The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) Bargaining Team met with representatives from the State of California for the first bargaining session on Wednesday, June 4. Representing the doctors were:
Dr. Georgia Thomatos, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Dr. Stuart Bussey, Department of Social Services
Dr. Bryan Quattlebaum, Department of Health Care Services
Dr. Mubashir Farooqi, Department of Mental Health
Dr. Cuong Nghiem, Department of Developmental Services
John Murillo, UAPD Southern California Regional Administrator
Zegory Williams, UAPD Senior Representative, Chief Negotiator
Al Groh, UAPD Executive Director
Much of the day was spent discussing ways to improve working conditions for state doctors, and our team covered many issues that doctors have raised. The UAPD team proposed language that would provide doctors with mandatory rest periods and language to extend the notice given for layoffs from 30 to 90 days. Both sides engaged in discussions of several key issues, including the negative impact of increased paperwork requirements, the need to focus on quality rather than quantity of care, and the possibility of 3-12 hour shifts and voluntary personal leave for doctors. The UAPD team requested information about the funding behind the Continuing Medical Education (CME) program, and emphasized the need to streamline the process through which doctors are reimbursed for CME. Dr. Bussey grilled the representatives of the State with two pages of questions about the budget for DHS and DSS doctors, in order to make the point that such doctors can and should be given salary equity with other state doctors, even in the context of state budget cuts. Our team also requested information about the number of contractors occupying posted bargaining unit jobs. The information that we requested, which the State is obligated to provide, will inform our later proposals around these issues.
So far, the State’s proposals were limited to cleaning up existing contract language.
Seven additional bargaining sessions have been scheduled over the next six weeks. Look for an update after our next bargaining session on June 18.