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More News from Washington State

Unionized Physicians and Advanced Providers Win Back their Time and Money!

May 17, 2019

 The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) demonstrated its power to affect positive change in its first two contract negotiations in Washington state.

Stalled in bargaining for two years with the Multicare health system, UAPD members of the Legacy Urgent Care centers had enough. They organized a large informational picket with other labor groups in Washington. After peppering the employer with notices, flyers and news articles about a humane closing policy Multicare acceded to UAPD’s demands just before the scheduled picket. They agreed to allow urgent care physicians and advanced providers to leave at the end of their twelve-hour shifts. This concession is a major victory for the safe delivery of urgent care in Washington state and beyond.

In another equally historic contract victory, UAPD persuaded Multicare to eliminate its salary withhold policy for physicians at Auburn (WA) Medical Center. The draconian salary withholds of 10-20% are a common practice for health care system employers in Washington and the rest of the US. The employer typically holds back a portion of a physician’s salary “in escrow” until the physician employee satisfies certain performance criteria. Facing a formal unfair labor practice charge filed by UAPD, Multicare retracted their withhold policy in a mass memorandum to their employees. UAPD is continuing to break new ground and negotiate for better working conditions in other many physician contracts in California and Washington.

UAPD President Stuart Bussey, MD, JD summed up “…these two great accomplishments are but a preview of what unions can do for physicians and providers in both private and public health systems. Our contracts improve patient safety and prevent physician burnout. It’s beyond time to organize and take back our profession from employers with a weak moral compass.”

Read more about: Featured, MultiCare, News, Washington

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

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

More Washington Providers Join UAPD

April 18, 2017

We would like to congratulate the providers at MultiCare Legacy Urgent Care Centers who voted by an overwhelming margin to join UAPD. By a 43-7 vote, Legacy providers sent a resounding message that they want collective bargaining rights and a voice in providing care to patients.

Now begins the process of better understanding the specific priorities of Legacy providers so we can start contract negotiations as soon as possible. In the next week, Legacy providers will receive a bargaining survey that will help us evaluate their concerns on compensation, working hours, benefits, and other issues.

UAPD is excited to begin preparing to negotiate a contract for Legacy providers, and will continue working to unionize providers at MultiCare and other institutions.

Read more about: Featured, Washington

Auburn Medical Center Bargaining Update

February 12, 2017

UAPD and MultiCare Health System met for the second day of negotiations on Thursday February 9.  Over the course of two bargaining sessions, UAPD had eight physician members directly participating  at the table. Over the course of these two dates, both parties traded proposals on contractual and procedural topics. UAPD has passed proposals on a recognition clause, grievance process, leaves of absences, successorship, whistleblower protections, discipline assuring a “Just cause” standard and more. Discussions at the table have been respectful and informative.

One continuing and important topic is the question of which doctors are to be included in the bargaining unit.  From day one UAPD has been committed to defining the bargaining unit appropriately.  During the the union election process, MHS attempted to put more physicians into the unit than UAPD thought appropriate. MHS lists have ranged from over 144 physicians to 77. The good news is that we are discussing this Issue at the table and hopefully will be able to come to an agreement soon.

Your UAPD Negotiation Team will work hard to get all of the contract AMC doctors clearly deserve. And we will continue to update you after each negotiation session and when issues arise.

 

Read more about: Contract/MOU, Featured, Washington

Negotiations Update for Washington Doctors

January 18, 2017

Negotiations are beginning for your first contract at Auburn Medical Center.  The team is scheduled to meet with management the morning of January 26, 2017.  This first negotiation session will be to introduce the UAPD and AMC teams, discuss dates going forward, and go over preliminary procedural issues.

UAPD’s initial proposals are still being developed and the team is getting input from doctors.  They meeting with doctors in all clinical areas to listen to ideas and understand concerns regarding all aspects of wages, hours, and working conditions.

AMC doctors with questions can contact John Diel at (253) 244-7797.

Read more about: Contract/MOU, Featured, Washington

UAPD Opens Office in Washington State

December 8, 2016

UAPD Washington State Office
708 Broadway
Suites 300 D and F
Tacoma, WA 98402
253-244-7797
washington@uapd.com

Read more about: Featured, Washington

Tacoma Doctors Join UAPD

October 21, 2016

Tacoma – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will soon certify a new union for doctors working at Auburn Medical Center (AMC) in Tacoma, Washington.   At the vote count conducted on October 13 at the NLRB Region 19 offices in Seattle, a strong majority of the ballots cast by AMC doctors were in favor of the union.  The new union will include a range of specialists including hospitalists, pediatricians, surgeons, and OB/GYNs.

This is believed to be the first time a group of private sector doctors in Washington State have unionized.  Doctors in California have been union members for decades, but the trend is only now starting to spread to the Pacific Northwest.  Last year, a group of hospital doctors in Springfield, Oregon joined the union that represents other heath care workers at their facility.  The Union of American Physicians and Dentists, which will represent Auburn Medical Center doctors, is speaking with other doctors in the region who are interested in forming unions of their own.  According to UAPD President Stuart Bussey, MD, “Doctors now realize that only by unionizing can they stand up to hospital administrations that focus on efficiency and cost-cutting at the expense of patient care.”

Reflecting on the vote, Dr. Bussey continued, “There’s obviously a good deal of solidarity among the physicians who work at Auburn.  Other physicians thinking about unionizing should feel encouraged by what they’ve been able to do. ”

Virginia Stowell, MD, a surgeon at the nearby Tacoma General Hospital, was pleased to hear the news from AMC. “We were watching the election closely, and we are thrilled with the results.  We will continue to organize more physicians and fight for physician-directed care in Washington.”

After the election results are certified on Thursday, AMC doctors will begin preparations for their first negotiations with their employer, MultiCare Health System.  MultiCare, which purchased AMC in 2012, owns and operates five hospitals and multiple clinics in the Tacoma area.

READ MORE ABOUT TACOMA-AREA ORGANIZING

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Tacoma Paper Covers Union Drive

September 24, 2016

The News Tribune today printed an article entitled “Auburn Medical Center doctors working to unionize physicians.”  From that article:

Neil Partain, a hospitalist at the Auburn hospital, agreed that a union seems potentially the most effective option for becoming part of Multicare administrative decisions.

“We’ve slowly learned that if we want to stay relevant with how patients are taken care of and the decisions that are made within the organization, we have to be able to come together as one voice and be heard by the company,” said Partain, who has been with Multicare for three years.

The article also quotes Dr. Virginia Stowell, who delineates some of the goals of this unionization effort:
Read more …

Read more about: Featured, Washington