Los Angeles County Psychiatrists and Dentists


Resources

UAPD in LA County Looking Forward…

May 3, 2017

The County of Los Angeles provides services to the over 10 million residents who call Los Angeles County home. With more than 35 departments and 200 commissions, the County operates one of the largest local government organizations in the world. Given the size of this County, it is imperative that UAPD position itself strategically if we are to be successful moving forward.

It is therefore never too early to start gearing up for negotiations for new collective bargaining agreements, to replace those that will be expiring in the upcoming months. We will be faced with a lot of challenges and uncertainties, for example: will the county lose federal dollars? How do we make up any loss in revenue? How do we continue to deliver quality care? What are the alternatives? UAPD members will have the opportunity to engage and participate in the process to solve some of these critical issues.

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LA County Safe and Just Culture Policy

March 3, 2017

Los Angeles County Policy No. 311.4, as revised on July 1, 2016, states as its purpose:  “To build, maintain, and support a Safe and Just Culture at the Department of Health Services…A Safe and Just Culture is one in which safety is an individual and organizational priority, and where errors, near misses, adverse events, and hazardous conditions can be easily reported without retaliation, and are seen as opportunities for improvement as a means to identify system and behavior changes that will improve the safety and quality of care we deliver”.

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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

LA Physicians in Bargaining

October 5, 2015

Los Angeles County Physicians (324) are at the table this month.  One of the ways that an employer gauges the strength of a union during bargaining is by its membership rate — the percentage of people who have chosen to sign an application to become full members rather than remain fair share fee payers.  Over the next few weeks, UAPD staff will be working across Los Angeles County to maximize our level of membership.  LA County members are asked to  give organizers a hand locating the non-members, and to speak to their colleagues about the importance of being a UAPD member.  The contract we’re negotiating covers everyone — and the more people who become members, the better that contract will be.

Bargaining Update for Physicians (BU 324)

UAPD is currently in negotiations with Los Angeles County over the next contract for Physicians (BU 324).  Priorities include making permanent the Primary Care/Internal Medicine pay increases that were granted under the “Manpower Shortage” policy, fixing shortfalls in specialty pay scales, gaining recognition for unrecognized specialties, and addressing pay equity more generally.

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LA County Members Stand Up for Department Integration

August 12, 2015

On August 11th the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of integrating the existing health care departments into a single agency.  More than 25 UAPD members, doctors and pharmacists, testified in favor of integration before the vote took place.  Many more took time to write letters to the Supervisors and sign petitions in favor of the integration.

UAPD believes that all members in Los Angeles County stand to benefit from integration.  A single agency is better for County workers, patients, and the bottom line — it is simply a good idea.

However, the integration plan faced opposition, most of which was organized by outside contractors who fear that their business with the County will decrease if services are brought together under one agency staffed by permanent County employees.  There were hundreds of people on hand at the meeting who opposed the plan.  But the County Board of Supervisors also heard from from UAPD members about the benefits of integration.  Doctors and pharmacists gave dozens of concrete examples of how integration can improve patient care while saving money.

This was the first time that the Los Angeles County physician unit, dentist and psychiatrist unit, and pharmacist unit were able to join forces to achieve a goal.  But it won’t be the last — we are sure that there will be many more opportunities for these UAPD members to work together in the future.

LA County Doctors Support Department Integration

May 27, 2015

UAPD-represented doctors in the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS), Department of Mental Health (DMH), Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Sheriff’s Department medical services are in support of a new plan to unite the departments into a single agency.   Integration will give doctors the tools they need to improve patient care, including a single electronic health record system.  Providing comprehensive health care at a single point of entry is not only better for the patients, it is cost-effective.   Integration will save money by avoiding the duplication of services that happens when people are passed between multiple departments for their health care, for example.  A single, well-managed agency can help the County meet the challenges of running a large health care system.  Los Angles doctors have been impressed by the progress that Dr. Mitch Katz has made at DHS, and hope that he will be able to continue this work as the head of the new agency.

Read UAPD President Dr. Stuart Bussey’s thoughts on department integration in the Union Pulse.

 

Los Angeles County Pharmacists Join UAPD

May 27, 2015

With all the votes counted, 202 Los Angeles County pharmacists have voted in favor of joining UAPD, with just 17 voting for the Guild, and 1 voting for No Representation.  That is more than 90% of the votes in favor of the new union.  Based on these ERCOM, the labor board for Los Angeles, will recognize UAPD as the new union representative at its next meeting on June 22nd.

The determination, unity, and hard work demonstrated by pharmacists throughout this campaign has been striking.  Pharmacist leaders collected signed union cards from a majority of their colleagues by May of last year, but their union election was delayed for several months because a political dispute in Los Angeles left ERCOM out of commission.  UAPD worked with our allies in Los Angeles to help settle that dispute and get ERCOM back on track, so that the pharmacists could move forward with the process of joining UAPD.

The strength of this group will be put to good use in the coming months, when they negotiate the first UAPD contract with Los Angeles County.   UAPD staff and elected leaders in Los Angeles have begun working with pharmacists on the contract campaign.

 

The Urge to Merge

April 16, 2015

Los Angeles County has officially published a proposal to integrate its three main health care agencies–the Department of Health Services (DHS), the Department of Mental  Health (DMH) and the Department of Public Health (DPH).  Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas has also added the Sheriff’s Department to this merger. A sixty (60) day feedback period involving the many stakeholders, including UAPD, has begun. It is incumbent upon our LA County doctors to be informed and to have a frank and open discussion about this plan before our union responds with an official opinion.

First, a bit of history. Many decades ago the departments all operated as a single entity. For various reasons the Board of Supervisors (BOS) separated the three main functions into the three current departments. Now, because of evolving changes in health care delivery and reimbursement, the County feels it is prudent to again operate as a single unified health agency. Better services and programs would be available to County residents, bureaucratic barriers would be dissolved, operations streamlined and finances optimized by the sharing of capital and expenses.

From our members’ perspective there are some obvious advantages to the merger. First, the UAPD has had a good working relationship with DHS. DHS would address the problems of the other departments regarding physicians being supervised by non-physicians  (custody, nurses, social workers who often hear grievances and make medical decisions). Also, DHS has been the only department in favor of manpower shortage pay increases.

However, some concerns about the integration were raised at a recent Town Hall meeting at Harbor/UCLA hospital. As expressed by one of our doctors –“adding another layer of bureaucracy could be asking for trouble.” The consultant to the CEO present at the meeting answered that no budgets or staff would be cut or redirected after the merger. But one only has to look at the Prison Receivership as an example of bureaucracy gone wild. There have been ever increasing numbers of new administrative positions created—CMO, CME, etc. The potential for undue oversight on our members must be considered. We made it clear at the meeting that UAPD must be afforded regular input if and when the integration goes forward. We also discussed how the performance of the merger might be assessed. Some form of evidence, survey and/ or metric must be developed to measure patient and provider access and satisfaction, provider productivity and reimbursement. These should be made available to the public at regular intervals. Finally, always having an MD at the helm of his new agency should be made a priority. Over the next 60 days we will be having meetings at LAC facilities to solicit your ideas and input; the next meeting is at Olive View Medical Center, CD-R Room, Wednesday 4/22, 11:30 am – 1 pm. I look forward to talking with you there.

LA County Doctors Discuss Department Merger

March 30, 2015

Los Angeles County Supervisors are considering a plan to merge the county’s public health department and its mental health agency with the Department of Health Services, which now runs county hospitals and clinics.  How will UAPD members fit into the plan?  How could these changes affect doctor jobs?  UAPD is holding a series of townhall meetings to discuss these issue with doctors.  In these townhalls, UAPD President Dr. Stuart Bussey has been joined by representatives from the County’s Office of Health Care Integation, which is tasked with crafting the proposal for the health agency model.  A meeting was held at Harbor UCLA on March 18th.  The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 22nd at 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at the Olive View Medical Center in the Doctors Conference Room (Cafeteria).  At Olive View Dr. Bussey will be joined by Christina R. Ghaly, M.D. (Director of Health Care Integration) and Carol Meyer, BSN, MPA (Community Outreach Coordinator).

LA Psychiatrists and Dentists Approve New Contract

March 15, 2014

UAPD Members in Los Angeles County Bargaining Unit 325 (Dentists and Psychiatrists) overwhelmingly ratified a agreement reached by the negotiating team on February 20, 2014.  The 18 month agreement includes three across-the-board pay increases of 2% each.  In addition, psychiatrist pay will now follow the physician pay scale, which has 20 steps instead of 13.   The agreement also provides legal representation to those responding to Medical and Dental Board inquires, and enhances health benefit plans.  In total, the value of the salary and benefits of BU 325 members will increase between 6% and 16% over the 18 months of this agreement.

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