CSAC Bulletin Article

Worrisome AB 1603 Would Include Private Contractors in Collective Bargaining

August 24, 2017

CSAC is opposing AB 1603, a measure by Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas that would allow all private contractors who contract with counties to join in the collective bargaining process with county union employees. The sponsors of the bill, the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, have indicated that they intend to amend the bill to apply only to licensed professionals within county public hospitals and health systems, but the current, far broader version is up in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, August 28.

AB 1603 would currently allow any contracted employee – not just physicians and psychiatrists – to join in the county collective bargaining process, entitling them to the same benefits as those that the county bargains with county unionized employees.

While AB 1603 is not related to AB 1250, it does raise many of the same issues, as county public hospitals, health clinics, and the behavioral health system in each county may rely on the ability to contract with clinicians to provide critical safety-net services.

CSAC, CAPH, CHEAC, and CBHDA have raised serious legal and logistical concerns with the measure, all of which remain valid even if the bill is narrowed to county health systems and licensed medical professionals. We urge counties to oppose AB 1603. View the CSAC Oppose letter here.

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