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Have union news to tell us?  Contact Sue Wilson at swilson@uapd.com.

UAPD Sponsered Bill That Would Eliminate Copays for Inmates Passes First Committee

February 28, 2019

On February 26th, California’s Assembly Public Safety Committee voted to pass Assembly Bill 45, authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz). AB 45, which UAPD (Local AFSCME 206) has co-sponsored, would eliminate medical and dental co-payments and charges for health care appliances in prisons and jails. The passage comes on the heels of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) recent announcement that they will stop charging copayments for medical and dental services and appliances like dentures effective March 1, 2019.

Since 1995, California prisons have required a $5 medical copay from incarcerated people seeking medical or dental care. In most county jails, inmates must pay a copay of $3. California counties that do not collect medical co-payments from people in jail include Napa, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and Tulare. In 2017, the Prison Policy Initiative calculated that someone earning prison job minimum wage would have to work over 60 hours to afford one copay. For many prisoners, this is often a costly choice that can result in deadly consequences. In 2003, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention identified copays as one of the factors contributing to an MRSA outbreak among incarcerated people in California. Proponents of the bill also argue that medical co-pays exacerbate racial inequities within public health.  Because Black and Brown people are disproportionately incarcerated, barriers to affordable healthcare created through copays intensify existing racial health disparities.

The UAPD, alongside the ACLU of California, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and Initiate Justice are now looking to the California Legislature to eliminate these co-payments and medical equipment charges in county jails and to ensure that they can’t be reinstated in state prison.

Read more about: Legislative Advocacy, News

Multicare Urgent Care – Legacy Bargaining Team Agrees to Historic Contract

February 25, 2019

Facing an increasing media campaign and an imminent picketing demonstration by UAPD, Multicare Health Systems blinked. After 20 months at the bargaining table, one issue became the sticking point—the urgent care closing policy. Urgent Care doctors and providers wanted to maintain their ability to leave the clinic near the posted closing time. Our tentative agreement essentially preserves this right and will go a long way to prevent burnout and fatigue. In addition to the closing policy there are many other advancements in this first contract—just cause, salary increases with a reduction in total shifts, a new grievance system, to name a few. Legacy bargaining unit members will be voting on this new contract in the coming weeks.

This tentative agreement with Multicare represents the first collective bargaining between a physician and provider union and a private corporate health care organization in the state of Washington and one of the first in the western United States. It will undoubtedly give hope to other doctors and providers who are working as employees without a voice. UAPD has another potential agreement close at hand with Multicare/Auburn Medical center. The next session will be on March 13. We will keep you posted.

Read more about: Featured, News, Washington

Arbitrator Mandates Alameda Health System Employ UAPD Psychiatrists

January 9, 2019

In July 2018, UAPD decisively won at arbitration against Alameda Health System (AHS).  Two years prior to that time, AHS contracted out psychiatrists’ jobs in the psychiatric emergency services/triage services to Traditions Behavioral Health (TBH), flagrantly violating both UAPD’s MOU and a California statute, sponsored by UAPD, which protects those jobs. The arbitrator ruled AHS was clearly in violation of the MOU and the statute. The arbitrator then ruled that all of those positions MUST be returned to us! In September 2018, the arbitrator handed down his remedy (see below), outlining that by May 1, 2019, TBH’s contract for staffing PES (milieu and triage) must end, if not sooner (see paragraph #7 of the remedy).  Currently, AHS is in violation of this remedy as they have failed to advertise the new psychiatric rates in violation of paragraph #3 of the remedy as the rates have been approved by AHS’ Board of Trustees.  Our attorneys are now demanding that AHS abide by this remedy. The arbitrator retains jurisdiction to ensure that AHS does not drag its feet. 

The remedy below represents a huge collective effort and victory for UAPD against the contractor, Traditions Behavioral Health.

Join Us For UAPD Happy Hour

September 17, 2018

Beginning tomorrow evening and every third Tuesday of the month, UAPD members can participate in a virtual happy hour. Discuss current events, UAPD news, and legislation. Share travel stories, sports, food and wine tips… and anything else that interests you. The call-in number is (310) 372-7549 and the code is ‘386201’.

 

Read more about: Featured, News

Victory for AHS Doctors! Arbitrator Rules in Favor of UAPD

July 6, 2018

UAPD decisively won at arbitration against Alameda Health System (AHS). Two years ago, AHS contracted out psychiatrists’ jobs in the psychiatric emergency services/triage services to Traditions Behavioral Health (TBH), flagrantly violating both UAPD’s MOU and a California statute, sponsored by UAPD, which protects those jobs. The arbitrator ruled AHS was clearly in violation of the MOU and the statute. The arbitrator then ruled that all of those positions MUST be returned to us! AHS and UAPD need to quickly work out the way to rid PES/Triage of TBH. The arbitrator will retain jurisdiction should AHS drag its feet. Our next task is to bring PES/Triage wages to market, which has been on the table since May 2017, with absolutely no response to date from AHS. Now, AHS will have to respond or face the wrath of the arbitrator.

Special thanks go to all of our bargaining team members, especially Dr. Milton Lorig, MD, JD and Senior Representative Patricia Hernandez, JD. Kudos as well to our legal team and those who testified. Lastly, thanks to out UAPD Lobbyist, Doug Chiappetta, who guided the legislation that helped achieve this victory.

Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Anymore: AHS Physicians Walk Out

June 29, 2018

Physicians of UAPD working in ambulatory at Alameda Health System (AHS) walked out of a meeting at the Hayward Wellness Center on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 in protest of AHS’ intransigence. Those physicians have been out of contract for a year. AHS, rather than bargain in good faith over conditions at AHS, propose disrespectful and unethical mandates that would harm our most vulnerable patient population by demanding a “factory style” approach to patient care, treating our patients as “widgets” with physician pay linked to the number of “widgets” seen. Our physicians confronted AHS’ Chief Medical, Ghassan Jamaleddine, M.D., and made clear to him that AHS’ position is unacceptable. The group overwhelmingly voted to strike if AHS continued in its present course at negotiations. Our physicians are unwilling to sacrifice the doctor/patient relationship by delivering substandard care under an “assembly line” approach to the delivery of healthcare.

More Doctors and Advanced Providers Unionize in Washington State

August 1, 2018

We would like to congratulate the physicians and advanced practice providers at Multicare’s Indigo Urgent Care centers who voted Monday to join the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD). Indigo providers sent a message that they want collective bargaining rights and a voice in providing care to patients.  “I am excited that we have formed a union because, as a collective voice, we can work cooperatively with Multicare to create an organization that excels at providing high-quality patient care and provider satisfaction”, said Sara Pederson, an Indigo Physician Assistant.

 

Indigo providers now join UAPD bargaining units previously formed at Legacy Urgent Care Centers and Auburn Medical Center. The drive to unionize Indigo centers came about because providers perceived that they were having too little impact on patient care decisions. Many of these decisions appear to have been cost driven by Multicare. Profits have been placed before patient care and employee welfare.

 

Now begins the process of better understanding the specific priorities of Indigo providers. We want to start contract negotiations as soon as possible. In the next several days Indigo providers will receive a bargaining survey that will help evaluate their concerns on compensation, working hours, benefits, and other issues. One of the most important issues concerns an effective and reasonable urgent care closing policy. “In the past Multicare has forced many of its providers to work late into the night, seeing patients after an already long shift. This presents a real safety issue for both providers and patients”, stated Stuart Bussey, M.D., UAPD President. Our union is excited to begin negotiating a contract for Indigo providers.

Read more about: Featured, News, Washington

Doctors, Unite—Celebrate Interdependence Day!

June 27, 2018

By Stuart A. Bussey, MD, JD, UAPD President

Today, in the shadow of the Independence Day weekend, the US Supreme Court declared by a 5-4 vote that public union “fair share” agency fees are unconstitutional and not mandatory. They chose fuzzy borders of free speech and association over the gritty reality of free ridership to justify this potential financial blow to labor unions. The Janus vs AFSCME decision marks the final chapter of the 75-year-old “Right to Work” anti-labor law playbook which has progressed through 26 state legislatures. Now the rule is federalized.

Many of the fair share members who did not join UAPD as full members were unaware of the important differences between these two categories. Now after the Janus decision there won’t be any more fair share members, only non-members. There are big advantages to being a full member. Most importantly, when UAPD has a robust roster of full members, committed to the principles of unionism, the employer takes notice. There is strength in numbers. We have greater staff resources. This power leads to more favorable contracts, grievance outcomes, better representation and greater respect for the bargaining unit. Higher membership leads to greater member involvement, optimism, community, and synergy of ideas to improve the workplace. Only full members can participate in contract surveys and bargaining sessions, be on committees, participate in legislation, attend free CME, and enjoy our legal defense fund. There are monetary union perks as well–reduced mortgage payments, rental and insurance discounts, etc.

Corporate and billionaire interests will continue their efforts to deconstruct unions in the US because they see them as one of the last roadblocks to a plantation economy–where there is little resistance to unreasonable and self-serving policies. Where they can pay less and expect more from their employees. Let’s fight back! The words “doctors and union” have been an oxymoron. We traditionally are individualists and have been likened to herds of cats. Following today’s Janus decision, however, we must unite to survive. Stay or become a full member… but don’t turn into a non-member! Seek out a fair and a satisfying workplace by working together.  Please consider this over the long weekend. It is good to be independent, but it is crucial to interdependent.  

The Results are In: Congratulations AFSCME 43rd International Convention Delegates

May 4, 2018

The following were elected to serve as delegates at AFSCME 43rd International Convention in Boston, MA., July 16, 2018 – July 20, 2018.  The theme of this year’s convention is, “Rise Up”.

 

Julie B. George, M.D. Department of State Hospitals

Ronald H. Lewis, M.D., F.A.C.P. Private Practice

Milton L. Lorig, M.D., J.D. Private Practice

Rufus W. Moore, M.D. Los Angeles Department of Mental Health

Rosa Nguyen, D.M.D. State Department of Correction & Rehabilitation

Gary Pedneault, M.D Los Angeles Department of Health Services

Shakalpi R. Pendurkar, D.D.S., M.P.H. Gardner Health Services

 

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

Thank you to our UAPD members who voted in this election, the 11 nominees for their effort and enthusiasm on behalf of the Union, and congratulations to our elected delegates.

 

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

Read more about: Featured, News

UC Student Health Doctors Supporting Upcoming AFSCME 3299 Strike

May 4, 2018

Dear UC Colleagues:
 
Next week on Monday, the 7th, to Wednesday, the 9th, AFSCME 3299 frontline patient and service workers will be striking against UC for racial, economic, and gender equality. We have consulted with our UAPD attorney about your potential participation and support of this strike. It is perfectly legal for you to support another union’s activities, including walking their picket lines, as long as it is on your own time. This includes your lunch and break times. What you cannot do, according to article 42 of your MOU is to engage in a sympathy strike or to have an unauthorized absence during these 3 days.  Click the link below for the schedule of the rallies at the various UC campuses. If you have any questions, contact the UAPD for more details.

Click Here For Rally Location and Schedule