Kaiser Meeting September 22, 2021
When: Sep 22, 2021, 9:00 AM
Or Telephone: (669) 900-9128
Webinar ID: 890 1150 2584
When: Sep 22, 2021 6:00 PM
Or Telephone: (669) 900-9128
Webinar ID: 811 7244 7346
The Final national bargaining session ended with no progress. We’re ready to fight for our patients and all health care workers
After months of stalling by KP negotiators, scheduled national bargaining sessions ended today. “Because of management’s approach, these negotiations are in serious trouble – unlike anything our Alliance unions have experienced with Kaiser Permanente since the 1990’s,” said Alliance chief negotiator Hal Ruddick. “Unless management dramatically changes course, this conflict will continue to escalate. The Alliance is united, strong, and ready to stand up for our members and our patients.”
We are united, determined, and ready to win a good contract, and defend our patients and the organization we have built. We will take a stand for our patients, co-workers, and all healthcare workers.
TAKE ACTION TO WIN A GREAT NATIONAL CONTRACT
UNION SOLIDARITY TUESDAYS
Every Tuesday, wear your union gear to work until we win a fair contract. (Mondays if you’re in Colorado). Take a photo wearing your union gear and post it on social media with the hashtag #BestJobsBestCare. Remember to tag KP @KPThrive and your local union.
SIGN THE PETITION
Tell KP to invest in patient care and health care workers. Scan the QR code to sign the petition. After you sign it, share it co-workers and friends on social media. URL: HTTPS://QRCO.DE/BCL1PK
In the coming days, connect with your local union to participate in local actions and learn about the next steps in our national contract campaign. Remember to follow your local union and the Alliance on social media. Our handle is @AHCUnions. Check our website for upcoming updates and breaking news on national bargaining.
TOGETHER, WE WILL WIN
Public opinion, elected leaders, our labor allies, and our strength and unity are all in our favor. We are 52,000 strong, and KP has no path to winning this fight. KP’s proposal is out of sync with what is happening in healthcare today, as other employers provide wage increases, benefits improvements, sign on bonuses and more to recruit and retain employees. We will never let two-tier wages lead us into a broken healthcare system with worsening patient outcomes.
KP execs have abandoned a high-road, market-leading strategy that has brought them 24 years of tremendous success. An inexperienced new crop of KP executives are now embracing a chaotic, anti-union, low-road strategy that failed in the 90s and will fail again. This is our organization, we built it, we’re powering it through a pandemic, and we’re going to defend it. Instead of proposing to decrease wages or offering an insulting 1% wage increase, we should be focused on addressing our urgent staffing needs and regional wage disparities.
JOIN US TO PROTECT OUR PATIENTS AND EACH OTHER.
Update – September 9, 2021
With contract negotiations entering their final scheduled days next week, our bargaining team made progress on racial justice, patient and worker safety, and improving dispute resolution. But KP clung to destructive, unsustainable positions on economics and staffing. The final national bargaining sessions are next Wednesday, September 8, through Friday, September 10.
“It’s hard to understand what their strategy is, if any – but KP negotiators have painted themselves into a corner, leaving many, many issues unresolved while doubling down on proposals that will exacerbate the crisis in staffing, worker shortages, patient care, and morale. We have made it clear we will never agree to proposals that threaten workers and patients,” said Nate Bernstein, Healthcare Director of UFCW Local 7.
There were some bright spots of agreement. Labor and Management members of the Racial Justice subcommittee jointly recommended that Juneteenth be established as a paid holiday. They also recommended implementing processes and programs such as Belong@KP to address racial trauma/fatigue, funding citizenship assistance, and others. The labor side of the subcommittee recommended establishing a nonprofit organization dedicated to training underrepresented health care workers and the appropriate observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday.
The subcommittee on patient and worker safety reached a consensus on adding language to the National Agreement on Just Culture, a recognition program for reporting of near misses, identifying and developing a communication process for emergency preparedness, and updating prevention of workplace violence. The group also recommended the creation of a National Health, Safety, and Well-Being Committee to ensure that Just Culture and Psychological Safety are integrated into current workstreams.
There was also consensus on recommendations that could improve the speed and effectiveness of dispute resolution. The Problem and Dispute Resolution subcommittee recommended developing guidance or techniques for getting “unstuck” if groups find themselves at an impasse in the Issue Resolution process. They’ve recommended the guide be short, simple, and easily accessible for immediate reference.
KP CLINGS TO LOWER STAFFING AND PATIENT CARE STANDARDS
Stonewalling on staffing and patient care: Workers in every region, union, and department are in urgent need of adequate staff to provide KP members with the service and quality of care they deserve. In the face of this crisis, management members of the subcommittee stalled and derailed discussions. As a result, the group had very few joint recommendations.
While management was trying to run out the clock, labor subcommittee members crafted thoughtful recommendations to provide Alliance union members with information, structures, and processes to enable us to work with management on staffing solutions. Labor recommendations include new structures such as a Labor-Management Staffing Committees in every region, a national escalation process to resolve disputes, limits on the use of travelers, and timelines to hold management accountable for providing information.
KP economic proposals would make staffing and patient care even worse: KP negotiators clung to a discredited proposal to create a two-tier wage scale creating two classes of workers, current workers on a higher pay scale and new hires on a lower scale for their entire career. KP’s two-tier wage scale would undermine patient care, increase staffing shortages, and further harm exhausted workers. Given the current delta surges, many health care systems are acting fast and doing everything they can to recruit and retain staff, including offering sign-on bonuses, special incentives, and generous wage increases. KP chose this time of crisis to propose the worst contract terms in the history of the partnership.
Local bargaining gridlock looms: KP local negotiators appear to have gotten a message to refuse to agree on almost everything, which is only creating a pile-up at the national table. “We will resolve first contracts that have lingered for years, we will address hundreds of unresolved local issues, we will find a solution to wage injustice in the Inland Empire and Kern, and we will raise standards in KP Washington where they are far below the rest of the enterprise,” said Alliance Executive Director Hal Ruddick.
Update – September 1, 2021
The first of three days of national bargaining started today with both labor and management accepting the initial recommendations presented by the Patient & Worker Safety and Problem and Dispute Resolution subcommittees. However, the tone quickly changed when the issue of economics came up. The Alliance reviewed our proposals for good wages and benefit improvements, while KP is stuck on two-tier wages and 1% annual raises.
Alliance Executive Director Hal Ruddick reviewed the Alliance’s comprehensive economic proposal that includes good wage increases, increased tuition reimbursements and student loan repayment assistance, and raising standards in areas with lower benefits. KP negotiators have ignored the Alliance’s proposals and made only two proposals of their own: a 1% annual wage increase, and lower two-tier wages for new hires – even in the face of the staffing crisis.
“We’re at a crossroads in our 24 years of partnership,” Ruddick said. “We will not agree to this destructive two-tier proposal, and we’ve made that clear in every conversation. If KP continues on this concessionary path, it will lead to a multi-year labor war with all of KP’s unions.”
“Your problem isn’t our wages,” UNITE HERE president Eric Gill told Kaiser. “Your problem is your numbers – your wage study numbers. We don’t believe them.” KP has not demonstrated a credible rationale for lower wages and two-tier.
The first session of national bargaining will resume Wednesday morning where recommendations from the Staffing, Backfill, and Travelers and the Racial Justice subcommittees are expected. Each subcommittee is tasked with presenting all joint recommendations by Thursday, September 2, 2021.
ACCEPTED SUBCOMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS
The Patient and Worker Safety subcommittee focused on broadening the concept of “health” to include not only physical health but also mental health and psychological safety. They presented four joint recommendations: (1) update the current section on Total Health to include psychological safety and mental health, (2) create a national committee to address psychological safety, Just Culture; and improve integration/collaboration across KP, (3) update the NA with the KP Well-Being Model that includes a holistic view of health, and (4) retain the 24/7 EAP line that’s temporary.
The Problem and Dispute Resolution subcommittee aims to clarify and improve partnership dispute resolution processes. The subcommittee’s joint recommendations included: (1) develop an easy-to-read accessible guide showing the purpose and pathway of the dispute resolution process, (2) develop an annual refresher for UBT’s and LMP Councils on how to use interest-based (IB) conversations in everyday interactions and problem solving, (3) provide just-in-time training for Issue Resolution participants, if needed, (4) develop internal capacity to train and facilitate Issue Resolution (IR), (5) provide targeted information and education to clarify how the IR process should be used.
PETITION ALERT: TELL KP TO INVEST IN PATIENT CARE AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS
UNION SOLIDARITY TUESDAYS
Every Tuesday, wear your union gear to work to show KP we are united to protect our patients and each other. (Mondays if you’re in Colorado). Take a photo wearing your union gear and post it on social media with the hashtag #BestJobsBestCare. Remember to tag KP @KPThrive and your local union.
Update – August 31, 2021
On Wednesday, August 25, Kaiser negotiators finally put a proposal on the bargaining table. In the face of the surge, and the growing shortage of workers in every job category, Kaiser proposed to pay all new hires much lower wages (on a two-tier wage scale) and pay current workers a 1% annual raise for the next three years.
“Management has doubled down on a destructive, dead-end proposal that will lead to lower care standards and even worse staffing levels,” said Michael Barnett, President of USW Local 7600. “We will not agree to divide the workforce and pay new hires less to do the same work.”
Kaiser negotiators stuck to their proposal even after the Alliance presented extensive research showing that in fact, KP wages are very close to pay rates of competitors. The “wage study” is bogus.
“Clearly, Kaiser has lost their way, but we have not,” said Sandra Flores, Business Representative of IUOE Local 501. “We will stand up for our patients and for each other, for as long as it takes, to get a good contract — and we will NOT allow a dangerous race to the bottom to start with our workforce at Kaiser.”
The Alliance has proposed a strong contract that recognizes our expertise, attracts skilled staff to provide safe care, and protects our wages and benefits. In addition to wage increases across the board, we’ve proposed to raise standards in regions and unions that lag behind as well as increased tuition reimbursements.
We’ve also proposed a joint labor-management task force to address competitiveness and affordability, based on shared and accurate data. When we work together in a transparent interest-based process, we achieve innovative solutions.
UNION SOLIDARITY TUESDAYS START AUGUST 31ST!
JOIN US for Union Solidarity Tuesdays, starting Tuesday, August 31, 2021. On Tuesday, we will wear our union colors, buttons, and stickers in solidarity with our bargaining team. Take a selfie and tell us why you agree safe staffing is important. Use the hashtags #SafeStaffingSavesLives #BestJobsBestCare.
Update – August 26, 2021
Update – August 25, 2021
Update – August 6, 2021
More than three months after the start of negotiations, as the fourth surge hits our stressed-out staff and system, KP again failed to present an actual bargaining proposal. Instead, they described general concepts that would undermine patient care, increase staffing shortages, and further harm exhausted workers.
KP negotiators discussed a wage increase for current staff (but refused to say how much), and a proposal to pay future new hires dramatically lower wages (but they refused to say how much lower).
Read the latest national bargaining update here: www.ahcunions.org/news/2021/8/6/kp-refuses-to-provide-clear-proposal-ignoring-surge-and-staffing-crisis