UAPD-represented doctors working for Alameda Health System (AHS) have asked whether they, along with the unrepresented doctors working at Highland Hospital, will be forced into the new foundation being created by AHS. The answer is no. UAPD took action last year to stop AHS from placing UAPD doctors in that foundation, which would have nullified the UAPD contract and all its protections.
Last year, UAPD learned that AHS was planning to employ doctors through a separate foundation not covered by the UAPD agreement. In response, UAPD and AFSCME sponsored a bill, AB 1008, to close the loophole in California law that gave hospital authorities like the one that runs AHS the leeway to contract out work. AB 1008 was signed into law in September of 2013. Under the new law, from now until 2024 AHS is strictly limited in its ability to enter into contracts to replace services now being provided by UAPD physicians and surgeons. Prior to entering into a contract, AHS must show that using outside contractors instead of civil service doctors would save money, which would be very difficult to do. AHS must also negotiate with UAPD over the decision to privatize, and unresolved disputes must be submitted to final binding arbitration — a point that was strongly opposed by AHS. The law was designed to make it extremely difficult — essentially impossible — to place UAPD doctors in the new foundation.