UAPD continues its media campaign to encourage Santa Cruz County to take their doctor shortage seriously. The Santa Cruz Weekly clearly conveyed the crux of the issue in an article this week, which starts by saying, “Dr. Joann Moschella has a clear message for her bosses in Santa Cruz County government: without better compensation, no one will want to work here.”
The UAPD Bargaining Team met representatives from Santa Cruz County in mediation on July 10th. No agreement was reached. The next day UAPD filed a request for fact finding with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Within the next three weeks, PERB will create a panel consisting of one UAPD appointee, one County appointee, and a neutral third-party arbitrator appointed by PERB. The panel will have the ability to subpoena witnesses and request documents needed to evaluate the claims being made by the union and the employer regarding this bargaining. The determination of the panel is not binding, but they will issue a report that can be used to try to persuade the Board of Supervisors and other interested parties to take appropriate action.
UAPD will provide evidence that demonstrates that the County can and should increase doctor pay in order to fill vacant positions. The County currently relies too heavily on expensive Locum Tenens physicians, managers, and extra help to do bargaining unit work, and the problem will only intensify with the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act. For its part, the County is expected to claim that Santa Cruz doctors already make as much as doctors in comparable counties, and that Santa Cruz cannot afford to make the improvements proposed by UAPD. In addition to providing evidence to support our position, UAPD will provide evidence to refute the claims that the County is expected to make.