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Summary of 2017 Tentative Agreement for BU 16

On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, your UAPD Bargaining Team reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) on a new Memorandum of Understanding with the State of California.  The new agreement will go into effect once ratified by UAPD members and approved by the State Legislature.
 
UPDATE  – Voting closed at 5 pm on Friday, March 17, 2017.  UAPD members voted to ratify the Agreement.  The Governor signed the contract into law on April 28, 2017.  All pay increases go into effect on May 1, 2017, though they may not start showing up on pay checks for a number of months.

 

February 28th Message from the Team 

This was not our longest round of bargaining, but it was certainly one of our toughest.  We are the last State union to settle our contract because we refused to accept the substandard proposals the State kept giving us.  You as a membership gave us the power to stand firm with your overwhelmingly positive strike authorization vote.  We are certain that member energy and member outrage were instrumental in making the State come around on several key issues in the final days.  We now offer you a contract that we can strongly recommend that you ratify.
 
All the proposals in the signed Tentative Agreement  (TA) are summarized below and in the Summary of the Economic Tentative Agreements.  The full text of all new language can be downloaded here.  In this section we would like to highlight a few key issues:

General Salary Increase vs. Increase in Retiree Health Contributions – After much wrangling, we finally TA’d on a solid 9% General Salary Increase (GSI).  Some unions did receive higher GSIs, but those were typically offset by much higher retiree health care contributions (up to 4% of salary).  Our net, across-the-board pay increase of 8.1% (9% GSI – 0.9% additional retiree health contribution) is consistent with what most other unions received.  You can view the Summary of the Economic Tentative Agreements for details.
 
Special Salary Increases for Our Lowest Paid Colleagues – Over time, we’ve watched doctors who have not benefitted from the Receiver’s  increases  fall  behind in salary.  Our union continues to take steps to correct that.  In addition to the GSIs above, this Agreement includes two additional 2% increases for hundreds of these doctors (see the full list on p.2 of the Summary of the Economic Tentative Agreements).     
 
Recruitment and Retention (R&R) Differentials – This was another contentious subject in bargaining.  The R&R differentials  were driven by the Receiver, who identified twelve prisons that he considered seriously understaffed.  Wielding the power of the purse, he made it known that the Physician and Surgeons at those facilities would get a 15% non-pensionable differential added to their salary every pay period for the term of the contract.  Our argument that the Receiver should reward all prison doctors fell on deaf ears.  The State responded to the Receiver’s plan by identifying other clinical facilities that it considered at risk of Physician and Surgeon “brain drain” to CDCR.  Maddeningly, the State included most DSH Physician and Surgeons on that list, but not all.  In the end, a compromise was reached that gives all DSH Physician and Surgeons R&R money, though not in equal amounts.  While as a team we wanted a more equitable solution, in the end we considered the TA language a significant improvement over the State’s initial plans.  The full list of R&R classifications, facilities, and amounts is on p. 3 of the Summary of the Economic Tentative Agreements.
 
On Call Improvements – We had a partial victory in our campaign to improve the call situation, which has been particularly bad within CDCR.  While on-call pay did not increase, we did secure voluntary, 4-hour MOD shifts that will be instituted in some prisons that have had the heaviest call burden.  Doctors who choose to can earn hour-for-hour MOD pay for that work.  In addition, our contract now spells out that the use of technology such as laptops while on call is voluntary for all unit members.  If the state wants to change that, they have to meet and confer with us first.  We also created a new Joint Labor Management committee to keep working on issues of call, MOD, and staffing shortages. 
 
More Protection Against Unfair Investigations and Discipline – See Article 12 in summary for details.
 
Greater Accountability to Doctors – You’ll see that throughout the contract, timelines are tighter and the State’s responsibility to share information and provide explanations has increased.
 
Union Building – Changes to Article 3 in the new contract will give our group a little more protection from anti-union attacks from the federal government. 
 
Few Concessions – The contract contains a few concessions in line with what other unions accepted.   Employees hired after April 1, 2017 will see a decrease in their retiree health benefits.  All state units made that concession either in their contract or legislatively.  We also agreed to continue with our pattern of 50-50 cost sharing for pension benefits.  According to CalPERS projections, this will likely mean a .5% increase in CalPERS contributions for Safety Retirement Members  in each of the final two years of the contract.  We anticipate that legislative action will extend that same cost-sharing requirement to all State employees soon.
 
In all, this is a good package, and the bargaining team encourages you to vote YES to ratify it.
 
The UAPD Bargaining Team members who negotiated this contract are Ron Lewis, M.D. (CDCR, Ironwood State Prison), Mubashir Farooqi, M.D. (DSH, Patton State Hospital), Brian Kennedy, D.D.S. (Department of Public Health and Department of Health Care Services, Sacramento), Pitr Conroy, M.D. (Department of Developmental Services, Sonoma Developmental Center), Robert Bitonte, M.D. (Department of Social Services, San Diego Branch), and Stuart A. Bussey, M.D., J.D. (President, UAPD), with the assistance of UAPD staff members  Nereyda Rivera (Chief Negotiator), Zegory A. Williams (Executive Director), Sue Wilson (Business and Communications Director), and Glynnis Golden-Ortiz (Senior Labor Representative).
 

Summary of the TA

  • Download the Summary of Economic TAs here
  • DURATION:  July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2020
  • 3.1 ORGANIZATION SECURITY:  New language will protect union members in the event of federal level attacks.
  • 3.2 UAPD INFORMATION:  Management agreed to provide additional data to allow for better representation of UAPD members.
  • 3.9 HOME ADDRESSES:  Cleanup
  • 6.5 PRESENTATION:  Allows grievance conferences via tele/video conference or in person by mutual agreement.
  • 7.1 FLEXIBLE WORK HOURS:  Cleanup and clarifies that a denial of an alternate work schedule must be justified in writing to an employee within 30 days of the employee’s request.
  • 7.4 REST PERIODS:  Clarifies that during a rest period  an employee must stay on-site but may leave his or her work area.
  • 7.6 HOURS OF WORK:  Clarifies that those working a non-standard work schedule will be charged the number of hours scheduled for the day when they are absent for a whole day.
  • 7.7 SCHEDULE/SHIFT CHANGES:  Increases notice for shift or schedule changes from 15 days to 30 days.
  • 7.8 ASSIGNMENT AND PAYMENT OF MOD:  To address high after-hours call volume, CCHCS facilities will be able to create MOD shifts of 4-hours or longer that will be paid hour for hour.   Such MOD assignments within CCHCS are voluntary.  Also, any BU 16 employee assigned MOD will get an $8 meal allowance. 
  • 7.9 ON-CALL/CALL BACK ASSIGNMENT:  The use of technologies such as laptops while on call shall be voluntary until notice is given to the union and a meet and confer process takes place.  Clarifies rate of 1.15 hours pay or CTO per day of taking call, and that an employee cannot be paid call back pay and regular pay for the same hour of work.   Clarifies on-call holiday compensation.
  • 7.10 JOB SHARING:  Requires the employer to consider job-sharing requests and clarifies how employees make the request.
  • 7.12 TELECOMMUTE:  Management must provide a specific  reason for changing a telecommuting arrangement.
  • 7.14 (NEW) JOINT LABOR MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE:  Quarterly JLM Meetings to address issues related to on call, call back, MOD, and physician shortages.
  • 8.1 HOLIDAYS:  Includes Permanent Intermittent (PI) employees as eligible for holiday pay on a pro rata basis.
  • 9.1 VACATION LEAVE:  Management must respond to vacation requests within 14 days.
  • 9.2 SICK LEAVE:  Incorporates legislation that allows sick leave usage for victims of domestic violence.
  • 9.3 BEREAVEMENT LEAVE:  Clarifies that bereavement leave shall be authorized for up to 24 hours per occurrence.
  • 9.7 TRAINING LEAVE:  Cleanup
  • 9.9 ANNUAL LEAVE PROGRAM:  Allows Permanent Intermittent (PI) employees to receive annual leave credit and requires management to respond to leave requests within 14 days.
  • 9.10 ENHANCED NON- INDUSTRIAL DISABILITY INSURANCE ANNUAL LEAVE:  Cleanup
  • 9.22 PERSONAL LEAVE PROGRAM 2010 AND 2012:  Extends the deadline for using Personal Leave Program time until July 2018.
  • 9.23 NO MANDATED REDUCTION IN WORK HOURS:  No furlough in the first year of contract.  Furloughs in years 2-4 must be authorized by the Legislature.
  • 9.24 VACATION/ANNUAL LEAVE CASH OUT (NEW):  Employees will be allowed to cash out up to 80 hours of vacation or annual leave each year if their department has available funds.
  • 10.3 BUSINESS AND TRAVEL EXPENSES:  Updates and improves travel reimbursement language, including raising hotel reimbursement rate in many areas. 
  • 10.4 SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES:  See Summary of Economic Tentative Agreements
  • 10.8 OVERPAYMENTS/PAYROLL ERRORS:  The State will notify employees of underpayments in writing with an explanation.  UAPD will be noticed when the State discovers a significant number of doctors have been overpaid or underpaid.
  • 10.10 TRANSPORTATION INCENTIVES\PARKING RATES:  Clarifies that the State is able to limit increases to parking costs only in State owned, leased, or administered lots.
  • 11.1 HEALTH, DENTAL AND VISION BENEFITS:  Increases the dollar amounts that the State will contribute for active employee health care.  The vesting schedule for dependents is eliminated, so dependents of new hires will immediately receive the full employer contribution towards healthcare.
  • 11.2 EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM:  Cleans up language to bring it in line with the services now offered by the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  • 12.2 INVESTIGATIONS:  Ensures that doctors under investigation will receive a notice that includes information regarding the nature of the investigation, plus written updates every sixty days that an investigation is open.
  • 12.3 PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE:  Tightens timelines so that letters of Instruction or Work Improvement Discussions must be issued within 45 days from the date of an incident, or, if an investigation is conducted, within 45 days of a decision being reached.
  • 12.4 OFFICIAL PERSONNEL FILE:  If the State refuses an employee’s request to remove material from his or her personnel file, the State must give a written response within 15 days of the request.
  • 12.5 PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL:  Expands the range of performance appraisals that can be grieved to the second step of the process if an employee so desires.
  • 12.6 PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT:  Allows Union to demand grievance conference at second step when a professional judgment issue is appealed.
  • 12.9 OFFICE SPACE:  Makes note of confidentiality needs of doctors, and requires State to notify UAPD at least 30 days prior to moving the offices of a significant number of Unit 16 employees.
  • 12.11 OUT OF CLASSIFICATION ASSIGNMENTS:  Cleanup and clarifies procedure for dealing with out-of-class pay disputes.
  • 12.12 DEPARTMENT REPORTS FOR UNIT 16 POSITIONS:  Improves information provided to UAPD by the employer.
  • 13.1 HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEES:  States that departments must comply with occupational safety and health standards and regulations.  Clarifies that the committee will discuss health issues such as stress as well as safety.
  • 14.1 VOLUNTARY TRANSFERS:  The state recognizes the desirability of granting a permanent employee a transfer within a department, and agrees to consider an existing employee before hiring a new employee.  If the transfer is denied, written explanation will be provided.
  • 14.2 INVOLUNTARY TRANSFERS:  Involuntary transfers, if imposed, will be made based on the employees with the least amount of seniority.
  • 16.1 MEDICAL STAFF BY-LAWS:  Cleanup
  • 16.4 PRODUCTIVITY CRITERIA COMMITTEE:  Gives State 30 day deadline for distributing minutes and obligates State to explain how productivity criteria derived.
  • 18.1 FIRST TIER RETIREMENT FORMULA 2% @ AGE 55:  If the CalPERS normal rate increases by 1%, the employee contribution to CalPERS shall be adjusted so that employees continue to pay 50% of the normal cost.  For non-Safety retirees, no increase is anticipated during term of contract.  Also changes some language to be consistent with state law.
  • 18.4  2.5% @ 55 RETIREMENT FORMULA FOR SAFETY MEMBERS:  If the CalPERS normal rate increases by 1%, the employee contribution to CalPERS shall be adjusted so that employees continue to pay 50% of the normal cost.  For Safety retirees, CalPERS predicts that the employee contribution will increase by .5% during each of the last two years of the contract.  Also changes some language to be consistent with state law.
  • 18.8 PREFUNDING OF POST-RETIREMENT HEALTH BENEFITS:  Increases prefunding of retirement health benefits from current level of .5% to 1% on July 1, 2017 and 1.4% on July 1, 2018.  All who are eligible for health benefits must contribute.  Money will be held in a state subaccount that can be used for BU 16 retiree health and dental benefits only.
  • 18.11 (NEW) POST-RETIREMENT HEALTH AND DENTAL BENEFITS VESTING:  Those first employed on or after April 1, 2017 will have a longer vesting schedule to become eligible for retiree health and dental care.
  • 18.12 (NEW) EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION FOR RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS:  For those first employed on or after April 1, 2017, the employer contribution towards retiree health benefits will be capped at 80% of plan premiums or 80% of the cost of Medicare Supplemental Plans.
  • 20.2 CONTRACTING OUT COMMITTEE:  Sets deadline of 12/31/17 for exploring committee objectives.
  • 21 (NEW) TELEHEALTH:  Defines telehealth and creates a joint labor-management committee to explore telehealth related issues.

If you have questions about the TA, please contact your labor representative.