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Multicare Urgent Care – Legacy Bargaining Team Agrees to Historic Contract

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.

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UAPD’s Fifteenth Triennial Convention A Lively Success

Last month’s Triennial convention in San Francisco proved to be thought-provoking. Well over a hundred of our members and staff attended the two-day event at the SFO Westin hotel. On Friday morning we were treated to an illuminating documentary on physician suicide entitled Do No Harm. Emmy award-winning filmmaker and director Robyn Symon presented her piece and later answered questions. What followed was a fascinating CME on practitioner burnout. Etiologies and strategies to prevent and reduce burnout were presented and discussed by the panel and audience. We then heard from incoming State Treasurer Fiona Ma about the upcoming California budget and her own philosophy. She pledged to work with UAPD to help fill hundreds of our state vacancies.

During lunch, a panel of three of our reps led a discussion about the roles of stewards in UAPD. Stewards are the backbone of our union. After lunch, we broke out into several working groups in order to brainstorm issues specific to our sectors. Lots of great ideas and best practices were discussed. We later reassembled in the main hall to hear a financial planner talk about the current and future economy and strategies to save and grow money. After a break, we were treated to a rollicking evening reception in the main ballroom with refreshments, music, DJ, and dancing. Lots of fun and camaraderie followed.

The next morning we started the business portion of the convention. We reviewed the minutes of our last Triennial and the current Treasurers report. Despite the negative financial impact of the Janus decision, UAPD remains in positive cash flow. Our Vice Presidents, Drs. Lewis and Farooqi, introduced the newly elected UAPD Board and then we went around the room to introduce each individual attendee. It was a very representative turnout. I then gave the State of the Union address “DBA UAPD”. The gist of the speech is that while pledging our union to excellent service to our members ultimately UAPD must adhere to strict business principles. We must preserve and develop our membership in both older (State, LA)and newer markets (Washington). We must eliminate financial waste in several areas—payroll, legal, meeting and office expenses. We recently consolidated the Oakland and Sacramento office. We are looking to purchase a small permanent office space in LA. To read the entire speech, check out the post here on the UAPD website.

After Executive Director Zegory Williams introduced our staff to membership we heard from AFSCME organizing director Walter Blair and our political director Doug Chiappetta. At our formal luncheon, we presented the Marcus service award to outgoing Treasurer Peter Statti for over 40 years of service. A job well done, Peter! Dr. Victoria Behrman will take over the Treasurer duties going forward. Staff Patricia Hernandez and Doug Chiappetta presented gifts and a declaration by the California Senate to our retiring Executive Director Zegory Williams. Zeg has done a great job for nearly 17 years at UAPD. He will be missed. We finished the convention business by reading, amending and passing several resolutions on state vacancies, hiring practices, pensions, a UAPD app, and single payer. We debated various constitutional amendments for over an hour. The most controversial was the question of a name change for our union. Traditionalists felt that we should keep UAPD as is, while others felt that we should recognize and advertise that we have become more of a health care melting pot of practitioners. We are establishing a committee to explore and finalize all the amendments by years end. All in all the Triennial was a great way to look back at the last term and commit ourselves to grow stronger in the next three years.

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

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

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: News, Washington

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

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

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UC Student Health Doctors Supporting Upcoming AFSCME 3299 Strike

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

Just Culture Policy Finalized!

Under the new policy, Union members and management will educate the workforce on the new policy, identify potential system deficiencies in various departments, and recruit team members to assist in resolving potential problems.  Just Culture will focus less on disciplinary actions and focus more on corrective actions.   UAPD members will have access to all bargaining unit members when discussing Just Culture.  So, they will be able to recruit new members and provide updates on Union activities.  

UAPD and DHS developed new programs to continue efforts for Physician recruitment and retention.  In order to continue building on the successful events sponsored by the Union and the County, a new recruitment incentive and student loan payment reimbursement was established.  New hires in Correctional Health will be eligible for up to $30,000:   $10,000 after 6 months and another $20,000 after 18 months on the job.  New employees could opt for the student loan payment reimbursement program.  Physicians would receive up to $30, 000 at the end of each year up to 4 years (total $120,000 in reimbursement).  The Department of Mental Health has expressed interest in creating similar programs for recruitment and retention of Psychiatrists in Los Angeles County.

AHS News and Negotiation Updates

Negotiations continue at a very slow and frustrating pace. AHS does not provide the necessary information for the Union to prepare a market proposal. Most of the union’s proposals have been submitted except for market adjustments and extended hours proposal.

AHS has withheld payment of the 4% lump sum payment to psychiatrists per the currently expired MOU. AHS maintains that it cannot instruct its payroll department to make the payments to the doctors. UAPD will file a request for arbitration to get these bonuses paid. Also, AHS has failed to provide evidence that the outpatient clinics did not meet the metrics for the past two measuring periods. UAPD has asked that all physicians receive the maximum bonus payment. AHS is still struggling to provide the evidence. UAPD will file for an arbitration for these bonus payments, per the MOU. Read more …

UAPD Endorses Tax on Sugary Beverages

The CCSF doctors UAPD represents are dedicated to safety net medical care and public health. A survey of the Union membership in advance of the 2014 San Francisco “soda tax“ proposition yielded 96% support for that measure.

With Berkeley’s approval of a penny-per-ounce sugary beverage tax in 2014 and Philadelphia’s passage of a 1.5 cents per ounce tax in June of this year (currently under legal challenge by the American Beverage Association), the possibility of overcoming the industry’s financial power on a national scale suddenly seems possible. UAPD is proud to join the effort in endorsing Proposition V, just as we did in 2014.

The Chronicle’s recent editorial in favor of the proposition can be found here.

An American Journal of Public Health article analyzing the results of Berkeley’s tax can be accessed here.

Additional information can be found at the campaign website.

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UAPD Constitution and Bylaws

Download a copy of the UAPD Constitution and Bylaws (PDF)

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