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Judge Markman Ruling on AHS-UAPD Case 8/8/17

The Petition by Union of American Physicians and Dentists (“the Union”) to Compel Arbitration is GRANTED. Both sides agree that the parties’ dispute should be sent to arbitration. However, Respondents Alameda Health System and Alameda Health System Board of Trustees (collectively, “Alameda”) object to the Union’s form of proposed Order. In particular, Alameda contends that the arbitrator should decide the scope of claims that should be arbitrated pursuant to Health & Safety Code section 101850(q). That section provides that before 2024, the hospital authority shall not enter into a contract with any other person or entity “to replace services being provided by physicians and surgeons who are employed by the hospital authority and in a recognized collective bargaining unit as of March 31, 2013” with services provided by some other person or entity, absent clear and convincing evidence that the needed medical care can only be delivered cost effectively by that other person or entity. The Court determines that, absent the parties’ commitment of the arbitrability issue to an arbitrator, disagreements over whether a particular dispute is within the scope of an arbitration provision are the responsibility of the Court. (See Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive Inc. (2016) 1 Cal.5th 233, 249.) The Court agrees with the Union that, based on the language of Health & Safety Code section 101850(q) and the legislative history thereto, section 101850(q) prevents Alameda from entering a contract to “replace services” that were provided by Union members as of March 31, 2013, regardless of the date of hire of the Union members providing those particular services. Therefore, the Court will order to arbitration any disputes arising from the subcontracting of that work, regardless of the date of hire of the employees performing that work. The Court will sign the proposed Order submitted with the reply papers.