Featured

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.    

State Doctors Weigh In on”Lift and Shift”

January 18, 2017
The Governor’s Proposed Budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018 contains language to have the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Correctional Health Care System assume responsibility for psychiatric programs now run under the auspices of the Department of State Hospitals (DSH-Salinas Valley, DSH-Stockton, and DSH-Vacaville).  The potential transfer is being called “lift and shift” for short.
 
UAPD is watching the situation closely and will meet and confer with the State over the issue.  In preparation, we ask doctors to use the following survey to share your thoughts and concerns with us.
 

Negotiations Update for Washington Doctors

January 18, 2017

Negotiations are beginning for your first contract at Auburn Medical Center.  The team is scheduled to meet with management the morning of January 26, 2017.  This first negotiation session will be to introduce the UAPD and AMC teams, discuss dates going forward, and go over preliminary procedural issues.

UAPD’s initial proposals are still being developed and the team is getting input from doctors.  They meeting with doctors in all clinical areas to listen to ideas and understand concerns regarding all aspects of wages, hours, and working conditions.

AMC doctors with questions can contact  Laura Anderson at (253) 244-7797.

Read more about: Contract/MOU, Featured, Washington

UAPD to State: No Deal

December 23, 2016

After two days of intense negotiations, the UAPD Bargaining Team must report that no deal has been reached with the State of California.  The offer put forward by the State did not adequately address the serious issues raised by our doctors, including high vacancy rates and dangerous understaffing in many facilities.  We have heard from members all across the State that we should settle for nothing less than a fair contract, and that’s what we plan to do.  We will return to the table in January, and continue preparations for taking collective action if necessary

UAPD Opens Office in Washington State

December 8, 2016

UAPD Washington State Office
708 Broadway
Suites 300 D and F
Tacoma, WA 98402
253-244-7797
washington@uapd.com

Read more about: Featured, Washington

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

State Negotiations: Chess or Chicken?

November 30, 2016

By Stuart A. Bussey, M.D., J.D., UAPD President

First things first. I hope that you enjoyed a well-deserved Thanksgiving holiday.

The game of chess requires clarity of mind, the ability to think ahead and effectively guess what moves your opponent will make. The same cannot be said for the game of chicken. Less reason, more nerve and resolve. Which player will blink and give in first? With over half of the twenty-one State bargaining unit negotiations stalemated, both of these games are being played by the State and by its employees right now.

Read more …

Rights During an SEIU 1000 Strike

November 29, 2016

UAPD State-employed doctors have asked whether they have the right to strike alongside SEIU workers this coming Monday (aka sympathy strike).  The short answer is no, UAPD-represented doctors do not have the right to engage in a sympathy strike with another union at this time. 

UAPD-doctors who want to support their SEIU colleagues can join them on the picket lines on their own time (e.g. before or after work, or during vacation, CTO, annual leave).  You can read more about the SEIU strike plans here.
Read more …

San Mateo Reopener Results in Wage Increase

November 17, 2016

As previously reported, UAPD successfully negotiated a salary reopener one year into the current contract. The results of that survey found that San Mateo County Psychiatrists had fallen below the market average for the Bay Area. As a result, your salaries have been adjusted retroactively to July 3, 2016 (the first full pay period of the current fiscal year). You will see both your increase in salary and retroactive pay on the pay check issued December 9, 2016 for the following specialties:  

  • Adult Psychiatrist and Supervising Adult Psychiatrist – 9.1%
  • Child Psychiatrist and Supervising Child Psychiatrist- 9.9%

State Has Done Little To Fix Doc Shortage at Prisons

November 3, 2016

Press Release (Oakland) — On Tuesday the State’s Office of the Inspector General issued a report that gave Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) a failing grade for the medical care it provides to inmates at the Soledad facility.  Fifteen years after a lawsuit in which a federal judge ruled that the health care given in California prisons constituted “cruel and unusual punishment,” the Inspector General found that SVSP still demonstrates “a profound inability to provide patients with adequate access to care.”

Much of the problem comes from an on-going shortage of physicians in California prisons.  According to the Inspector General’s report: “Of critical importance was SVSP’s shortage of providers and extreme difficulty with recruitment and retention of qualified physicians. This inadequate staffing at SVSP led to an institutional backlog of over 400 patients at the time of the onsite inspection, and contributed to the inadequate rating.”

Currently, there are four physicians working onsite at Salinas Valley State Prison, treating over 3800 prisoners.  The physician shortage is a pervasive problem affecting most of the 34 state adult prisons in California.

On Wednesday the Associated Press reported that California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) spokesperson Joyce Hayhoe “agreed that the prison has a serious, ongoing doctor shortage and said officials are trying to hire doctors.”  However, the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), which is now negotiating with the State on behalf of prison doctors, believes not enough is being done.  UAPD asserts that recruitment and retention is still a serious problem that is affecting patient care.

“The State can’t hire more doctors  because doctors can work elsewhere with better compensation and working conditions,” reported Dr. Stuart A. Bussey, president of UAPD.   “At the bargaining table we’ve made multiple proposals that would help with prison doctor recruitment, but the State has said no to every one of them.”

“These are not easy patients,” according to Dr. Fernando Tuvera, a physician at SVSP. “I am moved from unit to unit, treating people with injuries, Hepatitis C, end-stage liver disease, COPD, diabetes, and many other conditions.  We work long hours during the day, and the four of us have to divide up all the after-hours coverage too.  That means one week per month I’m working all day and all night.  We need more doctors here.”

The Union has also filed grievances at SVSP over the effects of inadequate staffing on the few remaining doctors, and proposed remedies that would help alleviate the strain.  Those grievances were denied by CCHCS.

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