San Francisco is pushing all unions to make concessions, and most are bringing the City’s latest plan to members for ratification.
As a cost saving measure, in early March Mayor Gavin Newsom proposed laying off thousands of City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) employees, then rehiring them to work shortened schedules. After a massive outcry, the City postponed the layoff plan and began meeting with City unions to find an alternative. UAPD met with CCSF on March 29th and was offered the same plan already agreed to by other unions. It called for rescinding the original plan for shortened workweeks, and replacing it with 24 full furlough days to be taken over the course of two years (12 days in each fiscal year).
Unlike the other unions who have tentatively agreed to this deal, UAPD has a closed contract with the City through June 30, 2011, so opening the contract to make concessions would be purely voluntary. The UAPD Bargaining Team has opted to collect information on the costs and benefits of the City’s proposal to UAPD members. One consideration is that furloughing doctors would have a negative impact on City revenues, since doctors will not be able to bill for those days. Also, many doctors may choose to retire after this fiscal year, which could create enough of a cost savings through attrition. Lastly, the City made clear that accepting the deal would not rescind “hard wired” layoffs – those that are due to reductions in department budgets – so until “re-hire” notices are sent, it is not clear what part of the bargaining unit is still facing layoff under the plan. UAPD is waiting for the City to provide more information before deciding whether or not to re-open the contract for concessions.
While the City may go ahead and implement their original plan of reducing 40 hour work weeks to 37.5 hours for the UAPD bargaining unit, most San Francisco doctors work a part time schedule, and the Mayor’s intent in implementing the restructuring plan was to maintain employees’ benefit levels. It is not clear how part-time doctors would see their hours reduced.