Santa Cruz Contract Improvements Go Into Effect

After several months of re-opener bargaining, the UAPD team signed a Tentative Agreement with Santa Cruz County that was approved by the County Board of Supervisors.  That means that all the improvements (see below) will now go into effect.  In addition to more than doubling call-pay, the Agreement creates a new defined contribution pension plan where the employer and employee can make contributions to offset the cuts caused by the PEPRA legislation of 2012.  For doctors who joined CalPERS after January 1, 2013, the newly created plan will move them closer to the retirement they would have had if the state legislature had not imposed a cap on their pensionable salary.

The Agreement is summarized below.

1.  Call Pay More than Doubled

Upon ratification, all physicians and psychiatrists taking after-hours call will be paid $10 per hour for carrying the phone.  They will continue to be paid at their normal hourly rate (plus overtime if applicable) for time spent answering calls.  For physicians, the contract language has been changed to state that the County may assign call if no volunteers are available.  Though not in the contract, the HSA has agreed to purchase mobile broadband enabled mini-laptops for North and South County that on-call doctors may use.  All other contract provisions regarding call remain the same.

2.  License and Certificate Reimbursement Doubled

Upon ratification, full-time employees are entitled to $2800 every two years to pay for licenses and certificates, including Continuing Medical Education courses and materials.  The amount is pro-rated for part-time employees.

3. Creates New  Retirement Benefits for Tier III Employees:

UAPD and Santa Cruz County have negotiated a defined contribution plan designed to offset some of the PEPRA pension cuts that were passed by the state legislature in 2012.  This plan is the first of its kind in the state.  It creates a new 401(a) defined contribution plan for doctors who joined CalPERS after January 1, 2013 (Tier III), and are thus subject to the cap on pensionable salary established by PEPRA (set at $117,020 for 2015).  For participating doctors, both the doctor and the County will make contributions into the 401(a) account based on earnings above the salary cap.  Details of the plan have been shared with members in Santa Cruz County.