Doctors working for the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency (HSA) don’t believe that County administrators are doing enough to fill vacancies in their unit, particularly in the Child Mental Health and Adult Mental Health Services. As a result of the County’s doctor shortage, children and adults with severe psychiatric issues are often required to wait weeks or months to begin treatment.
To attract new hires, UAPD, has proposed cost of living increases for doctors starting next year. However, the County has insisted on two more years without a pay increase. In addition, the County wants further cuts to doctor’s health care and retirement benefits, which are already less generous than what other County workers have. Negotiations between UAPD and the County reached an impasse in late May. Both sides will attempt to resolve the disagreement during in mediation in July.
In the meantime, Santa Cruz doctors have begun sharing their concerns with the local media.