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Kaiser Permanente & Their 85,000 Unionized Health Care Employees Reach A Tentative Labor Agreement, Possibly Averting Scheduled ULP Strike In The Process

Agreement Includes Pay Increases & Maintains Employee Benefits, While Also Creating A Program To Reduce The National Shortage Of Health Care Workers

Published Friday, October 11, 2019
by Kevin Smith/San Gabriel Valley (California) Tribune
Kaiser Permanente & Their 85,000 Unionized Health Care Employees Reach A Tentative Labor Agreement, Possibly Averting Scheduled ULP Strike In The Process

(OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA) - After months of failed negotiations, Kaiser Permanente and a coalition of Unions representing 85,000 Health Care Workers have announced a tentative agreement that could avert an Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) Strike set to begin on October 14th.

The announcement came as a relief to Georgette Bradford, an Ultrasound Technologist at Kaiser in Sacramento: “Reaching an agreement was not easy, it had lots of twists and turns, but in the end we accomplished what we set out to do – reach an agreement that is good for patients, Workers and our communities.”

The Employees are represented by the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which includes Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers (UHW) West and 10 other Unions.

If ratified, the Labor Agreement will provide annual pay increases and maintain Employee benefits - while also creating a program to reduce the national shortage of Health Care Workers.

Specifically, the agreement includes:

Annual raises of 3% in each of the four years for Workers in California, Oregon and Southern Washington.  In Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia and the rest of Washington State, Workers will receive raises of 3% the first year and 2% - plus a 1% lump sum the following three years.  In addition, there will be full protection of retirement benefits provided for current and future Employees, and an expansion of retirement benefits in Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

A Workforce Development Program to provide educational opportunities for thousands of Workers to receive a free education to help fill an expected shortage of hundreds of thousands of licensed health care jobs with a culturally appropriate workforce.  Kaiser will provide $130 million in funding for the program over the four years of the contract.

A ban on subcontracting and stronger restrictions on outsourcing.

A committee to work through issues around technology to ensure patients receive personal care that integrates cutting-edge tools with quality, dedicated Caregivers.

An intensive joint effort to revitalize the Worker-Management Partnership.

The Workers’ National Contract expired September 30th, 2018, and in December the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) charged Kaiser with failing to bargain in good faith and wrongly tying Collective Bargaining Negotiations to a ban on political activity, including picketing the company.

Employees who had planned to Strike ranged from Optometrists, X-ray Technicians and Licensed Vocational Nurses to Surgical Technicians, Phlebotomists and Housekeepers, among hundreds of other positions.

There are roughly 38,000 SEIU-UHW Members working for Kaiser in California.

To Continue Reading This Labor News Report, Go To: www.ocregister.com/2019/09/25/kaiser-permanente-and-85000-workers-reach-tentative-labor-agreement/

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