Alameda Health Services


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Victory for AHS Doctors! Arbitrator Rules in Favor of UAPD

July 6, 2018

UAPD decisively won at arbitration against Alameda Health System (AHS). Two years ago, AHS contracted out psychiatrists’ jobs in the psychiatric emergency services/triage services to Traditions Behavioral Health (TBH), flagrantly violating both UAPD’s MOU and a California statute, sponsored by UAPD, which protects those jobs. The arbitrator ruled AHS was clearly in violation of the MOU and the statute. The arbitrator then ruled that all of those positions MUST be returned to us! AHS and UAPD need to quickly work out the way to rid PES/Triage of TBH. The arbitrator will retain jurisdiction should AHS drag its feet. Our next task is to bring PES/Triage wages to market, which has been on the table since May 2017, with absolutely no response to date from AHS. Now, AHS will have to respond or face the wrath of the arbitrator.

Special thanks go to all of our bargaining team members, especially Dr. Milton Lorig, MD, JD and Senior Representative Patricia Hernandez, JD. Kudos as well to our legal team and those who testified. Lastly, thanks to out UAPD Lobbyist, Doug Chiappetta, who guided the legislation that helped achieve this victory.

Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Anymore: AHS Physicians Walk Out

June 29, 2018

Physicians of UAPD working in ambulatory at Alameda Health System (AHS) walked out of a meeting at the Hayward Wellness Center on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 in protest of AHS’ intransigence. Those physicians have been out of contract for a year. AHS, rather than bargain in good faith over conditions at AHS, propose disrespectful and unethical mandates that would harm our most vulnerable patient population by demanding a “factory style” approach to patient care, treating our patients as “widgets” with physician pay linked to the number of “widgets” seen. Our physicians confronted AHS’ Chief Medical, Ghassan Jamaleddine, M.D., and made clear to him that AHS’ position is unacceptable. The group overwhelmingly voted to strike if AHS continued in its present course at negotiations. Our physicians are unwilling to sacrifice the doctor/patient relationship by delivering substandard care under an “assembly line” approach to the delivery of healthcare.

A Summary of the AHS January 24th Membership Meeting

February 1, 2018

On Wednesday, January 24th, a UAPD representative for AHS met with your colleagues following the monthly provider meeting.  We had a very good, engaging meeting.  UAPD gave a brief update on the status of negotiations, which is advancing at a very slow pace due to AHS’s inability to provide the Union with necessary information.  

UAPD also clarified to our members that the Union did NOT agree to the following changes:

  • UAPD did not agree to change the patient scheduling start times at the Ambulatory Care Clinics!
  • UAPD did not agree to require doctors to make-up PTO time approved with less than 90 days advance notice!

The Union did, however, agree to require 90 days advance notice for PTO requests because this time frame is an improvement from the current terms of the MOU, which requires PTO requests to be submitted at the beginning of each year.

UAPD will continue to fight AHS’s attempts to unilaterally make changes to your work conditions without first notifying and meeting with the Union.  It is an unfair labor practice to directly deal with UAPD members about their terms and conditions of employment.  UAPD will pursue an Unfair Labor Charge against AHS for violating your rights.  

NEW BARGAINING SUBCOMMITTEE

Many doctors were very interested in participating in the current negotiations. UAPD is happy to announce that Dr. Laura Wise (Hayward) will be at the table as the latest member of the negotiating committee.  Also, the doctors have formed a bargaining subcommittee to discuss proposals and information on an ongoing basis.  These meetings will take place during non-work hours at a time and place agreed upon.  The first of these sub-committee meetings will take place on Thursday, February 8th at 5:30 PM at the following location:

Caffe Trieste 
4045 Piedmont Avenue (near 41st Street)
Oakland, CA 94611

More updates will be provided as negotiations continue.

AHS News and Negotiation Updates

January 26, 2018

Negotiations continue at a very slow and frustrating pace. AHS does not provide the necessary information for the Union to prepare a market proposal. Most of the union’s proposals have been submitted except for market adjustments and extended hours proposal.

AHS has withheld payment of the 4% lump sum payment to psychiatrists per the currently expired MOU. AHS maintains that it cannot instruct its payroll department to make the payments to the doctors. UAPD will file a request for arbitration to get these bonuses paid. Also, AHS has failed to provide evidence that the outpatient clinics did not meet the metrics for the past two measuring periods. UAPD has asked that all physicians receive the maximum bonus payment. AHS is still struggling to provide the evidence. UAPD will file for an arbitration for these bonus payments, per the MOU. Read more …

Governor Brown Signs UAPD Bill Stopping Contractors

September 28, 2017

Governor Brown has signed AB 1538 into law. The bill is a follow-up to AB 1008, which was signed in 2013 to protect our bargaining unit in Alameda County. AB 1538 reaffirms that UAPD is the exclusive bargaining representative of Alameda County physicians irrespective of when a physician joins the bargaining unit.  Thank you all for the work doctors and staff put into getting the bill passed.  Read more about the bill here.

 

Important Victory in Case against Contractors

August 9, 2017

Yesterday, UAPD-represented doctors working for Alameda Health Services (AHS) won a significant legal victory in our year-long campaign against contracting out.  While a judge had previously denied UAPD’s request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to immediately halt the transfer of psychiatrist jobs to outside contractor Traditions Behavioral Health (TBH), yesterday Judge Michael Markman issued a motion to compel AHS to participate in binding arbitration with UAPD over the issue.  The text of the Judge’s ruling can be read here.

The arbitrator will determine if by hiring high-cost contractors, AHS violated a law that went into effect with the passage of AB 1008 in 2013.  Co-sponsored by UAPD and AHS, AB 1008 strictly limited the ability of AHS to contract out the work of its union doctors.  It stated:
Read more …

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.    

AHS Psychiatrists Support Ousting Dr. Walker!

July 11, 2016

On Friday, July 1st, Psychiatrists at Alameda Health Services overwhelmingly expressed their desire to remove Dr. Joe Walker as Chair of their Department.  Over the past two months, Dr. Walker has misused his position to make a deal with Traditions Behavioral Health (TBH) to contract out psychiatrists’ positions in a questionable deal. The doctors’ petition to remove Dr. Walker revolves around their belief that he has not fulfilled his obligations as Chair in the following areas:
 
1.  Dr. Walker made a deal with TBH while serving as interim Chief Medical Officer – a clear conflict of interest!
 
2.  He is an absentee Chair who is never seen in PES except to announce to the doctors that they will be fired from their jobs and replaced by TBH.
 
3.  He has personally intimidated countless employee psychiatrists in the past weeks and has a history of threatening physicians during one-on-one meetings.
 
4.  He fails to respond to doctors’ emails, even when it involves urgent clinical matters.
 
5.  There is an active MEC investigation against Dr. Walker.
 
On Monday, July 11th, UAPD Doctors and SEIU Nurses attended the Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ Health Sub-committee to voice our concerns about patient care at JGPP.

AHS Tries to Contract Out Doctor Positions

May 20, 2016

UAPD met with AHS two days ago in a meet and confer over TBH’s efforts to staff a “triage psychiatrist” position in PES.  AHS is claiming that recruitment has been unsuccessful over the past three months and that not enough SAN psychiatrists are interested in taking regular employment from the current employee pool.  UAPD made several recommendations to AHS to recruit psychiatrists as an alternative to contracting out to TBH.  For example, we asked that AHS advertise psychiatrists’ salaries online and in all of its outside advertisements.  Interestingly, AHS has a policy of not advertising salaries for any of its vacant positions because it believes that applicants “interested in working for AHS for the high salaries are not employees we want to hire here.”  Of course, this is ludicrous!  All public employers advertise salaries for open positions.  Furthermore, it is no secret that physicians’ salaries must be competitive with the market in order to recruit and retain them.  AHS’ argument is a poor attempt at hiding its intentional obstruction of recruiting and retaining  UAPD jobs.   

Although UAPD doubts that AHS will present the union proposals to the Board of Trustees, more meeting are scheduled.  Anticipating no movement from AHS, UAPD is prepared to move quickly to arbitration on this issue and will also file an unfair labor practice charge against AHS for meeting in bad faith with the Union.

Wage Adjustments for Alameda Health Service Docs

February 24, 2016

The market wage adjustments and retro pay to last June 2015 will appear on Friday’s paycheck!  All Ambulatory docs will receive a 4% increase to base wages, and all full-time and part-time psychiatrists will receive a 10% wage increase retroactive to June 21, 2015.  SAN psychiatrists will receive a 6% increase to hourly rate retro to June 21, 2015.   UAPD is currently meeting with AHS over the bonuses for Ambulatory Care Doctors.  We should have an agreement soon.

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