The UAPD Bargaining Team began meeting with City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) management on March 14, 2012. CCSF is proposing that doctors make significant concessions again this year, including an extension of furloughs, an increase to health insurance premiums, and a weakening of our grievance procedure. They want these takeaways in spite of the fact that doctors have not seen a wage increase since 2009, and since then, salaries have actually decreased due to furloughs and higher employee pension contributions.
UAPD is standing with the Public Employees Committee (PEC), a coalition of 27 city unions, in rejecting all concessions. The PEC has hired an economist to challenge the City’s budgetary projections, and a healthcare consultant to help craft a unified proposal for revamping the City’s healthcare plans. On April 13, UAPD and other unions presented the PEC healthcare proposal, which could save the City more than $20 million per year without shifting costs to employees.
In addition to the healthcare proposal, UAPD is seeking a wide range of economic improvements, including increased compensation for board certification, full reimbursement of license fees, the reinstatement of CME reimbursements, payments for those who have assigned EHR incentive payments to CCSF, a pay differential for doctors who hold more than one board, and the elimination of furloughs.
Most importantly, UAPD has demanded that CCSF address the fact that salaries for doctors have actually fallen behind the salaries of some nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs). During the April 18th bargaining, the UAPD team listed the many reasons why doctors should earn more than NPs and PAs: Doctors have a wider scope of practice, they train for longer, they incur more debt, they hold ultimate responsibility for patient outcomes, they clinically supervise the NPs and PAs, and they must sign-off on much of the midlevels’ work.
To correct this imbalance, UAPD has proposed adding two additional steps to the top of every doctor salary range, advancing all existing doctors one step (with everyone below it going at least to step 5), and increasing the salary at every step by 10% at ratification and an additional 10% the following year. The CCSF representative claimed to be stunned by the proposal, but the UAPD team made clear that the disparity must be fixed.
UAPD will continue to bargain throughout April. If the Union and the City cannot reach a contract agreement, both parties will enter binding arbitration on May 7 and May 8. At that point, a third party arbitrator would have final say on all outstanding issues. The UAPD bargaining team has already compiled substantial research to support our proposals and challenge the concessions being proposed by the Employer.