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UC Doctors Strike Again

April 24, 2015

Beginning April 9th and lasting until April 14th, UAPD doctors were on strike against the University of California to protest unfair labor practices committed during the year-long bargaining for a first contract.  In addition to picketing the student health centers in Los Angeles and Berkeley, doctors protested at Cal Day, Bruin Day, and Celebrate Irvine, the days when UC welcomes new students to campus.  There were several rallies featuring doctors and students (including one student who thanked a striking doctor for saving her life), and a march on the chancellor’s office at both Los Angeles and UC Berkeley.  There was even a plane towing banners in support of the doctors at most events.

The press coverage of the action continued to be strong — the story was seen by more than 4 million viewers on TV newscasts and featured in both the LA Times and The San Francisco Chronicle.   Everyone has been sympathetic to the doctors, who are fighting to ensure that students can receive quality health care on campus.

View Strike Photos

UAPD Flickr Page

Sample of Print Coverage

OC Register    UC student doctors’ strike hits region

Santa Monica Mirror    Striking Doctors, Dentists To Picket Outside UCLA Campus In Westwood Monday

SF Chronicle:  In Rare Move UC Campus Doctors Plan 4 Day Walkout

California Healthline:  Doctor Strike May Be Harbinger of Reform Era Labor Problems

Los Angeles Times:  Doctors at UC student health clinics start strike

Read more …

Why Become A UAPD Member?

April 24, 2015

Download a membership application or contact your Labor Rep to join UAPD.

Read more about: Featured, News

AHS Doctors Authorized to Strike

April 1, 2015

The UAPD Board has approved a request by Alameda Healthcare Services (AHS) doctors to go on strike against their employer.  During the strike authorization vote among UAPD members at AHS, 98% of them voted in favor of a strike.  AHS doctors will be meeting soon to plan details of a strike.  Meeting information has been sent to AHS members.

Doctors are angry that AHS managers have been negotiating in bad faith for months, and are trying to tie pay to unfair measures aimed at cutting patient time with doctors.  AHS insists that its employed doctors meet the standards of private hospital doctors, while providing the doctors with neither the infrastructure nor the support to provide the most efficient patient care.  Rather than squeeze its current staff, AHS must do more to recruit and retain enough doctors to see patients in a timely manner.

UAPD Constitution and Bylaws

March 26, 2015

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

Read more about: News

Press Coverage of UAPD Strike Against UC

January 29, 2015

Dozens of newspapers sent reporters and photographers to cover the story.  Here is some of the coverage so far:

The story was covered extensively by TV news and radio stations up and down the state.  Some stations have already posted videos:

KTTV Los Angeles
KABC Los Angeles
Fox 5 San Diego
7 San Diego
CBS 8 San Diego

Last but not least, the UAPD strike got 3500 “Likes” on Facebook!


Doctors Demand Respect on the Picket Line

January 27, 2015

The historic UC doctor strike was a resounding success.  Student health doctors and their supporters made a strong showing all across the state, and the media turned out in force to cover the story.   Doctors at all campuses did an excellent job explaining to media, students, and other workers why UC must stop its unfair labor practices and begin to bargain fairly with doctors.

Dozens of newspapers sent reporters and photographers to cover the story.  Here is some of the coverage we’ve gotten so far:

U-T San Diego
San Francisco Chronicle 
Press Enterprise (Riverside)
East Bay Express
OC Register
San Jose Mercury News
Monterey Herald
Los Angeles Times
Sacramento Business Journal

The story was covered extensively by TV news and radio stations up and down the state.  Many of these stations will cover the story on their evening newscasts tonight.  Some stations have already posted videos:

KTTV Los Angeles
KABC Los Angeles
Fox 5 San Diego
7 San Diego
CBS 8 San Diego

Read more about: News

The Last Lesson of Robin Williams

August 19, 2014

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

The unexpected suicide of comic Robin Williams last week gave me pause, as a fan, a person, and as a health care provider, to contemplate the phenomena of stress, burnout and depression.  Though the risks and rewards of entertainers and health care providers are not exactly the same, both populations are involved in emotionally stressful occupations. Statistics bear out higher than average rates of substance abuse and depression in both groups. With access and patient encounters gradually going up and reimbursements and professional control gradually going down, doctors often reach burnout stage without even realizing it. Depression and ensuing burnout manifest themselves in physical health problems, deteriorating relationships, and disruptive professional behaviors.

The first step in mitigating these feelings of stress and depression is to recognize the problem early and overcome the stigma associated with getting help. It is not easy for the average physician or dentist to be an obedient patient. For a variety of reasons, including independence and embarrassment, we doctors make all sorts of excuses not to seek help from family, friends, religious sources, employer assistance programs, etc. But seek help we must! It is not enough to care for oneself. We all need someone for support and to care for us, to diagnose and to treat us back to a healthy state of mind and body.

To prevent burnout we need positive coping behaviors, not substance abuse—hobbies and interests, vacations, humor, good food and rest. We need to be part of social networks and communities. Depression and loneliness can kill. Even the greatest of comedians.

Back from the AFSCME Convention

July 28, 2014

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

I just returned from the 41st AFSCME International Convention, held at McCormick Place in Chicago last week.  A delegation of eight UAPD doctors and staff were among over 4,000 union members from across the country who attended.  I believe that I can speak for the entire group when I say that the proceedings were exciting, inspiring, educational, and fun.  We heard reports and speeches from labor leaders and public officials like AFSCME President Lee Saunders, US Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, gubernatorial hopefuls Charles Crist of Florida and Mary Burke of Wisconsin.  Especially exciting was Reverend William Barber, head of the North Carolina NAACP, who exhorted the crowd to hold “fusion” rallies with diverse constituents and observe “moral Monday” demonstrations in state legislatures.

Throughout the convention the need for increased union organizing was stressed.  AFSCME has signed up over 92,000 new members this year.  Many of these new members are home health and domestic workers, who are at the center of the anti-union Harris v. Quinn decision handed down last month by the US Supreme Court. AFSCME challenged members of its affiliates to donate $100 or more per year to become an MVP in the PEOPLE program.  This valuable program will increase UAPD’s political power in Sacramento and Washington. Eight dollars a month—I urge you to join if you haven’t already done so.

There were a hundred resolutions brought to the Convention floor, including many involving health care: “Safe Staffing Levels in Health Care Settings,” “Providing Nutritious Meals in Our Schools,” “Protecting Medicare.”  UAPD offered two resolutions of its own: “Creating an AFSCME Health Care Alliance” and “The Advisory Council for Patient Advocacy.”  Both involved the creation of health care coalitions to lobby more effectively for medical issues and patients.

The next AFSCME International Convention will be held in Las Vegas, July 2016. It should be a hot affair. Consider nominating yourself for a slot.

Supreme Court Takes a Shot at Unions

July 7, 2014

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

Welcome to the first installment of the UAPD Pulse, a bimonthly monitoring of UAPD’s health status, its strengths and its vulnerabillities.  I encourage our members and non-members to share their thoughts and ideas about their lives, jobs and anything relevant to UAPD and the health care environment.

Our union dodged a bullet last week when the United States Supreme Court issued its decision on Harris v. Quinn (full decision here). By a 5-4 vote it ruled that Illinois home care workers who choose not to be union members cannot be assessed fair share fees to fund collective bargaining and contract administration.  The decision immediately prohibits unions from collecting these fees from home care workers or other independent “quasi” employees who are not full-fledged public employees.  Fortunately, this decision does not affect UAPD.

This was a partial victory for the National Right to Work Foundation (RTW), who asked the Court to expand its ruling to all public employees.  It urged the Court to overturn the 1977 Supreme Court case Abood v. SEIU, which held that fair share fees and exclusive representation in the public sector did not violate First Amendment rights of free speech and association.

Judge Samuel Alito, the majority author, is clearly against the concept of fair share fees.  In his opinion he even ranted about the Illinois public union pension liabilities and bashed the Abood decision.  No doubt the RTW Foundation will return to the Supreme Court with more cases challenging the legitimacy of fair share fees.  As an attorney my counter argument goes to the essence of the term “fair” share.  If a union non-member does not have to pay for collective bargaining and other union benefits, he or she is receiving “unjust enrichment” at the expense of those who do pay their union dues.  Long live the concept of fair share fees!  What do you think?  Email me your thoughts on the subject at

UAPD Urges UC to Pick Up the Pace

May 22, 2014

UAPD’s bargaining team and UC management representatives have continued to meet for negotiations toward a first contract that will cover physicians, dentists, and podiatrists at the student health and counseling centers statewide. Unfortunately, after nine negotiation sessions, tentative agreements have been reached on only four basic contract articles, such as non-discrimination in employment.  The UAPD team is committed to completing the contract as soon as possible, but it has become increasingly apparent that the UC negotiators are dragging their feet.

Where appropriate contract language is consistently found across other UC unions’ collective bargaining agreements, UAPD has proposed that same language in an effort to reach a fair agreement in a timely way. We have been disappointed that UC has not taken this approach, instead insisting on negotiating the minutiae of every proposal. This is not the approach that employers take when they are seeking to reach a full agreement that respects employees’ value and service.

Recent UAPD proposals include annual paid CME time, reimbursement for CME costs, and a method for Limited Appointment and Contract appointments to convert to Career positions. Given the past few years’ experience with UCOP, the bargaining team has also spent significant time insisting on a regular forum for doctors to give input into the delivery of quality care at each student health center. The disastrous implementation of Point and Click provides a glaring example of the need for such input.

Four bargaining sessions scheduled for May will be held in Oakland, at both UCOP and UAPD headquarters.  We anticipate advancing salary proposals at that time.  We will continue urging the UC negotiators to pick up the pace, so doctors can have the contract we deserve without undue delay.