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UAPD Files Charges Against State Hospitals

May 10, 2017

Several months ago, Napa State Hospital management distributed a memorandum to the medical staff stating that they had decided to utilize the Personal Duress Alarm System (PDAS) as the primary method to contact physicians, because management had determined that the hospital’s pager system was unreliable. UAPD was staunchly opposed to this new policy.

After Psych Tech Donna Gross was murdered by a patient on NSH grounds in 2010, enormous efforts went towards winning a host of safety improvements at the State hospitals.  That work continues to the present. The PDAS is a state-of-the-art system chosen, developed, and continuously refined with employee input.  At no time did the state legislature, Cal-OSHA, Coalition unions, or the DSH contemplate any use for PDAS except as a personal alarm. And, as PDAS’s sole purpose is to alert all staff in the vicinity of an emergency request for help due to attack, the system has the potential to save lives. Diverting its use for any other purpose undermines the system’s effectiveness. Nevertheless, recognizing that the hospital’s current pager system indeed is not reliable, the UAPD agreed to meet with DSH in order to negotiate implementation of the new policy.
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CSU Bargaining Off to Good Start

May 10, 2017

Last week UAPD and CSU starting formal bargaining over terms and conditions of employment for our members in Unit 1.  UAPD and the bargaining team are optimistic about this round of bargaining.  After a State audit revealed unnecessary spending, and news articles publicized cuts in student services at the same time as the student fees were raised at some campuses, CSU has come into bargaining with an understanding that change is needed.

CSU is taking a proactive approach in addressing the issues around recruitment and retention.  They have been meeting with the UAPD Bargaining Team for the past year to establish new classifications, which will allow campuses to hire needed employees at a more competitive salary.  UAPD and CSU have tentatively agreed to two new classifications and some revisions to the original physician classification.  The team is still negotiating the salary ranges for each classification, as well as the implementation and the reclassification of the current unit members.   UAPD will communicate that information with the membership as soon as it becomes finalized.  
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Ending the CDCR Psychiatrist Staffing Crisis

May 3, 2017

Rosen, Bien, Galvan and Grunfeld, LLP is a legal firm that represents the plaintiffs in Coleman v Brown, which addresses mental health care in California prisons.  The original judge in the case ordered that a Special Master be appointed to monitor compliance with the court orders to improve care.  The current Special Master is Matthew A. Lopes, Jr..

In recent weeks, UAPD has been working closely with Michael Bien and others at the firm.  Together we are trying to persuade the Special Master and the Court that there is a severe psychiatrist shortage within CDCR, and that the State is doing too little to correct it.  UAPD has provided the attorneys with data and physician testimony that they will share with the Court (with names redacted).  You can download a copy of the letter provided by UAPD to the attorneys here.   UAPD will update members on the progress of the case.

If you would like to provide further information that UAPD will share with the Plaintiffs’ Attorneys, you can do that here:  CDCR PSYCHIATRIST STAFFING ISSUES

State Contract Goes into Effect

May 3, 2017

Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 131, the bill containing the UAPD contract for State Bargaining Unit 16.  Now that the UAPD contract has been approved by membership, the Legislature, and the Governor, it will be in effect now through July 1, 2020. 

All pay increases in the new contract are effective starting May 1, 2017.  Payroll implementation is expected to take several months.  Once the State completes the payroll implementation process, all doctors will receive payments retroactive to May 1, 2017. 

You can read the summary of the entire agreement here.  You can download the summary of the economic agreements here.

State Telemedicine Issues

April 15, 2017

When the telepsychiatry program was first launched by the Department of Corrections, psychiatrists were told that they would not have to cover On-call assignments. The Department then decided to start requiring them to cover on-call assignments. The Department changed telepsychiatry working conditions without noticing the UAPD.   The UAPD met with the Department to discuss a proposed policy. CDCR has not updated the policy to reflect the agreed upon changes from the last meeting. Nonetheless, CDCR has added additional telepsychiatry sites without noticing the UAPD.  The UAPD has filed a Cease and Desist regarding implemented changes to the program without notice to the union.  There is new language in the State tentative agreement regarding teleprograms.

Multiple grievances have been filed on telemedicine issues at the prisons   When the telemedicine program was first launched by California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS), physicians were told that they would not have to cover on-call assignments. The department then decided to start requiring them to cover on-call assignments, without noticing the UAPD. A grievance was filed, and the Department responded by notifying the UAPD that they were initiating a telemedicine on-call pilot program. That program failed and the Department concluded that they will not be requiring telemedicine doctors to cover on-call assignments.  There is currently no language in the union contract regarding teleprograms. The UAPD has proposed language to address concerns.

State BU 16 Docs Ratify Contract

March 24, 2017

On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, the UAPD Bargaining Team reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) on a new Memorandum of Understanding with the State of California.  The new agreement will was ratified by UAPD members and will go into effect once approved by the State Legislature.

UAPD was the last union to settle a contract with the State of California because the Bargaining Team refused to accept the substandard proposals the State kept giving them.  The membership gave the team the power to stand firm with an overwhelmingly positive strike authorization vote.  Member energy and member outrage were instrumental in making the State come around on several key issues in the final days.  While the tentative agreement did not go as far as the team had hoped in some areas, it was worthy of recommending to the membership, who ratified it by a strong margin.   You can read more details of the agreement here.

UAPD Corrects Underpayments to UC Doctors

March 24, 2017

The UAPD contract guaranteed lump-sum payments for student health center doctors, giving retroactive raises for the period during which contract negotiations took place. The ten campuses issued these payments at various times in the months after bargaining concluded. Soon after, UAPD heard from members at several campuses who were concerned they had not received the full amount they were due.

To address that concern, UAPD first reached a common understanding with UCOP on the correct methodology to calculate the retroactive payments.  The Union eventually secured spreadsheets from the payroll departments on each campus showing the methodologies they used and the results. The Union did a detailed audit of those calculations, which showed that while a few campuses had calculated the payments correctly, most campuses had made mistakes resulting in underpayments to doctors. Those underpayments ranged from $3.82 (for people who were first employed late in the retroactive period) to $8,737 (for someone whose retroactive payment and a subsequent raise were completely missed).
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State Doctors Weigh In on”Lift and Shift”

January 18, 2017
The Governor’s Proposed Budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018 contains language to have the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Correctional Health Care System assume responsibility for psychiatric programs now run under the auspices of the Department of State Hospitals (DSH-Salinas Valley, DSH-Stockton, and DSH-Vacaville).  The potential transfer is being called “lift and shift” for short.
 
Since the announcement of the “lift and shift”, DSH-Stockton has lost at several psychiatrists.   The department continues to notice the union as new details of the transfer become available.  The UAPD has sent a survey to impacted employees at both CDCR and DSH for feedback on the announcement. A Meet and Confer will be scheduled with both departments to discuss Bargaining Unit 16 (BU16) impact concerns.
 

UAPD to State: No Deal

December 23, 2016

After two days of intense negotiations, the UAPD Bargaining Team must report that no deal has been reached with the State of California.  The offer put forward by the State did not adequately address the serious issues raised by our doctors, including high vacancy rates and dangerous understaffing in many facilities.  We have heard from members all across the State that we should settle for nothing less than a fair contract, and that’s what we plan to do.  We will return to the table in January, and continue preparations for taking collective action if necessary

Rights During an SEIU 1000 Strike

November 29, 2016

UAPD State-employed doctors have asked whether they have the right to strike alongside SEIU workers this coming Monday (aka sympathy strike).  The short answer is no, UAPD-represented doctors do not have the right to engage in a sympathy strike with another union at this time. 

UAPD-doctors who want to support their SEIU colleagues can join them on the picket lines on their own time (e.g. before or after work, or during vacation, CTO, annual leave).  You can read more about the SEIU strike plans here.
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