Legislative Advocacy

UAPD Sponsored Bill Prevents Outsourcing

September 19, 2013

AB 1008, a bill to prevent the unnecessary outsourcing of doctor jobs in the fast-growing Alameda Health System (AHS) (formerly known as the Alameda County Medical Center) has been signed into law.  AB 1008 was initially co-sponsored by UAPD and AFSCME, and authored by Assembly Members Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) and Rob Bonta (D-Oakland).

In recent months, AHS considered employing doctors through a separate foundation not covered by the UAPD agreement.  The new law closes a loophole in the California code that allowed hospital authorities (like the one that runs AHS) greater leeway for employing contractors than other government agencies have.  Last week’s passage of AB 1008 means the jobs and the contract of UAPD doctors are now safe.

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UAPD Member Named to the Medical Board

August 21, 2013

Yesterday Governor Jerry Brown announced the appointment of Dr. Ronald Lewis to the California Medical Board.  In addition to the many distinctions listed in the Governor’s official announcement, Dr. Lewis is an active member of UAPD.  He currently serves as the President of the State Employed Physicians Association (SEPA) Board, which advises the UAPD Executive Board on matters involving State-employed doctors.   Dr. Lewis, who has worked at Ironwood State Prison since 2008, is believed to be the first union doctor to serve on the California Medical Board.

UAPD congratulates Dr. Lewis on his latest accomplishment and thanks Governor Brown for appointing a distinguished state worker to the California Medical Board.

Read UAPD Press Release

Trial Lawyers Go After MICRA Cap

August 1, 2013

UAPD is part of a broad-based coalition that has denounced a trial lawyer sponsored ballot measure that would make it easier and more lucrative for lawyers to file lawsuits against  health care providers..

The initiative’s main provision would change California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) to increase the cap on speculative, “non- economic” damages from the current $250,000 to more than $1.2 million.  As it is currently written, MICRA already fairly compensates patients by awarding unlimited economic compensation for all economic or out-of-pocket costs, including past and future medical care, past and future lost wages, and unlimited punitive damages.

Filing a ballot measure is just the first in a long series of steps the trial lawyers must take in order to qualify their measure for the November 2014 ballot. Visit the Californians Allied for Patient Protection (CAPP) website to learn more about what doctors can do to protect MICRA.

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Dr. Lewis Appointed to Respiratory Care Board

June 20, 2013

Ronald H. Lewis, M.D., a UAPD member and President of UAPD’s State Employed Physicians (SEPA) Board, has has been appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Respiratory Care Board of California. Dr. Lewis works as a physician and surgeon with Ironwood State Prison.  Congratulations!

Trial Lawyers Launch Campaign to Remove MICRA Caps

June 5, 2013

Consumer Attorneys of California, representing trial lawyers, paid $6,635 to install the billboard. It is part of a coalition committed to spending $1 million in pushing to eliminate the $250,000 cap, said Eric Bailey, spokesman for trial lawyers…

Lisa Maas, executive director of Californians Allied for Patient Protection, countered that the cap on pain-and-suffering was enacted for good reason – to curtail out-of-control medical costs…

CAPP, the coalition supporting MICRA, contends that patients receive fair compensation. Only non-economic damages — pain and suffering — are capped, not lost wages, punitive damages, or past and future medical cost, the group notes.”  — From the Fresno Bee

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Support Cindy Chavez for Santa Clara County Supervisor

May 16, 2013

On June 4th, Santa Clara County will hold a special election to fill a vacant seat on the Board of Supervisors.  This is an opportunity for UAPD members to support a candidate that will represent our members fairly and equitably in Santa Clara County.  Former Vice Mayor Chavez publicly opposed the Board of Supervisor’s decision to unilaterally implement furloughs and cuts to UAPD members in 2012.  She was instrumental in getting the County back to the table, where UAPD negotiated long overdue improvements to salary and benefits for our members in that County.  Click Here to Donate Today!

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!

UAPD Member Richard Pan Wins Reelection

November 7, 2012

UAPD member Richard Pan, M.D., soundly defeated Republican Tony Amador in the race for the 9th Assembly District.  Dr. Pan, who has already served one term in the Assembly, joined UAPD members in campaigning for Proposition 30 and against Proposition 32.  He spoke to members at the UAPD Triennial Convention in San Francisco last weekend.  UAPD sends its congratulations to Dr. Pan and wishes him the best of luck in his next term.

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All Together for the Greater Good — A Letter Urging No Vote on Prop 32

November 1, 2012

By Ralph DiLibero, MD, UAPD

The visionary talk of the day concerning national and international dynamic competitive business advantage is all summed up in two catchy words:  “Quality Assurance.”  “Quality Assurance” is a business deliverable goal that is defined with some difficulty because so many myriad metrics function to fulfill that goal.  There is, however, one over-riding human metric that not only stands out among the rest, this metric additionally  persists and prevails above all others.  A person or workplace production group that is at ease and satisfied with the job at hand is both happier and more productive towards fulfilling the goal of “Quality Assurance.”   A congenial workplace atmosphere creates a win-win scenario, both for the employee and the employer, and is the penultimate assurance for a business to achieve sustainable “Quality Assurance”.

This ideal business dynamic competitive advantage originates at the worksite and can be best accomplished when and where there exists a pleasant environment that fosters and produces an equal footing, level playing field, face-to-face conversation concerning mutual desires, needs and goals between management and workers. These ultimately amiable conversations are not just about pay or productivity rankings or pay for performance; they accomplish a much greater purpose.  Unhappy workers are poor with work-flow, and unhappy managers are poor producers of a bottom profit line.  By outlining the totality of everyone’s concerns, productive business goals can then jointly met with enthusiastic reliance on mutual needs and with mutual respect.  Increased self-esteem leads to increased self-actualization.   Workers will then go the extra mile to help others with un-assigned tasks, and managers will then also take the extra steps to show that they are more appreciative of their employees; and all will be naturally more compliant to the others’ physical, mental, and safety needs.  A family-like atmosphere, a sense of affectionate relationships, a business ethic of acknowledged and desired mutual dependency and belonging can then prevail no matter what size the business organization choses to become.  This type of workplace produces a reliable and respected culture which in turn produces the fundamental basis for successful industrial relations and success. The continued happy productive atmosphere of a workplace environment is the most powerful dynamic competitive advantage that one company or business organization can have over another.

In order to accomplish such a utopian business partnership, there has to be a mechanism and a site for the aforementioned original and primary face-to-face employer-employee conversations to take place. That precise site, the site for such discussions and negotiations has been referred to as a “collective bargaining table”.

That precise mechanism, the mechanism for achieving mutual happiness and job satisfaction sounds to me like…well what does it sound like to you?  nIt sounds exactly like unionism and solidarity to me.

You may have heard the expression, “money talks and wimpy whiners walk”.  That is why sustainable solidarity is so important for unionism to properly function.  Institutional financial stability is also an essential component of successful unionism and solidarity negotiations.  A financially weakened union position at the bargaining table does no good for fostering relationships between employers and employees.  “Quality Assurance” will eventually suffer as the consequence of such an arrangement.  The dynamic competitive advantage of the business enterprise will then be lost. The business bottom line will be hurt.   Lose-lose would unfortunately be the scenario sadly sung by all the involved parties.

That unfortunate sad consequence would result if Proposition 32 passes the ballot.  The obvious road ahead is clear to all, to all employees and employers  —  we must all VOTE NO ON PROP 32.

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UAPD Member Dr. Richard Pan Named to Top Health Post

October 5, 2012

In August pediatrician and UAPD member Dr. Richard Pan was named the Chair of the California Assembly Health Committee.  Dr. Pan has been a member of the Health Committee since first elected to the Assembly in 2010.  Dr. Pan is currently running for reelection in District 9, which encompasses parts of Sacramento, Elk Grove, and neighboring communities.

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