Last month’s Triennial convention in San Francisco proved to be thought-provoking. Well over a hundred of our members and staff attended the two-day event at the SFO Westin hotel. On Friday morning we were treated to an illuminating documentary on physician suicide entitled Do No Harm. Emmy award-winning filmmaker and director Robyn Symon presented her piece and later answered questions. What followed was a fascinating CME on practitioner burnout. Etiologies and strategies to prevent and reduce burnout were presented and discussed by the panel and audience. We then heard from incoming State Treasurer Fiona Ma about the upcoming California budget and her own philosophy. She pledged to work with UAPD to help fill hundreds of our state vacancies.
During lunch, a panel of three of our reps led a discussion about the roles of stewards in UAPD. Stewards are the backbone of our union. After lunch, we broke out into several working groups in order to brainstorm issues specific to our sectors. Lots of great ideas and best practices were discussed. We later reassembled in the main hall to hear a financial planner talk about the current and future economy and strategies to save and grow money. After a break, we were treated to a rollicking evening reception in the main ballroom with refreshments, music, DJ, and dancing. Lots of fun and camaraderie followed.
The next morning we started the business portion of the convention. We reviewed the minutes of our last Triennial and the current Treasurers report. Despite the negative financial impact of the Janus decision, UAPD remains in positive cash flow. Our Vice Presidents, Drs. Lewis and Farooqi, introduced the newly elected UAPD Board and then we went around the room to introduce each individual attendee. It was a very representative turnout. I then gave the State of the Union address “DBA UAPD”. The gist of the speech is that while pledging our union to excellent service to our members ultimately UAPD must adhere to strict business principles. We must preserve and develop our membership in both older (State, LA)and newer markets (Washington). We must eliminate financial waste in several areas—payroll, legal, meeting and office expenses. We recently consolidated the Oakland and Sacramento office. We are looking to purchase a small permanent office space in LA. To read the entire speech, check out the post here on the UAPD website.
After Executive Director Zegory Williams introduced our staff to membership we heard from AFSCME organizing director Walter Blair and our political director Doug Chiappetta. At our formal luncheon, we presented the Marcus service award to outgoing Treasurer Peter Statti for over 40 years of service. A job well done, Peter! Dr. Victoria Behrman will take over the Treasurer duties going forward. Staff Patricia Hernandez and Doug Chiappetta presented gifts and a declaration by the California Senate to our retiring Executive Director Zegory Williams. Zeg has done a great job for nearly 17 years at UAPD. He will be missed. We finished the convention business by reading, amending and passing several resolutions on state vacancies, hiring practices, pensions, a UAPD app, and single payer. We debated various constitutional amendments for over an hour. The most controversial was the question of a name change for our union. Traditionalists felt that we should keep UAPD as is, while others felt that we should recognize and advertise that we have become more of a health care melting pot of practitioners. We are establishing a committee to explore and finalize all the amendments by years end. All in all the Triennial was a great way to look back at the last term and commit ourselves to grow stronger in the next three years.