On May 22 negotiations for the new Bargaining Unit 16 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) began between the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) and the State of California.  The second meeting took place on June 11.

The UAPD Bargaining Team consists of:

  • Ron Lewis, M.D. – Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Correctional Health Care Services (Ironwood State Prison)
  • Mubashir Farooqi, M.D. – Department of State Hospitals (Patton State Hospital)
  • Brian Kennedy, D.D.S. – Department of Public Health and Department of Health Care Services (Rancho Cordova office)
  • Pitr Conroy, M.D. – Department of Developmental Services (Sonoma Developmental Center)
  • Jay Flocks, M.D. – Department of Social Services (San Diego Branch)
  • Zegory A. Williams – Chief Negotiator, UAPD
  • Stuart A. Bussey, M.D., J.D. –  President, UAPD
  • Al W. Groh – Executive Director, UAPD
  • Steve Cook — Labor Representative, UAPD
  • Nereyda Rivera — Labor Representative, UAPD

An Overview of UAPD Proposals

On the first day of negotiations, the UAPD team presented its first 14 proposals.  Based on feedback from UAPD members and their familiarity with issues that affect the unit, the team plans to make proposals on the following issues during this round of bargaining.

  • Salary Improvements — Once the team has made significant progress on the issues listed below, discussions will begin regarding salary increases for UAPD-represented doctors.  UAPD has already informed the State of our intention to address long-standing salary inequities in our unit.  In addition to proposing across the board increases, UAPD will propose additional raises for parts of our unit that have fallen behind the group as a whole.  In spite of the stronger budget situation, so far the Administration is telling UAPD that its goal is not to increase spending in these negotiations.
  • On-call Volume and Compensation — Doctors at some facilities receive far too many calls.  The compensation is not enough for the amount of work call now represents.
  • Flexible Work Hours — UAPD wants to strengthen existing contract language regarding 10-hour schedules.  As it stands now, individual managers can and do rescind the 4-10 schedule for doctors, often with little reason.  UAPD will also propose changes to our Leave language so that doctors on a 4-10 schedule will not be required to contribute 2 hours from their annual leave bank for every holiday, CME day, or PLP day they take.  Flexible work hours are essential to recruiting and retaining doctors, especially in facilities located in remote areas.
  • Personal Leave Program (PLP) Time — The PLP program ends in June, but UAPD will propose extending the amount of time doctors have to use up the PLP hours they have accrued.  Under the current agreement, PLP hours must be used by June 2014, but UAPD will propose extending that deadline to June 2015.  Many doctors were not allowed to take time off using PLP time in the same month that they accrued it.
  • Contracting Out — UAPD wants to memorialize in our contract the side letter that created the Contracting Out Committee (CoCo) earlier this year.
  • Notice of Investigative Review — UAPD will propose that doctors be given notice any time they are placed under investigative review.  UAPD is responding to the fact that some departments use an “investigative review” process that differs from the “investigations” that are currently covered in our contract.  In negotiations and legislatively UAPD is trying to ensure all the protections doctors now have during investigations are extended to investigative review.
  • Additional Appointments — Additional appointments came under attack this year when some State managers were accused of using them to pad their salaries.  However, in the case of our bargaining unit, additional appointments have proven to be a cost effective way to deal with the doctor shortage.  UAPD will look to expand our existing language on additional appointments so that it will supercede any new laws intended to limit the practice.
  • Acting Assignments — UAPD will propose language to address the fact that some UAPD members assume acting supervisor appointments for long periods of time, ignoring the standard hiring, promotion, and interview process.
  • Sign In and Sign Out — Some facilities require doctors to sign in when they arrive and sign out when they leave, claiming to do so for safety reasons.  UAPD will try to strengthen contract language to ensure that sign-in sheets cannot be used for timekeeping purposes, which would violate existing MOU language.
  • Board Certification Fees — UAPD will propose that for any position requiring board certification, the certification fees will be paid by the State.
  • CME Funds and Process — UAPD will propose that CME funds be increased to $1200 per year (up from $1000), and that the money be paid out to all doctors at the start of each year (to eliminate the cumbersome reimbursement process).

As the UAPD bargaining team presents each of these proposals, they will be joined at the table by BU 16 doctors who are affected by each issue.

Next Steps

Four additional bargaining sessions have been scheduled so far.  UAPD will send regular bargaining updates to all members with a valid email address on file.  If you have any questions or comments about bargaining, feel free to contact your labor representative who can help you get your message to the bargaining team.