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Multicare Urgent Care – Legacy Bargaining Team Agrees to Historic Contract

February 25, 2019

Facing an increasing media campaign and an imminent picketing demonstration by UAPD, Multicare Health Systems blinked. After 20 months at the bargaining table, one issue became the sticking point—the urgent care closing policy. Urgent Care doctors and providers wanted to maintain their ability to leave the clinic near the posted closing time. Our tentative agreement essentially preserves this right and will go a long way to prevent burnout and fatigue. In addition to the closing policy there are many other advancements in this first contract—just cause, salary increases with a reduction in total shifts, a new grievance system, to name a few. Legacy bargaining unit members will be voting on this new contract in the coming weeks.

This tentative agreement with Multicare represents the first collective bargaining between a physician and provider union and a private corporate health care organization in the state of Washington and one of the first in the western United States. It will undoubtedly give hope to other doctors and providers who are working as employees without a voice. UAPD has another potential agreement close at hand with Multicare/Auburn Medical center. The next session will be on March 13. We will keep you posted.

Read more about: Featured, News, Washington

Taking It To The Streets

February 18, 2019

UAPD’s Legacy Urgent Care Clinic Providers have been bargaining in good faith with Multicare for two years to establish a sane and safe clinic closing policy. Our providers often see patients nonstop for 14 to 15 hours, well beyond their scheduled shifts. This assembly line mentality must stop. The stress and fatigue from these long shifts pose a danger to both our providers and the patients they serve. No one wants to see an increase in medical errors. Our bargaining team has put forward reasonable and creative solutions to solve the problem of patient access and safe care. But Multicare hasn’t listened.

Thus, our doctors and providers have been forced to take our message into a public venue. On Monday, February 25, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, urgent care providers, along with their sisters and brothers from other labor unions will hold an informational picket in front of the Legacy Urgent care clinic in Puyallup.  The address is 220 15th Avenue SE, Puyallup, WA 98372. This collective action will not impact any patient care. All Multicare clinics will remain open for business. During this event, we will hear how other labor groups, such as teachers, pilots, truckers, and construction workers, have solved their own shift fatigue problems.

Multi- needs to put “care” back into its name. They need to care about their providers’ well being instead of trying to surpass profit records at their employees’ expense. They need to care about perfecting an urgent care system that balances access with quality care. Multi- has been spinning off so many business models—Indigo, Immediate Care, Free Standing Emergency Rooms, etc—that they have lost focus. Most importantly, they need to care more about patient safety issues and not their overaggressive billing practices. Please join us by lending your voice to our cause so that Multicare may hear us.

 

Read more about: Featured, Washington

2019: Uncertainty…and Possibility

December 28, 2018

By Stuart A. Bussey, MD, JD, UAPD President

Tariff wars, Middle East and US Border tensions, government shutdown, stock market volatility. 2019 could be a difficult year for our economy and our country. On the other hand, unemployment is low, wages are slowly rising and the impact of Janus on public unions is lower than expected. UAPD will be shoring up our public sector while organizing our private markets. With streamlined staffing and consolidated offices, our union hopes to grow in size and strength. I ask that you, our members, participate and share your voices and ideas with us whenever you can.

The direction of your jobs, careers and health care delivery should be dependent on your increased professional input. Our union will continue to fight for better working conditions and health care for your patients. UAPD is more than just another non-profit corporation. It is a sisterhood and brotherhood. We need to communicate and help one another. I look forward to achieving our possibilities in the coming year.

Arbitrator Mandates Alameda Health System Employ UAPD Psychiatrists

January 9, 2019

In July 2018, UAPD decisively won at arbitration against Alameda Health System (AHS).  Two years prior to that time, 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! In September 2018, the arbitrator handed down his remedy (see below), outlining that by May 1, 2019, TBH’s contract for staffing PES (milieu and triage) must end, if not sooner (see paragraph #7 of the remedy).  Currently, AHS is in violation of this remedy as they have failed to advertise the new psychiatric rates in violation of paragraph #3 of the remedy as the rates have been approved by AHS’ Board of Trustees.  Our attorneys are now demanding that AHS abide by this remedy. The arbitrator retains jurisdiction to ensure that AHS does not drag its feet. 

The remedy below represents a huge collective effort and victory for UAPD against the contractor, Traditions Behavioral Health.

State of Our Union in 2018 — DBA (“Doing Business As”) UAPD

November 19, 2018

By Stuart A. Bussey, MD, JD, UAPD President

Fellow UAPD members, staff, and honored guests, 

I will start this State of the Union address with a well-known quote from Ruth Stafford Peale… “Find a Need …and Fill It.” These words describe the essence of a successful business model. Whether a service or product, the customer’s needs must be satisfied in order for an organization to survive, to thrive. In the case of our nonprofit corporate entity, the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, the customers are you, the members. You pay dues, you support our staff and each other, and you give good care to your patients. Our job is to take care of you. Among the services that our union has provided to our members for nearly half a century have been to bargain contracts, to enforce their provisions by grievance and arbitration, to represent them in disciplinary actions, and to fight for a safe workplace.

Since 1977 public unions, including ours, were assured of a 100% “customer base” by virtue of the US Supreme Court decision Abood v. The City of Detroit. That court decided that members of bargaining units who didn’t want to be part of a union for whatever reason still had to pay their ”fair share” for the contracts and services their union provided them. But times have changed. Our country has changed. With the rise of an oligarchy, increasing corporate influence, technology, and global outsourcing, unions have lost their influence. In the 1950s 36% of workers belonged to unions. Now only 11% do.

Those who never fully embraced the philosophy of union membership seized upon this summer’s Janus Supreme Court decision to drop out of their unions, to become non-members. Across the country, public unions now face a reckoning. While some unions lost only a few members, others lost almost half of their membership. Despite our best efforts to convince them to remain or become full members, UAPD lost a fifth of its membership. Almost all of that loss was from the fair share sector. Only a handful of our loyal full members have dropped out. That is good news. But make no mistake. The fair share member loss has significantly decreased financial resources with which to serve our members.

Read more …

MultiCare Providers Stand Together for Patient Safety

January 22, 2019

Hundreds of physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners at the Legacy and Indigo urgent care centers and Auburn Medical Center (AMC) in Tacoma, Washington are standing together to protect the health and wellbeing of Tacoma residents, and improve deteriorating working conditions for healthcare providers.

The three units, all members of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), have been bargaining with MultiCare, the $2.4 billion-a-year healthcare corporation that owns Legacy, Indigo and AMC, since June 2017, but the company has yet to address the providers’ serious concerns regarding patient care and staff safety. After coming to the table multiple times it’s become clear that MultiCare has not been bargaining in good faith on these issues.

Citing practices that “put profit before patient care,” UAPD members are demanding that the healthcare giant address policies that impact patient care such as staff retention, inadequate staffing levels and consistently overworked staff. These issues have led to astronomical turnover rates, unpredictable facility closures and chronic short staffing. All are contributing factors to what providers see as a declining standard of care in MultiCare facilities.

Providers will be holding MultiCare accountable both at the facilities and in a growing social media campaign

Read more about: Featured, MultiCare

UAPD’s Fifteenth Triennial Convention A Lively Success

November 16, 2018

Last month’s Triennial convention in San Francisco proved to be thought-provoking. Well over a hundred of our members and staff attended the two-day event at the SFO Westin hotel. On Friday morning we were treated to an illuminating documentary on physician suicide entitled Do No Harm. Emmy award-winning filmmaker and director Robyn Symon presented her piece and later answered questions. What followed was a fascinating CME on practitioner burnout. Etiologies and strategies to prevent and reduce burnout were presented and discussed by the panel and audience. We then heard from incoming State Treasurer Fiona Ma about the upcoming California budget and her own philosophy. She pledged to work with UAPD to help fill hundreds of our state vacancies.

During lunch, a panel of three of our reps led a discussion about the roles of stewards in UAPD. Stewards are the backbone of our union. After lunch, we broke out into several working groups in order to brainstorm issues specific to our sectors. Lots of great ideas and best practices were discussed. We later reassembled in the main hall to hear a financial planner talk about the current and future economy and strategies to save and grow money. After a break, we were treated to a rollicking evening reception in the main ballroom with refreshments, music, DJ, and dancing. Lots of fun and camaraderie followed.

The next morning we started the business portion of the convention. We reviewed the minutes of our last Triennial and the current Treasurers report. Despite the negative financial impact of the Janus decision, UAPD remains in positive cash flow. Our Vice Presidents, Drs. Lewis and Farooqi, introduced the newly elected UAPD Board and then we went around the room to introduce each individual attendee. It was a very representative turnout. I then gave the State of the Union address “DBA UAPD”. The gist of the speech is that while pledging our union to excellent service to our members ultimately UAPD must adhere to strict business principles. We must preserve and develop our membership in both older (State, LA)and newer markets (Washington). We must eliminate financial waste in several areas—payroll, legal, meeting and office expenses. We recently consolidated the Oakland and Sacramento office. We are looking to purchase a small permanent office space in LA. To read the entire speech, check out the post here on the UAPD website.

After Executive Director Zegory Williams introduced our staff to membership we heard from AFSCME organizing director Walter Blair and our political director Doug Chiappetta. At our formal luncheon, we presented the Marcus service award to outgoing Treasurer Peter Statti for over 40 years of service. A job well done, Peter! Dr. Victoria Behrman will take over the Treasurer duties going forward. Staff Patricia Hernandez and Doug Chiappetta presented gifts and a declaration by the California Senate to our retiring Executive Director Zegory Williams. Zeg has done a great job for nearly 17 years at UAPD. He will be missed. We finished the convention business by reading, amending and passing several resolutions on state vacancies, hiring practices, pensions, a UAPD app, and single payer. We debated various constitutional amendments for over an hour. The most controversial was the question of a name change for our union. Traditionalists felt that we should keep UAPD as is, while others felt that we should recognize and advertise that we have become more of a health care melting pot of practitioners. We are establishing a committee to explore and finalize all the amendments by years end. All in all the Triennial was a great way to look back at the last term and commit ourselves to grow stronger in the next three years.

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Register for the 2018 UAPD Triennial Convention

September 13, 2018

We invite all of our members to come to San Francisco this October 26th and 27th for the UAPD Triennial Convention.  All events will take place at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel, located at 1 Old Bayshore Highway in Millbrae, CA 94030.  If you wish to attend, please send back the mailed registration form as soon as possible or register here online.  Please note that hotel rooms must be reserved before September 21st to guarantee space.

Most UAPD members are responsible for their own costs for attending the meeting.  Board members, stewards and bargaining team members, and elected delegates will have their transportation and hotel costs paid by the Union.  Please call 1-800-585-6977 for assistance if you are not sure if you qualify.

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

 

 

Join Us For UAPD Happy Hour

September 17, 2018

Beginning tomorrow evening and every third Tuesday of the month, UAPD members can participate in a virtual happy hour. Discuss current events, UAPD news, and legislation. Share travel stories, sports, food and wine tips… and anything else that interests you. The call-in number is (310) 372-7549 and the code is ‘386201’.

 

Read more about: Featured, News

The Votes Are In: A New UAPD Board Has Been Elected

September 7, 2018

Your votes have been tallied from last month’s UAPD Board elections and here are the results:

Vice Presidents: Ronald H. Lewis, MD, FACP,  and Mubashir A.Farooqi, MD

County Board Members: Rex L. Cheng, MD,  Victoria A. Behrman, MD, Sandhya Radhakrishnan, Pharm.D, Gary Pedneault, MD, and John A. Uyanne, MD

Those Board seats uncontested include: Stuart A. Bussey, MD, JD, PresidentShakalpi Pendurkar, DDS, MPH, Secretary, Peter A. Statti, MD, Treasurer, Milton L. Lorig, MD, JD, Private Practice Sector, State Sector Jeff Nelson, MD, Alex Spinoso, MD and Robert A. Bitonte, MD, JD.

Thanks to all who participated in this triennial democratic exercise of our Union, to those who ran, to those who voted, and to those who have previously served on our Boards. We are a better union for it. I look forward to working with the new Board in the challenges of growing stronger during the post-Janus era. Hope to see you at our upcoming Triennial Convention in San Francisco on October 26th and 27th.

Stuart A. Bussey, MD, JD