State of California Doctors


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Bargaining Update 6/1/16

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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Bargaining Update for BU 16 for 5/24/16

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 …

BU 16 Bargaining Update 5/12/16

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 …

UAPD Lobbies Against UC Pension Attacks

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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BU 16 Bargaining Update 4/21/16

April 21, 2016

Today was the first day of Bargaining Unit 16 negotiations. After introductions, both sides agreed to the ground rules that will govern this round of bargaining.

Prior to the start of negotiations, Chief Negotiator Nereyda Rivera requested several types of information that the team will need to conduct bargaining. For example, we requested the number of vacancies by classification, department and institution, the names of doctors affected by the PEPRA pension cuts, and various kinds of leave reports. Today Principal Labor Relations Officer Candace Murch provided much of the information that we requested, and the team will review what was provided for completeness. The team also requested additional information from the State at this meeting.

Both sides agreed to roll over three articles for which we have no new proposals. Bargaining will continue next week at the UAPD office in Sacramento. Stay tuned for future updates.

First Day Update: State BU 16 Bargaining

April 21, 2016

April 21st was the first day of Bargaining Unit 16 negotiations.  After introductions, both sides agreed to the ground rules that will govern this round of bargaining.

Prior to the start of negotiations, Chief Negotiator Nereyda Rivera requested several types of information that the team will need to conduct bargaining.  For example, we requested the number of vacancies by classification, department and institution, the names of doctors affected by the PEPRA pension cuts, and various kinds of leave reports.  Today Principal Labor Relations Officer Candace Murch provided much of the information that we requested, and the team will review what was provided for completeness.  The team also requested additional information from the State at this meeting.

Both sides agreed to roll over three articles for which we have no new proposals.  Bargaining will continue next week at the UAPD office in Sacramento.  Stay tuned for future updates.

State BU 16 Bargaining Slated to Begin

April 16, 2016

Negotiations for the next State Bargaining Unit 16 contract are scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 21st.  Meetings will take place on a weekly basis to start, and updates will be sent to UAPD members regularly.

More than 500 UAPD members took the time to complete the bargaining survey.  The responses are being closely reviewed by the UAPD team and will be used to craft proposals.  Doctors also wrote tens of thousands of comments, too many to include here, detailing specific areas in need of improvement.  Some of the most common demands in the survey were:

  • Salary increases sufficient to recruit and retain high quality doctors
  • Parity pay for those classes of State doctors that have fallen behind their peers
  • Protect the right of State doctors, as professionals, to work free of timekeeping devices
  • Protect the right of State doctors to exercise professional judgement
  • Resume Medical Officer of the Day (MOD) in departments where it was discontinued
  • Protect and expand alternate work schedule options
  • Increase CE/CME reimbursement, protect doctors’ right to choose activities, and clarify travel time language
  • Do more for new employees, starting with greater transparency about salary and benefits during the hiring process.  Take steps to offset the PEPRA pension cuts.
  • Call — Increase on-call pay, define scope of call, and ensure that carrying an EHR-enabled laptop is not a requirement
  • Limit State to reasonable use of telemedicine and telepsychiatry, and introduce language to protect bargaining unit doctors doing that work
  • Protect unit jobs against contracting out

The UAPD team will give voice to these important issues, and many others, over the coming months. Your 2016 Negotation Team consists of:

Ron Lewis, M.D. – CCHCS/CDCR
Mubashir Farooqi, M.D. – DSH
Brian Kennedy, D.D.S. – DHCS
Pitr Conroy, M.D. – DDS
Keith Quint, M.D. – DSS
Stuart Bussey, M.D., J.D., UAPD President
Nereyda Rivera, Chief Negotiator
Zegory A. Williams, Executive Director
Sue Wilson, Business and Communications Director
Glynnis Golden Ortiz, Labor Representative

 

Meet President Saunders at Tang Center

April 13, 2016

AFSCME President Lee Saunders traveled around the Bay Area talking to union members about their jobs. President Saunders met with University of California Student Health Doctors, UAPD President Stuart A. Bussey, M.D., and UAPD staff at the International House on the UC Berkeley Campus. This was a great opportunity to bring doctor issues directly to the President of a 1.4 million member union.  UAPD is a proud affiliate of AFSCME, which provided a great deal of support during UC doctors strike.

New SEPA Board Elected

March 29, 2016

The State Employed Physicians Association (SEPA) nominating committee nominated a slate of doctors to be the SEPA Officers and At Large Board of Director members for a two year term.  SEPA is an advisory Local Union for the Union of American Physicians and Dentists.  Because no further nominations were submitted, the following candidates have been elected to the SEPA Board of Directors.

Officers – Elected

  • President-Elect Erika P. Wartena, M.D. (DSH)
  • Secretary Pitr G. Conroy, M.D. (DDS)

In accordance with the constitution and bylaws, President-Elect Melissa D. Primus, D.D.S., will become SEPA President in April.

At Large Board of Directors – Elected 

  • Lynne S. Alper, M.D. (UC)
  • Hani A. Benyamin, M.D. (DSH)
  • Robert A. Bitonte, M.D., J.D. (DSS)
  • Marcia Ehinger, M.D. (DHS)
  • Kay Gamo, M.D. (CSU)
  • Paul Malarik, Jr., M.D. (CDCR)
  • Keith Quint, M.D. (DSS)
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Progress Made on Pension Overcharge Issue in BU 16

February 8, 2016

Last year Union members alerted UAPD that the State has been deducting too much for the employee pension contribution for some State of California BU 16 doctors (who joined CalPERS after January 1, 2013 and are thus subject to a cap on pensionable salary).  You can read the original email to get a full description of the problem.

To resolve the problem, UAPD staffers and a Bargaining Unit 16 physician met with Richard Gillihan, Director of CalHR, who also sits on the CalPERS Board.  UAPD also discussed the problem with the State Controller’s Office, whose office programs payroll deductions and issues state employees’ pay.

As a result of UAPD’s efforts, significant progress has been made on fixing this serious problem.  Since November, hundreds of bargaining unit doctors have received refunds for their over-payments, totaling more than 5 million dollars.  The SCO has agreed to create an automated process to stop salary deductions above the PEPRA cap in the future.  Their plan is to begin work on the project in July 2016 and complete it by July 2017.  The SCO will continue issuing refund checks while the automated system is being built.

However, there are still additional issues that the union is addressing.  The union requires a more transparent accounting of how the refund checks were calculated for each affected member, and needs external verification that all affected members have received refunds.  The union filed a class action grievance over these issues today. We also believe that the State has a responsibility to create the automated system on the tightest possible deadline, which should be shorter than one year.

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