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UAPD Takes On Contractors

January 19, 2017

UAPD won the first skirmish against the contracting agency Traditions Behavioral Health (TBH).  Last June, Alameda Health System (AHS) contracted out employed psychiatric hours at John George Psychiatric Emergency Services, hours represented by UAPD, to TBH.  UAPD filed suit against TBH for four causes of action: Unfair Competition, Intentional Interference with Contract, Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage, and Negligent Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage.  TBH filed a demurrer (failure to state a claim) and an anti-SLAPP motion, procedural obstacles used to avoid answering our complaint.  Alameda County Superior Court denied TBH’s anti-SLAPP motion and only granted TBH’s demurrer on the first cause of action with leave for UAPD to amend its complaint so as to rectify the first cause of action’s shortcomings.  UAPD will now amend the complaint and TBH will soon be facing discovery over its illegal business practices.  UAPD is also in litigation with AHS to compel AHS to arbitrate its decision to contract out UAPD employed hours represented by UAPD.    

LA County Looks for Logo and Motto

December 7, 2016

The Los Angeles County Health Agency, in partnership with labor unions including UAPD, has launched a logo and motto contest as part of their Health Agency employee engagement campaign.  The contest is open to all Los Angeles County Health Agency employees.  The deadline for contest submissions is 5:00 pm on Friday, December 30, 2016.  Cash and other prizes will be awarded.  You can learn more by downloading this flyer or going to www.hala.care

Santa Cruz Bargaining Update

November 30, 2016

On October 28th, UAPD and Santa Cruz County met for the 6th session in this round of bargaining. With one more session scheduled before the expiration of the current contract on Nov 11th–and more importantly the difference in proposals–it is likely that negotiations will continue beyond the expiration of the current contract. While the protections and terms of the current contract remain in place because of applicable labor laws, our doctors will not see much-needed improvements to terms and conditions, including wages, until a new agreement is reached and ultimately ratified by a majority of UAPD members.

UAPD has provided the County with a comprehensive proposal which included non-economic priorities as well as specifics on economics that would protect the interest and welfare of the public by establishing conditions for the recruitment and retention of permanent doctors. In contrast, the County’s counter proposal would firmly set us on a course for seeing real wages decline.  

In future sessions, UAPD plans to present a careful analysis County’s initial offer and how it falls short of what is needed. Furthermore, we plan to engage in meaningful dialogue on all proposals made by either side. In order to be prepared to discuss one of management’s proposal to replace overtime compensation with administrative leave, I need to know from you the average amount of hours you work per week beyond your regularly scheduled hours whether or not you are approved or paid for the additional hours.

Please email Albert Muñpz at amunoz@uapd.com with an estimate for the additional hours you work. Please indicate whether you are part-time or full-time and how the additional hours are used. If you regularly work additional hours but do not request compensation, please indicate that as well.  

We are currently working on setting up a meeting to discuss the progress of negotiations as a group. Once arrangements are finalized a notice will be sent out.

San Mateo Reopener Results in Wage Increase

November 17, 2016

As previously reported, UAPD successfully negotiated a salary reopener one year into the current contract. The results of that survey found that San Mateo County Psychiatrists had fallen below the market average for the Bay Area. As a result, your salaries have been adjusted retroactively to July 3, 2016 (the first full pay period of the current fiscal year). You will see both your increase in salary and retroactive pay on the pay check issued December 9, 2016 for the following specialties:  

  • Adult Psychiatrist and Supervising Adult Psychiatrist – 9.1%
  • Child Psychiatrist and Supervising Child Psychiatrist- 9.9%

New Santa Clara Contract Contains Large Raises

October 28, 2016

For the first time in over 15 years, Santa Clara doctors were able to ratify a successor agreement before the expiration of the previous contract.  The three year contract will increase base salaries for all UAPD specialties by 13% in the first year with an additional 19% increase for Acute Care Services & Juvenile Hall psychiatrists – a total of 32%! For the second and third years, salaries will increase by 3% each year.  The total wage increases are 19% to 38%! In addition, hourly rates for EPS, BAP, Urgent Care and Custody shifts were all raised significantly; new rates range from $161 – $225 per hour depending on shift.

Tuition reimbursement will be increased from $2800 to $4500 per fiscal year and can be rolled over, from year to year, for a total of $9000.  That’s an increase of more than 60% of the current benefit.

The agreement has been ratified by UAPD members, and the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors will vote to ratify this agreement soon

Strong Contract Settled in San Joaquin County

October 28, 2016

After several months of work, the UAPD Negotiating Committee has reached an agreement with San Joaquin County.  The team made several significan economic gains, particularly for those specialists who are difficult to recruit and retain.  In addition to annual 2% cost of living increases, doctors will receive between 3%-10% in market adjustments, increased tuition reimbursement, and a guaranteed $20,000 in board certification pay.  San Joaquin also becomes one of the first counties to contribute to a 401(a) plan for those doctors whose pensions have been capped by PEPRA.   Complete information and ballots have been sent to members for a ratification vote.

San Joaquin Administrators Fall Short

September 21, 2016

When your UAPD Negotiating team met with administrators last Friday, we believed we were close to reaching a a deal.  After all, your colleagues at the table had made significant concessions regarding market adjustments for ALL specialties by agreeing to focus on several specialties in which the County has had extreme difficulty recruiting and retaining physicians.  For the other half of the bargaining unit, the Committee reasonably proposed improvements to incentive formulas, which would be mutually beneficial to the doctors and to the County.  Considering the County has advocated incentive based pay practices, we did not foresee any roadblocks to these proposals.  WE WERE WRONG!

In the past, most incentive pay formulas have been decided by each department.  However, your committee proposed to include those formulaic changes in the contract to insure their implementation.  This proposal was not well received by management.  They wanted us to agree to a “future promise” of incentive changes — with no market adjustment for most of our members, on the eve of the County’s paid negotiator’s vacation this week.  The Union could not, in good faith, agree to a “handshake” agreement with no enforceable rights, or allow the County to leverage their vacation delay to dismiss the market demands of half of our members.
Read more …

Santa Clara Bargaining Update

September 6, 2016

The  UAPD Negotiating Committee has been meeting with the County on a regular basis. UAPD submitted a comprehensive package proposal, which includes competitive market adjustments for all specialties; improvements to tuition reimbursement and license/certification renewals; due process and severance for terminations of employment; increased rates for extra duty assignments; Cost of Living Increases (COLA); and the committee has agreed to expand the Main Jail incentive to all assignments in Custody and Acute Care Services as a combined incentive and base wage proposal. 

So far, the County has rejected any improvements to due process for terminations and has proposed below market adjustments and COLAs that do not amount to similar, across the board, increases for other County employees.  Although the County has expressed an urgency to reach an agreement before the expiration of our MOU next month, it has made minute movements toward an agreement that our members will ratify. 

Santa Cruz Bargaining Begins

August 5, 2016

The contract between the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) and Santa Cruz County expires on November 11th.  Bargaining for the next contract began on Friday. Dr. Sanford and Dr. Yazgan will serve on the UAPD bargaining team, alongside labor representatives Albert Munoz and Sue Wilson.  During Friday’s session, the parties scheduled five future sessions and agreed to ground rules for negotiations.  Drs. Sanford and Yazgan provided an overview of the problem the County is having with the recruitment and retention of doctors. 

Our next bargaining date is scheduled for August 30th, and we will send an update afterward.

Press Release: AHS Psychiatrists Denounce Department Chair Over Wasteful Contract

July 13, 2016

Oakland — By a vote of 38 to 2, psychiatrists at John George Psychiatric Hospital demanded that
the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, Joe Walker, M.D., be removed from that position.
The doctors are no longer willing to tolerate a Chair who fails to treat patients, who is far
removed from the workings of his Department, and who in his role as an interim chief medical
officer has awarded financially reckless contracts. A contract negotiated by Dr. Walker with
Traditions Behavioral Health would pay $264 per hour for psychiatrist services, 50% more than
what it costs to have John George employees continue to do the work. John George doctors took
the unprecedented step of voting no on Dr. Walker’s leadership because his continued missteps
will waste resources and jeopardize patient care.

“We think that Alameda County residents should know what’s going on at John George
Psychiatric Hospital,” said Milton Lorig, M.D., a psychiatrist who worked at the facility for
decades. “Dr. Walker wants to spend a lot of money on a plan that will also compromise patient
care.”

“We’ve never had a group of psychiatrists take a poll on their leadership and vote no so
overwhelming,” said Stuart Bussey, M.D., President of the Union of American Physicians and
Dentists, which represents the doctors. “We’re hoping that stakeholders in the community, and
that means both taxpayers and those who rely on the mental health system in Alameda County,
will take notice.”

John George Psychiatric Hospital, located in Oakland, is part of the Alameda Health System.
The hospital treats the acutely mentally-ill in both an in-patient and outpatient setting. The
hospital’s psychiatric emergency department provides services on a 24-7 basis to those facing a
mental health crisis.

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