In a major victory for unionized doctors in Los Angeles County, California Gov. Gray Davis has signed a law that bars the county from removing or disqualifying physicians from a health benefit plan for having chosen to join a labor union. The measure, sponsored by the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, Oakland, Calif., is retroactive to July 1, 2001. In mid-2001, an arbitrator issued a nonbinding ruling criticizing the county's plan to transfer about 800 unionized physicians to a new benefits package that the doctors believed offered less pension compensation. When the county did not comply with the ruling, the 6,000-physician UAPD backed the creation of the bill, which prohibits the county from discriminating against physicians who pursue collective bargaining. "This is a big slap in the face of county officials who took revenge on doctors for voting into the union," said UAPD President Robert Weinmann, M.D. -- by Laura B. Benko
County barred from changing doctors' benefits
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