Alameda County


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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.

AHS Psychiatry SAN & PES Night Emergency Pay Issues

March 24, 2016

UAPD is in the process of resolving the SAN Psychiatrist wage adjustment dispute with Alameda Health System.  UAPD contends that each and every Psychiatry SAN classification (Psychiatrist I; Psychiatrist II, non Board Certified; Psychiatrist II, Board Certified; and the 1900-0700 flat rate shift) should receive the previously advertised wage adjustment of approximately 5.7% (148/140) going back to 6/21/15.

UAPD further contends that there should be NO change in the manner in which evening shift differentials, night shift differentials, and overnight 1900-0700 shifts have historically been paid. UAPD maintains that retroactivity checks should be 5.7% of wages earned from 6/21/15 through when the wage adjustment is properly implemented

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UAPD Reaches TA with Alameda County

February 8, 2016

After a long period of negotation, UAPD has finally reached an agreement with Alameda County.  Click here to see a summary of the agreement.  The UAPD Team is asking members to vote YES to ratify this agreement on or before the deadline of February 12, 2016.   Ballots have been sent to UAPD members.

Alameda Doctors Unsatisfied with County Offer

October 5, 2015

Alameda County currently has over a 50% vacancy rate among Physician llls and is spending $190 per hour on locum tenens to provide some coverage.  Last fiscal year alone, the County spent $1.55 million dollars on locum coverage.  To explain the vacancy rate, the UAPD bargaining team presented management with comparisons between doctor salaries in Alameda County and elsewhere in the Bay Area.  Alameda County is at the bottom of the list when recent salary increases in San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Kaiser are taken into account.  In fact, Alameda County is about 15%-20% below the market when compared to those employers.
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Alameda Health System Doctors Settle Strong Contract

August 5, 2015

UAPD and AHS reached an agreement on a successor MOU.  The new MOU is a three-year agreement from June 27, 2014 through June 30, 2017.

For the Dentists, there will be a 5% across the board increase dating back to the pay period closest to October 1, 2014, meaning that you will receive a retroactivity check once the MOU is approved by the AHS Board of Trustees.  Market surveys will be conducted by AHS for wage reopeners in year two, July 2015, and year three, July 2016, for implementation of appropriate salary adjustments, if necessary.  Market surveys will include information from Kaiser, salary.com, and the surrounding counties.

For the Benefited Psychiatrists and for the Night Emergency Psychiatrists covering the 1900-0700 psychiatric emergency room shift, there will be a 2.5% across the board increase dating back to the pay period closest to October 1, 2014, meaning that you will receive a retroactivity check once the MOU is approved by the AHS Board of Trustees.  The SAN Psychiatrists previously negotiated rate increase of 24% will be made permanent.  Market surveys will be conducted by AHS for wage reopeners in year two, July 2015, and year three, July 2016, for implementation of appropriate salary adjustments, if necessary.  Market surveys will include information from Kaiser, salary.com, and the surrounding counties.
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AHS Doctors Will Not Be Forced into Foundation

March 22, 2014

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.

 

UAPD Doctor Appointed to Measure A Oversight Committee

November 20, 2013

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors has appointed  Dr. Milton Lorig, a UAPD Board Member and longtime employee of the Alameda Health System, to the Measure A Oversight Committee.  Adopted by Alameda County voters in 2004, Measure A authorized the County of Alameda to raise its sales tax by one-half cent in order to fund additional medical services for low income, uninsured, and indigent County residents. As part of the Oversight Committee, Dr. Lorig will help monitor use of Measure A funds, which are approximately $100 million annually.  Congratulations Dr. Lorig!

UAPD Sponsored Bill Prevents Outsourcing

September 19, 2013

AB 1008, a bill to prevent the unnecessary outsourcing of doctor jobs in the fast-growing Alameda Health System (AHS) (formerly known as the Alameda County Medical Center) has been signed into law.  AB 1008 was initially co-sponsored by UAPD and AFSCME, and authored by Assembly Members Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) and Rob Bonta (D-Oakland).

In recent months, AHS considered employing doctors through a separate foundation not covered by the UAPD agreement.  The new law closes a loophole in the California code that allowed hospital authorities (like the one that runs AHS) greater leeway for employing contractors than other government agencies have.  Last week’s passage of AB 1008 means the jobs and the contract of UAPD doctors are now safe.

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Bargaining Roundup: Counties, Clinics, CSU

July 12, 2011

In recent years the best strategy for many county bargaining units has been to rollover the current contract rather than negotiate a new one, assuming the employer agrees to do so. While extending a contract generally means no new salary increases, it also means no takeaways, which in the current economy is often a fair compromise. Los Angeles County Bargaining Unit 324 (Physicians) and Bargaining Unit 325 (Dentists and Psychiatrists) each recently agreed to extend their current county contracts until 2012. This was an especially appealing option for BU 324 members, because their contract includes a 3% annual increase which did not expire. BU 325 doctors who have not reached the top of the pay scale will also see a salary step increase this year. Sacramento County doctors also agreed to a one year extension of their contract, though it included a change in the retirement formula for new hires. As in Los Angeles County BU 325, Sacramento doctors not already at the final salary step will get a pay increase.

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Alameda County Memorandum of Understanding (Contract)

June 22, 2011

Memorandum of Understanding — Alameda County (PDF)
Alameda County Human Resources Website
Alameda County Civil Service Rules (PDF)

Read more about: Alameda County, Contract/MOU
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