott Sutherland joined her in testifying in support of the bill, which was signed into law by Governor Brown, whose signing message can be read here.
Other UAPD-Sponsored Bills: Read more …
September 10, 2011
In a victory for UAPD members working at Department of Mental Health (DMH) facilities, one of the bills sponsored by UAPD to address the violence problem there has passed both the Assembly and Senate and now awaits a signature from the governor. Many UAPD members, particularly those working at Napa State Hospital, have actively lobbied for the passage of this bill.
From the Napa Valley Register:
“A bill that would streamline the process of providing involuntary medications to hospital patients who refuse treatment passed the state Assembly on Thursday. Assembly bill 366 by Assembly member Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa will improve safety at Napa State Hospital and other state facilities for both patients and staff, his office said…
The legislation “does not erode any current due process rights for patients, and, in fact, adds a periodic court review of medication orders, a protection patients don’t currently have,” Allen said.”