The reduction in the number of California prison inmates, which was mandated by the federal courts in 2011, has meant layoffs in most classifications within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Since 2011, UAPD has been doing everything in its power to mitigate the effects of each wave of layoffs on doctors. That effort has paid off; during the last few months, UAPD has been able to find open positions for every single CDCR Physician, Dentist, and Psychiatrist who was at risk of layoff.
Psychiatrists and Dentists — More About Wave 3
In December of 2012, CDCR contacted UAPD regarding the projected layoff of 16 dentists and 12 staff psychiatrists. The doctors impacted by the layoffs worked in 11 different counties. After several intense meetings with the Department of Human Resources (DHR) and CDCR, and a thorough review of all Voluntary Transfer Process options (as outlined in the AB109 Realignment Side Letter Agreement), UAPD was able to mitigate all dentist layoffs originally projected for Wave 3. That means there will be zero layoffs for dentists represented by UAPD.
In January, UAPD filed a grievance on behalf of department psychiatrists over the fact that CDCR was not listing all the open psychiatrist positions on the Voluntary Transfer Process forms. UAPD met several times with DHR and Corrections to expand the transfer list to the actual number of vacancies in the department, which now stands at 72. This means there are now many transfer opportunities for any impacted staff psychiatrist who still wishes to work in the department.
Though they originally planned three waves of layoffs, CDCR and DHR now anticipate more layoffs in some classifications during a fourth wave in July. Based on what is now known, both UAPD and DHR anticipate that both dentists and psychiatrists will be unaffected by the fourth wave of layoffs.
The UAPD Negotiation Team for the Wave 3 reductions consisted of Chief Negotiator Zegory A. Williams, Lisa Dunshee, D.D.S., Wayman Blakely, M.D. and UAPD Labor Representatives Steve Cook and Nereyda Rivera. Dozens of Bargaining Unit 16 doctors contributed valuable information about open positions and misuse of contractors via survey, which helped the team save several jobs.
Physicians — More about Phase 1
In November the California Correctional Health Care Services (Receiver) and DHR notified UAPD that it was sending out SROAs to 108 CDCR physicians, meaning that 36 would be targeted for layoff. UAPD was informed that in addition to laying off BU 16 doctors, the Receiver expected to cut 27 surplus management positions. Because the impacted management doctors were eligible to demote into BU 16, there were concerns that too many doctors would be pursuing a limited number of available spaces. Luckily, only two management doctors exercised their right to seek work in our unit.
Between December and February, the UAPD bargaining team worked to reduce the number of physician layoffs during four meet and confer meetings. Using vacancy information provided by stewards and other CDCR doctors via survey, the UAPD bargaining team managed to mitigate all but 9 of the projected layoffs, meaning most of those originally at risk of layoff will be able to keep working at their current facility.
For the 9 remaining physicians, UAPD proposed a Secondary Placement Process, allowing them to choose from a list of statewide position vacancies. UAPD and the Receiver worked diligently to maximize the number of transfer choices in order to retain physicians in the Department. At first, the list totaled 15 full time positions and 5 part time positions; one week later 4 additional positions at CSP-Solano were added. The 9 impacted physicians were given the opportunity to transfer into the 24 open positions across the state. Most have made their choice, but 3 doctors elected not to select a new position from the list.
The UAPD negotiation team for Phase 1 consisted of Zegory A. Williams, UAPD Chief Negotiator, Al Groh, UAPD Executive Director, Dr. Ron Lewis, SEPA President, Steve Cook, UAPD Representative, and Nereyda Rivera, UAPD Representative.