AFSCME Local 206
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End of Summer Update — Time for a Happy Hour

August 24, 2018

By Stuart A. Bussey, MD, JD, UAPD President

Vacations are ending and school is back in session. Two months have passed since the Supreme Court ruled for Mark Janus and against mandatory fair share fees. I am pleased to report that our members have remained steadfast and loyal to UAPD. Many of our former fair share members have signed on as full members. This bodes well for UAPD solidarity.

Speaking of coming together, we will convene our 15th UAPD Triennial Convention in San Francisco October 26-27. You will be receiving a letter and packet in a few days describing convention activities and how to become a delegate. I look forward to meeting you and exchanging ideas with you there. The topic of our free CME on Friday morning is “Heal Thyself.”

Part of professional healing is being able to open up, communicate and learn from your fellow colleagues. That could involve anything from sharing new ideas, expressing frustrations and triumphs, telling stories and humorous anecdotes—call it “UAPD Happy Hour.” Our officers and I plan to host this teleconference forum for UAPD members across the state and Washington on the third Tuesday of each month, from 6-7 pm. This time should provide a good opportunity to get to know our union and each other better. Details on how to participate will be forthcoming after Labor Day. Meanwhile, thanks for being a loyal member of our Union.

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

Victory for AHS Doctors! Arbitrator Rules in Favor of UAPD

July 6, 2018

UAPD decisively won at arbitration against Alameda Health System (AHS). Two years ago, AHS contracted out psychiatrists’ jobs in the psychiatric emergency services/triage services to Traditions Behavioral Health (TBH), flagrantly violating both UAPD’s MOU and a California statute, sponsored by UAPD, which protects those jobs. The arbitrator ruled AHS was clearly in violation of the MOU and the statute. The arbitrator then ruled that all of those positions MUST be returned to us! AHS and UAPD need to quickly work out the way to rid PES/Triage of TBH. The arbitrator will retain jurisdiction should AHS drag its feet. Our next task is to bring PES/Triage wages to market, which has been on the table since May 2017, with absolutely no response to date from AHS. Now, AHS will have to respond or face the wrath of the arbitrator.

Special thanks go to all of our bargaining team members, especially Dr. Milton Lorig, MD, JD and Senior Representative Patricia Hernandez, JD. Kudos as well to our legal team and those who testified. Lastly, thanks to out UAPD Lobbyist, Doug Chiappetta, who guided the legislation that helped achieve this victory.

Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Anymore: AHS Physicians Walk Out

June 29, 2018

Physicians of UAPD working in ambulatory at Alameda Health System (AHS) walked out of a meeting at the Hayward Wellness Center on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 in protest of AHS’ intransigence. Those physicians have been out of contract for a year. AHS, rather than bargain in good faith over conditions at AHS, propose disrespectful and unethical mandates that would harm our most vulnerable patient population by demanding a “factory style” approach to patient care, treating our patients as “widgets” with physician pay linked to the number of “widgets” seen. Our physicians confronted AHS’ Chief Medical, Ghassan Jamaleddine, M.D., and made clear to him that AHS’ position is unacceptable. The group overwhelmingly voted to strike if AHS continued in its present course at negotiations. Our physicians are unwilling to sacrifice the doctor/patient relationship by delivering substandard care under an “assembly line” approach to the delivery of healthcare.

Doctors, Unite—Celebrate Interdependence Day!

June 27, 2018

By Stuart A. Bussey, MD, JD, UAPD President

Today, in the shadow of the Independence Day weekend, the US Supreme Court declared by a 5-4 vote that public union “fair share” agency fees are unconstitutional and not mandatory. They chose fuzzy borders of free speech and association over the gritty reality of free ridership to justify this potential financial blow to labor unions. The Janus vs AFSCME decision marks the final chapter of the 75-year-old “Right to Work” anti-labor law playbook which has progressed through 26 state legislatures. Now the rule is federalized.

Many of the fair share members who did not join UAPD as full members were unaware of the important differences between these two categories. Now after the Janus decision there won’t be any more fair share members, only non-members. There are big advantages to being a full member. Most importantly, when UAPD has a robust roster of full members, committed to the principles of unionism, the employer takes notice. There is strength in numbers. We have greater staff resources. This power leads to more favorable contracts, grievance outcomes, better representation and greater respect for the bargaining unit. Higher membership leads to greater member involvement, optimism, community, and synergy of ideas to improve the workplace. Only full members can participate in contract surveys and bargaining sessions, be on committees, participate in legislation, attend free CME, and enjoy our legal defense fund. There are monetary union perks as well–reduced mortgage payments, rental and insurance discounts, etc.

Corporate and billionaire interests will continue their efforts to deconstruct unions in the US because they see them as one of the last roadblocks to a plantation economy–where there is little resistance to unreasonable and self-serving policies. Where they can pay less and expect more from their employees. Let’s fight back! The words “doctors and union” have been an oxymoron. We traditionally are individualists and have been likened to herds of cats. Following today’s Janus decision, however, we must unite to survive. Stay or become a full member… but don’t turn into a non-member! Seek out a fair and a satisfying workplace by working together.  Please consider this over the long weekend. It is good to be independent, but it is crucial to interdependent.  

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