August 19, 2016
Our goal as a team is to get the best possible contract for doctors, one which addresses the economic and non-economic issues that many of you have raised. We wanted to reach a tentative agreement with the State by the end of this week, so that the Legislature could approve it before leaving for its summer recess. We have met 25 times over the last 4 months trying to do just that. More than a dozen doctors from every department have joined us at the bargaining table, to give thoughtful, well-documented presentations on the biggest problems that members of our union face. Read more …
August 8, 2016
As we go further along in the bargaining process, the State is bringing forward more information to address the workplace concerns we’ve raised at the table. For instance, we had further discussion of the lack of appropriate break areas, especially within CDCR. The State said redesigned CDCR facilities would incorporate break rooms for doctors’ work areas. In a separate discussion, DSS management clarified that the rules that restrict the number of people on leave at the same time were being misinterpreted in some branches. They agreed to educate managers about the fact that more than 25% of doctors in a branch can be on leave simultaneously. Read more …
August 5, 2016
The contract between the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) and Santa Cruz County expires on November 11th. Bargaining for the next contract began on Friday. Dr. Sanford and Dr. Yazgan will serve on the UAPD bargaining team, alongside labor representatives Albert Munoz and Sue Wilson. During Friday’s session, the parties scheduled five future sessions and agreed to ground rules for negotiations. Drs. Sanford and Yazgan provided an overview of the problem the County is having with the recruitment and retention of doctors.
Our next bargaining date is scheduled for August 30th, and we will send an update afterward.
July 13, 2016
Oakland — By a vote of 38 to 2, psychiatrists at John George Psychiatric Hospital demanded that
the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, Joe Walker, M.D., be removed from that position.
The doctors are no longer willing to tolerate a Chair who fails to treat patients, who is far
removed from the workings of his Department, and who in his role as an interim chief medical
officer has awarded financially reckless contracts. A contract negotiated by Dr. Walker with
Traditions Behavioral Health would pay $264 per hour for psychiatrist services, 50% more than
what it costs to have John George employees continue to do the work. John George doctors took
the unprecedented step of voting no on Dr. Walker’s leadership because his continued missteps
will waste resources and jeopardize patient care.
“We think that Alameda County residents should know what’s going on at John George
Psychiatric Hospital,” said Milton Lorig, M.D., a psychiatrist who worked at the facility for
decades. “Dr. Walker wants to spend a lot of money on a plan that will also compromise patient
“We’ve never had a group of psychiatrists take a poll on their leadership and vote no so
overwhelming,” said Stuart Bussey, M.D., President of the Union of American Physicians and
Dentists, which represents the doctors. “We’re hoping that stakeholders in the community, and
that means both taxpayers and those who rely on the mental health system in Alameda County,
will take notice.”
John George Psychiatric Hospital, located in Oakland, is part of the Alameda Health System.
The hospital treats the acutely mentally-ill in both an in-patient and outpatient setting. The
hospital’s psychiatric emergency department provides services on a 24-7 basis to those facing a
mental health crisis.
July 11, 2016
UAPD has submitted a request for bargaining in Santa Cruz County and has begun the process of selecting a negotiating team. This year’s bargaining will likely be contentious, as the doctors plan to push the County to do more to resolve its critical doctor shortage.
In the coming weeks, UAPD will also hold a meet and confer with management over their plan to create evening hours in the Emeline clinic. While there is now a volunteer interested in filling evening hours, the union’s concern is what will happen if no volunteers exist. There will also be a second Labor Management meeting about Avatar, the new EHR system on the mental-health side. At the last meeting, doctors listed dozens of problems with the system, and will soon assess how much progress has been made on resolving them.