State Bargaining Update for May 6, 2009

The UAPD Bargaining Team met again with representatives from the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA) on Tuesday, May 5th. The state countered our on-call proposal, offering language that would prevent a doctor from having to work seven consecutive on-call days and would separate dentist and psychiatrist call from physician call. The state rejected the remainder of our proposal, including our call for increased on-call compensation. The DPA also rejected UAPD’s proposal for an improved bonus plan for Department of Social Service (DSS) doctors. Because this bargaining session did not result in an agreement, more dates have been scheduled, reaching into June.

As you know, the pace of negotiations has been frustratingly slow, not only for UAPD, but for all the unions representing state workers in California. The one union that did sign an agreement at the bargaining table has already seen that agreement rejected by the legislature. Unions that remain in negotiations, including UAPD, AFSCME, IUOP and CCPOA, have begun meeting together to explore joint strategies for making the state reach agreements with its workers. Together we are pushing for meetings with legislators who we believe could lead the state out of its current holding pattern.

As these efforts continue, the UAPD Bargaining Team remains committed to reaching the best possible agreement, and refuses to rush into any contract that would be detrimental to state doctors and their patients. The patience, trust, and support of the overwhelming majority of UAPD members have been key to our team’s steady approach in these negotiations. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to call a steward, officer, or staff member of UAPD.

In other news, an agreement between UAPD and the DPA to consider as pensionable the bonus pay earned by Department of Social Service (DSS) doctors was challenged last month by Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) officials. After discussions with PERS, UAPD believes their decision is based on a faulty understanding of the bonus program. UAPD attorneys are gathering evidence to demonstrate that the bonus pogram does fulfill all PERS criteria for inclusion in the pension system, and will deliver that evidence soon. Stay tuned.