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We Are Heroes In Harm’s Way

For the past few weeks, we have experienced the intersection of panic, uncertainty, and bureaucratic indifference. The coronavirus has exposed a country slow on the trigger and unprepared to deal with a public health crisis. The bureaucrats and administrators who “manage” our health care institutions are scurrying to put on a good face and reassure those who are on the front lines that help is on the way. They need you to stay on the job so they can keep theirs.

Their propaganda can go only so far when a person’s health and survival are on the line. UAPD has received anecdotal reports that some of our members have been asked to see routine or non-emergent patients, and often, they are not provided with adequate PPE to protect them. Would you ask a soldier to go into combat without proper gear? Or a fireman? Social distancing, triage principles, and even the published policies of our state and county health officials are at odds with what supervisors are telling our members. They have promised to maximize telehealth opportunities. They have promised to screen all patients. If you feel that you are being placed in a dangerous position with sick patients and/or inadequate PPE, UAPD wants to know about this. Please use the attached forms below to document these cases and email them to us at uapd.com. Your decision to be in harm’s way with a patient should be based on both ethics and logic. Your professional judgment and the Hippocratic phrase “Do no harm” also refers to YOU, the healer. If you are not well, the patient and the system will not be well. If you are sick, test positive, elderly or have someone at home who is compromised, you should not be at work. Use your sick leave, FMLA, or ask for ATO. If you are asked to participate in care that is dangerous to you or the patient, complete the Corona Incident Report or the DDO, “Directive Despite Objection” and send it to UAPD. We will use this evidence to try to force a change in policy

Another way to have a voice in the “Corona era” would be to form a Corona policy committee in your institution to address telework, screening, and PPE, etc. These task forces should be composed of half administrators, half rank and file doctors and providers. A petition form will be on the website in a few days. Please sign it and return it.

Next Monday, March 30 is National Doctors’ Day. UAPD wants to tell the world about the heroes that work to help and heal in these days of crisis— whether those patients are in our counties, state prisons and hospitals or those who work in the private sector. Please nominate or tell us about yourself or a colleague that has gone the extra mile to help our patients. We will contact them this week to be part of a live press conference next Monday to make the public aware of what you do for them and what they should do for you. Please send us these nominations ASAP via email or to me at sabussey@aol.com. Meanwhile, if you have questions, please call your union representative for help.

Thank you. Stay Safe, Work Smart!

Stuart Bussey, MD, JD
UAPD President

UAPD State Bargaining Update #4: UAPD Makes the News

Given Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent “stay in place” directive, your UAPD Bargaining Team has been meeting “virtually” every Wednesday and Thursday, without interruption.  The team has worked on critical issues ranging from Cost of Living Increases; Contracting Out; Pay Parity; Professional Judgment; Health and Safety; Transfers; and Additional Appointments. 

In related news, on March 9th, UAPD testified before the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety. The hearing showcased the States abuse of the  “contracting out process” while maintaining a high vacancy rate for “rank and file” physicians. UAPD bargaining team member, Dr. Navreet Mann, CDCR Psychiatry, represented the union during the proceedings. 

On March 19th, UAPD held a “meet and confer” with CDCR regarding “on-call for telemedicine”. The union continues to spar with the Department over its objections to call for volunteers before mandating on-call from its telemedicine doctors. UAPD as asked that the Department to delay the April 1st implementation date until proper procedures are in place. UAPD has a tentative follow up meeting on April 3rd.

These difficult times have exposed many issues in the workplace that UAPD will fight to address in state negotiations. COVID-19 continues to change work environments by the hour. UAPD will work with great vigilance in making your voices heard! 

A Letter From Ralph Diaz Re: COVID-19

Click the first page below to see the full document

An Important Message for All UAPD Members Regarding COVID-19

Covid-19 is causing major changes to the way that we go about our lives and work as health care professionals. Social distancing and telework can be difficult to achieve, depending upon your particular workplace. Here are some general work guidelines for UAPD workers, distilled from individual departments, organizations, and government edicts.
 
Employees at Highest Risk
 
As the disease progresses, morbidity and mortality of various age groups will become clearer. What is currently accepted is that people over 65 and those with chronic conditions are highest risk for poorer outcomes. If you are in this category, you can request all viable options for flexible scheduling and telework. You can request leaves of all types if your position is not conducive to working from home. Paid administrative leave (ATO) should be requested if you have no leave balances and face hardship due to illness, caring for sick family members or children whose schools have closed. Employees subject to quarantine or self-monitoring should ask for telework or ATO. Those who test positive for COVID-19 should expect leave credits of all types 14 days after the quarantine begins. They may also be eligible for FMLA. Most paid ATO is at least 14 business days in duration. 
 

These general policies vary by specific department, organization, and state. As previously mentioned they are subject to change. Listed below are some of your rights and suggestions to protect yourself:
Read more …

Read more about: COVID-19, Featured, News

UAPD State Bargaining Update #3: Putting Forth Proposals

This week the UAPD Bargaining Team’s new meeting schedule went into effect. With two full days of state negotiations, the team is advancing with the State as expeditiously as possible.

Here’s what was brought to the table:

  • The UAPD team put forth important proposals regarding an increase in CME reimbursement amounts, as well as increased time off for CME.
     
  • A proposal was made to have certification examinations and maintenance of certification fees reimbursed by the State.
     
  • We also proposed to support changes in parental leave as well as the ability to share leave.
     
  • Significant items were advanced relating to rest areas and certain types of leave.
     

We are looking to the next meeting to continue pushing forward.

UAPD State Bargaining Update #2: Picking Up The Pace

At last Wednesday’s bargaining table meeting, UAPD and state negotiators reached a tentative agreement on nine non-economic articles. Moreover, we secured a hard commitment from the state to prioritize economic issues.

  1. The pace of negotiations will now increase as we will meet with state negotiators twice a week for the duration of bargaining. This demonstrates a shared interest on both sides to reach an agreement. 
     
  2. The state submitted proposals to move forward on additional non-economic items, which we will review prior to our next meeting with negotiators.
     
  3. UAPD will be meeting state department leaders and key budget decision-makers in the ensuing weeks. This will aid in framing the bargaining negotiations at the table.

In addition to these developments, UAPD also objected to the practice of managers/supervisors approving leave on the condition that the employee secures their own coverage for the time they are requesting off.

The California Department of Human Resources (CDHR) communicated that they are not aware of such policies or practices.

If you are having this issue at your local facility regarding release time requests, please contact your union representative.

The next bargaining sessions are scheduled this week on Wednesday, March 4 and Thursday, March 5, at the Sacramento Headquarters Office. 

UAPD State Bargaining Update #1: Kicking Things Off

 

UAPD kicked off State bargaining on Wednesday, February 19, 2020.  Introductions of both teams, ground rules, and the February bargaining schedule were established during this first meeting. 

In an unprecedented accomplishment, UAPD was successful in increasing the bargaining committee representatives from 5 to 7, giving our members an increased voice at the table.  Leading the UAPD team is Doug Chiappetta, Executive Director. Doug wasted no time laying out the Union’s top priorities for our doctors.

Priority issues:

  • Wages and Wage Parity
  • Respect and Dignity in the Workplace 
  • Professional Autonomy 
  • PEPRA benefit augmentation
  • Contracting Out 

Your bargaining committee is diverse, vocal, experienced, and energized to bargain the best contract, which will address all of the key issues from the survey responses you provided. 

In the next few weeks union representatives, bargaining committee members, and your colleagues will be distributing campaign materials for you to post at your workplace.  Our campaign theme is “ONE TEAM – ONE FIGHT!”.  Only in unity can we win a strong and fair contract. Let’s spread the energy that was started this week to all of our members in each state facility. 

Read more …

UAPD Bargaining 2020: Meet Your Bargaining Team

With negotiations set to start in about two weeks, UAPD has been preparing by planning out and assembling its bargaining team.

Today we finalized our team lineup:
Dr. Stuart Bussey
Dr. Simon Hamid  (ASH)
Dr. Bob Bitonte (DSS)
Dr. Ryan Kim (CDCR)
Dr. Peter Dang (Metro)
Dr. Navreet Mann (CDCR)
Dr. Beth Chung (Patton)

Be sure to stay tuned for future updates on negotiations. Any new developments will be both emailed and posted here on the website.

Solano County Board of Supervisors Adopts UAPD Contract

We are happy to report that on Tuesday, January 28th, the Solano County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt the new UAPD tentative agreement. With the approval of the new MOU, new salaries will go into effect starting early next month.

Physical booklets of the new contract will be sent out within the upcoming weeks. Thank you once again to our Solano UAPD members!

UAPD Bargaining 2020: Survey Results and Upcoming Bargaining Dates

The results of the 2020 Bargaining Survey are now in and we’ve heard your voices. Of the ten major bargaining issues presented in the survey, these were the top five chosen to bring to the bargaining table:

#1 Raises & Parity
#2 Pension Protection
#3 Health Benefits
#4 Workload
#5 Recruitment & Retention

Now that we have a clear view of what state members are wanting in a new contract, we can move forward in planning our arguments for the bargaining table.

The first meeting for bargaining between the UAPD and the State will begin at 11 AM on Wednesday, February, 19th at our Sacramento Headquarters office.

Any further updates on negotiations will be both emailed and posted here on the website.