State Bargaining Update for April 9, 2009

Negotiations between the UAPD Bargaining Team and representatives from the State of California took place as scheduled on April 7, 2009. As of this date, several proposals have been agreed to, but because major issues remain unresolved, bargaining will continue. The next bargaining session will be held on May 5, 2009.

The UAPD Bargaining Team has made clear that our doctors deserve furlough and holiday language that is equal to that offered to other state workers. We have proposed a limit of seventeen furlough days (equivalent to one per month during the course of the program) and the creation of two floating holidays to compensate for the reduction in holiday time. The State has not yet responded to this proposal.

There has been some progress at the table. The State has signed off on new, UAPD-proposed language governing discipline. Once the contract is ratified, the State must notify the Union upon launching an investigation of any Doctor, then update the Union every 90 days for as long as the investigation remains open. This language will help the Union offer timely assistance to all Doctors, even those who may not be aware of their rights. This TA joins other language agreed to over the summer. Both sides at that time agreed to UAPD’s proposal to make rest periods an entitlement for doctors, rather than something that a doctor “may” receive. UAPD also won language that states that unpaid leaves “shall not be unreasonably denied.” Under this new language, the granting of brakes and of unpaid leaves will not be left solely to the discretion of individual managers.

In an unexpected turn of events, the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA) is now challenging CalPERS over its rejection of a recent agreement between UAPD and the DPA. In a previous bargaining session, the DPA agreed with UAPD’s position that bonuses earned by Department of Social Services (DSS) Medical Consultants should count toward their pensions; the DPA soon after issued a pay letter reflecting that fact. Now comes word that CalPERS believes such bonuses are not pensionable. The DPA is in discussions with CalPERS to rectify the situation in favor of these doctors, and UAPD stands ready to intervene legally against CalPERS if the DPA is not able to persuade them of the legitimacy of our agreement. We will keep members, DSS doctors especially, informed of what comes out of these talks.

Both sides will bargain again on May 5, and an update will follow. As always, please contact your steward or local UAPD office with questions.