UAPD Pursues Salary Corrections at UC

July 2, 2016

All University of California student health center doctors represented by UAPD received a 3% raise effective Friday, July 1st.  This marks the third salary increase in the UAPD contract, totaling a minimum of 10%, and significantly more for doctors at five campuses who were previously below negotiated minimum salaries or who received equity adjustments.

UAPD members will recall that the contract also provided for retroactive lump sum payments.   All of the campuses issued the lump sum payments by November 2015, and earlier this year, UAPD began a careful review of each campuses’ calculations. The Union found a structural error in most payroll departments’ methodologies, whereby doctors were not paid for two months of the first retroactive period. UAPD has been working with the Office of the President since that time to ensure that the missing amounts are issued and all doctors receive the full retroactive payments they are due.

As a result, some campuses are issuing corrective payments now and the others will follow soon thereafter. UAPD will send another announcement when the final correct amounts are documented so that any member unsure of their retroactive payment can verify it with the Union.

Bargaining Update 7/1/16

July 1, 2016

On Thursday, June 30, UAPD met with the State.  UAPD started the day with a proposal on Hours of Work, clarifying that working an average of 40 hours per week over a 12 month period means that some weeks should be shorter than 40 hours to offset those which are longer.  We also clarified that the prohibition on “timekeeping devices” in our contract extends to methods where the stated purpose is something other than timekeeping.  This includes things like personal duress alarm systems, identification badge swipe systems, sign-in sheets, and the like – none of these should be used to track a doctor’s time at work.  UAPD also proposed that doctors be held responsible only for reasonable objectives in the workplace.  An example of an unreasonable objective is CCHCS  holding individual physicians responsible for meeting their facility’s overall, court-ordered objectives for patient visits, when short staffing means the work is divided between too few doctors.
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AFSCME Convention

June 24, 2016

The following UAPD members were elected to serve as delegates at the AFSCME 42nd International Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, which starts on July 18, 2016. The theme of this year’s convention is “Never Quit”.

Nandan Bhatt, M.D.         
Department of Developmental Services

Mubashir Farooqi, M.D.            
Department of State Hospitals

Dennis K. Lin, M.D.                
Department of State Hospitals

L. Lee Nelson, M.D.                
Los Angeles Department of Health Services

Shakalpi R. Pendurkar, DDS., MPH    
Gardner Health Services

Alice To, Pharm.D.                
Los Angeles County

In accordance with the UAPD constitution and bylaws, UAPD President Stuart A. Bussey, M.D., J.D., is automatically included as one of UAPD’s seven delegates.  

Thank you to the UAPD members who voted in this election and the eight nominees for their effort and enthusiasm on behalf of the Union.  Congratulations to our elected delegates.

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Bargaining Update 6/24/16

June 24, 2016

Below is a summary of topics covered during the last few weeks of bargaining.  As always, there is a limit to how many issues we can address in each session. Please contact your labor representative if you have questions about an issue not yet covered.

Fixing the PEPRA Pension Cap
As of today, more than 20% of UAPD members are “new hires” under PEPRA and subject to the cap on pensionable salary.  That percentage will grow every year as more new hires come into the system.  When these doctors retire, their pension will be based on a maximum of $117,020 (adjusted for inflation each year), rather than their actual salary.  By our calculations, that constitutes a 45% loss of pension income for “PEPRA” members as compared to “Classic” members who are not subject to the pension cap. 

UAPD has met with legislators to urge them to introduce legislation remove the cap, but so far none have shown willingness to take the lead on the issue.  Therefore, UAPD has been looking for an alternative method to address the problem.  On June 23rd,  UAPD proposed that the State take the employer contribution on salary above the cap that, pre-PEPRA, would have gone to CalPERS, and put that money into defined contribution pension plans for PEPRA employees.  For more details, click here to read the text of UAPD’s presentation to the State.  UAPD strongly believes successful recruitment and retention requires a good pension, and that means doing something like this to offset the losses that came from the PEPRA pension cap. Read more …

Bargaining Update 6/1/16

June 1, 2016

Four members came to bargaining today to discuss the lack of parity between Physician Surgeons from the Department of State Hospitals and those doing the same work within the Department of Corrections. The presenters were Hossein Akhavan, MD (Atascadero), Dr. Ali Akhavan, M.D. (Napa), Dr. Teneese Nguyen (Metropolitan), and Dr. Stephanie Nguyen (Patton). UAPD followed the presentation with a proposal that DSH Physician and Surgeons receive a pay increase to bring them to 95% of what CDCR pays for the same position. Read more …

Bargaining Update for BU 16 for 5/24/16

May 24, 2016

Last week the State made a presentation on OPEB, Other Post-Employment Benefits. OPEB are the benefits other than pension that retired workers receive from the employer, such as retiree health benefits. The State provided data indicating $436 million in unfunded liability for the retiree health benefits for our unit. They have proposed raising the prefunding contribution to 1% of salary next year (from 0.5% currently) and 1.4% the following year. Under their proposal, the State would be contributing an equivalent amount to the retiree health benefit fund. For new employees, the State also wants to introduce a vesting schedule for health and dental benefits, so that the State would pay 50% of benefits for those who retiree with 15 years of seniority and 100% of benefits for those with 25 years. For new employees, the State also wants decrease the amount the State will pay towards Medicare supplemental plans. The presenter argued that changes are necessary to make the retirement health program economically stable, but UAPD has questions about whether the costs they are projecting are truly realistic. We also know that cutting the benefits for future employees will make recruitment more difficult. Read more …

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.

BU 16 Bargaining Update 5/12/16

May 12, 2016

At today’s meeting with the State, we continued to discuss their responses to our information requests. Their Chief Negotiator clarified which of the dozens of reports they have provided gives the clearest picture of the vacancy rate in our unit, an important issue when we begin to discuss recruitment and retention of doctors.

The UAPD team raised our concerns about new mechanisms of investigating doctors that seem to violate the terms of our contract. Some managers claim that doctors facing “administrative reviews” or “audits” are not being “investigated,” so they are not subject to the protections in Article 12.2. Others say that investigations done by certain outside or internal units can proceed without regard to that contractual language. Next week we will continue listing our objections to this change in practice, and later this month the State will bring representatives from DSH and CDCR to present information and answer our questions. Read more …

NEVHC Wins Salary Scale Worth Celebrating

May 11, 2016

Due to the strength and unity of UAPD NEVHC members, the midterm bargaining team won the establishment of a new salary scale for providers.  The comprehensive grid incorporates substantial salary increases for all UAPD members at NEVHC, ranging from 9% to 23% cumulatively.

The UAPD team worked hard on this, meeting regularly, often weekly, with management for the past several months on behalf of all members.  This tremendous achievement was accomplished by a diverse group of members working together, as a team, on unpaid time outside of their clinic hours.  This group of remarkable providers is committed to ensuring just and fair working conditions and compensation, while equally committed to always providing the best, safest patient care.

This historic achievement is remarkable not only because it represents an unprecedented mid-contract salary increase for every classification, but because it establishes a salary scale for the first time at NEVHC.   The salary scale is based on years of clinical experience.

UAPD Lobbies Against UC Pension Attacks

April 22, 2016

On Wednesday April 20, UAPD joined AFSCME 3299, the California Nurses’ Association, and the Teamsters in a united lobbying effort against a proposed attack on the University of California pension. Ten teams of employees and staff met with 54 legislators and key staffers, explaining the problem and urging them to sign a letter demanding that UC’s proposition 2 funding for fiscal year 2016-2017 be contingent on elimination of the 401(k) opt-out.  Since the Assembly Speaker, Senate President, and Lt. Governor all signed letters opposing the opt-out, we are hopeful that with continued pressure, the legislature will agree to compel UC to do the right thing.

UAPD members will remember that the Coalition of UC Unions strongly oppose UC president Janet Napolitano’s Task Force’s recommendation to introduce caps on pensionable salary for all employees hired on or after July 1, 2016. You can read the emails describing those efforts and see UAPD President Stuart Bussey’s testimony here: January 15 email and January 29 email.
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