Legal Advocacy


Resources

Through its attorneys, UAPD files many court cases on behalf of members every year. The “Legal Advocacy” sections of the newsletter and website are intended to provide members with monthly updates on the progress of open UAPD legal cases.

Important Victory in Case against Contractors

August 9, 2017

Yesterday, UAPD-represented doctors working for Alameda Health Services (AHS) won a significant legal victory in our year-long campaign against contracting out.  While a judge had previously denied UAPD’s request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to immediately halt the transfer of psychiatrist jobs to outside contractor Traditions Behavioral Health (TBH), yesterday Judge Michael Markman issued a motion to compel AHS to participate in binding arbitration with UAPD over the issue.  The text of the Judge’s ruling can be read here.

The arbitrator will determine if by hiring high-cost contractors, AHS violated a law that went into effect with the passage of AB 1008 in 2013.  Co-sponsored by UAPD and AHS, AB 1008 strictly limited the ability of AHS to contract out the work of its union doctors.  It stated:
Read more …

Legal Consultation Fund for UAPD Members

February 19, 2014

Any UAPD member who has received a formal written notice of suspension, termination, or limitation of medical staff privileges can apply to receive up to $1000 per case and per year to pay for legal consultation. The fund will be used to pay for attorneys who have been approved by UAPD to provide this service. UAPD will continue its practice of offering non-lawyer representation at the initial stages of disciplinary proceedings.

To determine if they are eligible to receive funds under this policy, the member must apply to a three person screening committee appointed by the UAPD President. The decisions of this Committee shall be final. Other restrictions apply– please contact the Oakland office at 510-839-0193 for details and to submit an application to the screening committee.

Pensionability of DSS Bonus Money

March 1, 2013

Back in 2010, UAPD attorneys helped a retired State doctor file a claim with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) seeking to recalculate his pension payment to reflect the bonuses he had earned while working for the Department of Social Services (DSS).  For years DSS employees had been making pension contributions on the bonus money they earned, so it was surprising and disappointing when those bonuses were deemed “non-pensionable” and excluded from the final compensation figure that CalPERS uses to determine pension benefits.

UAPD helped guide the case through the CalPERS system for more than two years.  Last year the case was heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in San Diego.   The ruling was overwhelmingly positive.  In his decision,  the ALJ sided with UAPD, stating that “The productivity bonuses should be included in calculating each of the respondent’s final retirement allowance.”

Though the ALJ ruling is a positive one, there is still one more hurdle to overcome.  Under California’s Administrative Procedure Act, the ALJ’s ruling has no effect until the Board of Administration of CalPERS)takes formal action to either adopt it, remand it, or decline to adopt it in favor of its own decision.  After postponing consideration of the issue, the CalPERS board remanded the case back to the ALJ for “further evidence.”  UAPD continues to fight for the rights of these retirees.

California Voters Stand Up for Working People

November 7, 2012

Proposition 32, which would have severely limited the ability of working people to make political contributions through their unions, was sounded defeated at the polls on Tuesday.  Proposition 30, a temporary tax to fund schools and public safety, was passed by voters.  Both are good news for UAPD members, many of whom devoted their time and energy to these campaigns.  Congratulations to all!

DSS Bonus Plan and Pensions

October 5, 2012

Back in 2010, UAPD attorneys helped a retired State doctor file a claim with Cal-PERS seeking to recalculate his pension payment to reflect the bonuses he had earned while working for the Department of Social Services (DSS).  For years DSS employees had been making pension contributions on the bonus money they earned, so it was surprising when those bonuses were deemed “non-pensionable” and excluded from the final compensation figure that CalPERS uses to determine pension benefits.

UAPD helped guide the case through the Cal-PERS system for more than two years.  Most recently the case was heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in San Diego.  In his decision, the judge agreed with UAPD that the bonus money fit the definition of “special compensation” and was thus pensionable.  He  stated that “The productivity bonuses should be included in calculating each of the respondent’s final retirement allowance.”

Though the ALJ ruling is a positive one, there is still one more hurdle to overcome.  Under California law, the ALJ’s ruling has no effect until the Board of Administration (Board) of (CalPERS) takes formal action to either adopt it, remand it, or decline to adopt it in favor of its own decision.  The ALJ’s ruling was scheduled to be reviewed by the Board during its regular meeting on September 12, 2012 then postponed until October 17th.  UAPD will update members about the Board’s response as soon as it is known.

UAPD Welcomes New Group

April 5, 2012

The doctors, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants employed by the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics are the latest to join UAPD’s growing clinic sector.  The group will begin negotiating its first union contract in the coming months.

Concerns Rising about Receivership End

February 10, 2012

Advocates for inmates and some medical officials question whether the system will continue to improve without federal oversight.

Read Full Article Inmate advocates question California’s commitment to prison healthcare in the Los Angeles Times

PERB Rules in Favor of Ventura Doctors

August 30, 2011

A Public Employee Relations Board Administrative Law Judge issued a scathing ruling against Ventura County last week, in favor of the doctors there who have been fighting to have UAPD represent their unit.  Ventura County had recognized UAPD as the exclusive bargaining agent for county doctors in 2010, but then refused to bargain with the Union, claiming that the doctors were not county employees after all. In the August 24, 2011 PERB decision, ALJ Thomas J. Allen called Ventura County’s initial recognition of the Union a “sham” and ordered the County to genuinely recognize UAPD now, to begin bargaining in good faith, and to reimburse the Union for what was spent on lawyers to fight this case.

In a Ventura County Star article, County attorneys  said they plan to appeal the judge’s decision.  UAPD is pushing County leaders to reconsider that decision, because continuing to pursue this obviously illegal course of action hurts doctors and patients and wastes tax payer money.

Earlier Ventura News

Previous PERB Decision in Favor of UAPD in Ventura County

US Supreme Court Orders California Prisoner Release

August 7, 2011

From UAPD President Dr. Stuart Bussey:

You have undoubtedly heard about the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling that 33,000 CDCR inmates must be released over the next few years from California’s overcrowded prisons.

What this means for UAPD’s physicians, psychiatrists and dentists is unclear at this time.  We have not yet discussed the ruling with CDCR administration or the Federal Receiver. It is unclear where the released inmates will go or who will provide their medical care.

If any of the medical or dental positions are to be reduced, it is possible they could be absorbed by the current vacancies within CDCR, especially in psychiatry.  There may well be new appointments of our doctors in the parole agencies or in the new acute care facilities which are now being built across the state.

While there is still much uncertainty, one thing is for sure:  UAPD will endeavor to keep the responsibility for the medical, psychiatric, and dental care in the hands of our union doctors.  We will update members as more information becomes known.

Furlough Case Takes Disappointing Turn

June 21, 2011

Oon May 16th, UAPD was dismayed to learn that San Francisco’s First District Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision in favor of  UAPD on the issue of furloughs.

In a case first filed in 2009, UAPD argued that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had not received proper authorization from the Legislature for furloughing state workers, and that by furloughing workers paid from sources outside of the state’s general fund he had misappropriated federal and special fund monies.  At the end of 2009, UAPD received three favorable decisions from Alameda Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch, who called for the immediate end to furloughs of workers paid by federal or special funds and authorized back pay for time already lost.  Schwarzenegger filed an injunction to prevent the implementation of Judge Roesch’s ruling and filed several appeals in January of 2010.

Earlier this month, the three San Francisco appeals court justices ruled unanimously in favor of Schwarzenegger, citing a 2010 ruling by the California Supreme Court to say that the Legislature had retroactively authorized furloughs, regardless of funding source, with the budget legislation it passed after the furlough policy was already implemented.   UAPD is considering whether to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court,  in order to challenge the idea that the Legislature has the right, retroactively or not, to redirect federal and special funds.

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