In addition to negotiating contracts, a union works to ensure that contract language is being properly implemented in the work place. This helps all bargaining unit doctors, not just those directly affected, as the results in these cases set precedents that can be helpful in assisting others.
Recent grievance and arbitration settlements reached by UAPD include one in which the union filed a grievance against the County for incorrectly assessing pre-employment qualifications and prior experience in assigning a physician to an initial salary step. As a result of the grievance, the physician’s salary step was increased, and he received a large lump sum payment to compensate for the earnings that had been lost over the past two years.
In another case, a Board Certified Physician Specialist with over 20 years of County service was unilaterally reassigned to another medical specialty and department and reassigned to a lower salary step. The Union initiated a formal grievance and carried it through to arbitration, where an impartial third party arbitrator ruled in the Union’s favor. The arbitrator ruled that County management had violated Article 7 (Salaries) of the MOU for Bargaining Unit 324 by placing the grievant on the wrong range of the new physicians pay plan. The arbitrator also agreed that the doctor’s classification should not have been changed as a result of the transfer. Therefore, grievant was repaid the salary that was lost as a result of the improper designation and placement.
UAPD also prevailed in a hardship grievance, which allowed a doctor who had been transferred to a distant facility after leaving Harbor-MLK to relocate to a county facility closer to home. Another doctor who was unsatisfied with a performance evaluation, and able to provide proof of strong performance, worked with UAPD to file a successful grievance to have the evaluation revised.
Union representation also means representing doctors who are facing discipline in the workplace. Recently, UAPD has succeeded in having a number of unjust terminations and suspensions reduced.