On October 22nd and 23rd, more than 150 UAPD members came together in San Diego for the 2010 UAPD Statewide Annual Meetings. This year, the number of annual meetings expanded to five, with separate sessions being held for doctors from State Bargaining Unit 16, California State University, the Counties and Clinics, Private Practice, and Retirees.
Members from every sector enjoyed the latest offering from the UAPD Continuing Medical Education Program, entitled “Doctor-Patient Communication and Privacy: New Laws and Technologies.” The program’s five speakers, Stuart A. Bussey M.D. J.D., Ronald Bortman, M.D., Karin Zaner, J.D., Shannon Garrigan, M.D., and David Keulen, M.D., each presented a unique perspective on how things like electronic health records and telemedicine were transforming the work of doctors, both for better and for worse. For the first time, some of the material presented during the CME was made available to members on the UAPD website, so it can be reviewed even after the class.
As always, the statewide annual meeting for each UAPD sector focused on the issues that affect each group of doctors most directly. Doctors were energized by the opportunity to connect with others from around the state who share their same issues, and came away with a clear list of priorities for the coming year. Among State Bargaining Unit 16, the potential layoff of CDCR dentist is a central concern, as is safety, outsourcing, and contractors. The CSU bargaining unit recognized a need to sign up more fair share fee payers as members and made a plan to do so. The county doctors looked for ways to improve communication within and between the units, and to increase the political power of doctors in each county. Members from the private practice and retiree sectors discussed ways to make their groups larger by identifying areas in which a union might be of service to doctors in general.
Saturday lunch was a celebratory affair, featuring a keynote address by then-candidate, now State Senator Juan Vargas, some pre-election inspiration from UAPD Chief Legislative Representative Doug Chiappetta and AFSCME Assistant Political Director Willie Pelote, and a heartfelt presentation by UAPD President Dr. Stuart Bussey to his friend and Vice President Dr. Ronald Bortman, recipient of this year’s Sanford A. Marcus Award.
The weekend finished on a strong note, with an information-packed Steward Training conducted by Senior Labor Representative Patricia Hernandez, J.D.. Several stewards requested a further expansion of this type of training, with longer classes that can focus more closely on specific issues being dealt with at their facilities. UAPD is currently looking at ways to expand training for stewards and county-employed union leaders.