California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)


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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.
 
UAPD is watching the situation closely and will meet and confer with the State over the issue.  In preparation, we ask doctors to use the following survey to share your thoughts and concerns with us.
 

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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State Has Done Little To Fix Doc Shortage at Prisons

November 3, 2016

Press Release (Oakland) — On Tuesday the State’s Office of the Inspector General issued a report that gave Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) a failing grade for the medical care it provides to inmates at the Soledad facility.  Fifteen years after a lawsuit in which a federal judge ruled that the health care given in California prisons constituted “cruel and unusual punishment,” the Inspector General found that SVSP still demonstrates “a profound inability to provide patients with adequate access to care.”

Much of the problem comes from an on-going shortage of physicians in California prisons.  According to the Inspector General’s report: “Of critical importance was SVSP’s shortage of providers and extreme difficulty with recruitment and retention of qualified physicians. This inadequate staffing at SVSP led to an institutional backlog of over 400 patients at the time of the onsite inspection, and contributed to the inadequate rating.”

Currently, there are four physicians working onsite at Salinas Valley State Prison, treating over 3800 prisoners.  The physician shortage is a pervasive problem affecting most of the 34 state adult prisons in California.

On Wednesday the Associated Press reported that California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) spokesperson Joyce Hayhoe “agreed that the prison has a serious, ongoing doctor shortage and said officials are trying to hire doctors.”  However, the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), which is now negotiating with the State on behalf of prison doctors, believes not enough is being done.  UAPD asserts that recruitment and retention is still a serious problem that is affecting patient care.

“The State can’t hire more doctors  because doctors can work elsewhere with better compensation and working conditions,” reported Dr. Stuart A. Bussey, president of UAPD.   “At the bargaining table we’ve made multiple proposals that would help with prison doctor recruitment, but the State has said no to every one of them.”

“These are not easy patients,” according to Dr. Fernando Tuvera, a physician at SVSP. “I am moved from unit to unit, treating people with injuries, Hepatitis C, end-stage liver disease, COPD, diabetes, and many other conditions.  We work long hours during the day, and the four of us have to divide up all the after-hours coverage too.  That means one week per month I’m working all day and all night.  We need more doctors here.”

The Union has also filed grievances at SVSP over the effects of inadequate staffing on the few remaining doctors, and proposed remedies that would help alleviate the strain.  Those grievances were denied by CCHCS.

EHR System in CDCR — Meet and Confers Ongoing

December 14, 2015

UAPD has met several times since the beginning of October with CDCR and CCHCS on the implementation of the Electronic Health Record System (EHRS) in that Department. So far the project has been piloted at the following facilities: Folsom State Prison, Folsom Women’s Facility, Central California Women’s Facility, California Institution for Women, and in some administrative sites. UAPD members have expressed concerns about many issues related to the EHRS: the mandatory use of a lap-top (meant to be taken home); the increasing burden of performing call and increasing work hours; inadequate compensation; large numbers of incorrect medication orders for patients; as well as other issues. A number of UAPD members have taken part in the Meet and Confer meetings to date: Dr. Gabriel Borges (FSP), Dr. Ronald Lewis (ISP), Dr. Vitalicia Romero (CCIW), Dr. G. Bedford (CIW), and Dr. J. Chapman (CIW).

UAPD will be passing proposals to CCHCS and CDCR that are meant to address the concerns of UAPD members as well as the quality of care being provided to inmates. UAPD will continue to keep you updated on developments in the meet and confer process and the roll-out of the EHRS pilot system at institutions across the state.

Sign-In Grievance at Mule Creek State Prison

December 9, 2015

UAPD has challenged management practices at Mule Creep State Prison. Specifically, UAPD is opposing MCSP’s directive that Bargaining Unit 16 employees sign-in and sign-out of work. MCSP already has an electronic key card ID system that makes a manual log-in unnecessary. Initially, MCSP management indicated that BU 16 employees should not only use a key card and sign-in/out of the facility manually, but also email supervisors upon arrival/departure to work and check-in face to face with supervisors. MCSP dropped the directives to email supervisors and have face to face check-ins after UAPD opposition, but still maintains a sign-in/out log. UAPD has elevated this grievance to the third level and will continue to fight MCSP management on this issue.

State Must Fix CalPERS Contribution Error

October 2, 2015

Some UAPD members who are subject to the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) notified the Union that the CalPERS employee contributions that are being deducted from their paychecks are too high.  It is quite likely that this problem affects more than the handful of doctors who noticed it on their paychecks.  UAPD has been investigating the problem and taking the first steps to resolve it.

Who is Involved?

Doctors who joined CalPERS for the first time after January 1, 2013 (and were not eligible for reciprocity with another California public employer) are subject to changes made by PEPRA.  For just these employees, pensionable salaries are capped at $117,020 (for those participating in Social Security) or $140,424 (for those not covered by Social Security).  Employees who fall under PEPRA may be paying too much in CalPERS contributions.
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Pay Increase for All UAPD State Doctors July 1

May 29, 2015

The next pay increase for UAPD-represented doctors working for the State of California goes into effect on July 1, 2015.  All BU 16 doctors will receive a General Salary Increase on that date.  Please see the information below to determine the amount of your pay increase.  If you have any questions, please contact your labor representative. Read more …

Receiver’s CDCR Layoff Memo Was Premature

July 3, 2014

Some Physicians working within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have received a memorandum from Receiver Clark Kelso regarding the reduced inmate population and the possibility of layoffs within California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS).

The layoffs mentioned in the memorandum are not official.  Neither the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) nor UAPD have been noticed by the Receiver about the Phase II layoffs of Physicians.  CalHR has contacted the Receiver’s staff to advise them that their office has not yet begun the State Restriction of Appointments (SROA) process, nor have they proposed a layoff procedure to CalHR.  If and when that material arrives at the CalHR for review, that process can easily take 120 days.  UAPD will update members when more information is known.

Some BU 16 Doctors Still Waiting for CME Payment

February 19, 2014

Most of the Bargaining Unit 16 doctors who are eligible to receive an automatic payout of $1000 in CME funds have received their checks from the State.   However, doctors in some facilities are still waiting for payment.  UAPD has contacted CalHR to urge them to work with the affected departments to issue those checks quickly.  We will update you about their response.
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New CME Rules Go Into Effect for State BU 16

January 31, 2014

During the last negotiations, UAPD bargained new language regarding Continuing Medical Education (CME) payments for physicians, podiatrists, and dentists (Article 10.13).  The new language says that the State will automatically pay $1000 for CME to each full-time doctor (and a pro-rated amount for part time doctors) each fiscal year.  The new language phases out the cumbersome process doctors used to request CME reimbursement in the past.

The State and the Union have met several times since the contract was ratified in order to finalize details for implementing the new CME language.  Below is a summary of the most important aspects of that plan.
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