Strike Halted, Tentative Agreement Reached Between Alliance Unions and Kaiser Permanente
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2021
Bertha Rodriguez, Bertha.Rodriguez@ufcw770.org, (213) 453-6276
On Saturday, November 13, 2021, Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions reached tentative agreement on a four-year contract, covering nearly 50,000 Kaiser Permanente health care employees in 22 local unions, and strengthening the Labor Management Partnership.
The agreement includes new staffing language to continue to protect employees and patients, annual wage increases, and maintains benefits while providing career development and advancement opportunities for Alliance union-represented employees. When ratified, the agreement will ensure Kaiser Permanente patients continue to receive safe, high-quality care and service; maintain Alliance union members’ industry-leading wages and benefits; and ensure Kaiser Permanente remains affordable for its members in the future.
“The Alliance of Health Care Unions fought to preserve a Kaiser Permanente where patients can count on excellent patient care and service. This has guided our work for 24 years. This agreement will mean patients will continue to receive the best care, and Alliance members will have the best jobs,” said Hal Ruddick, Executive Director, Alliance of Health Care Unions. “This contract protects our patients, provides safe staffing, and guarantees fair wages and benefits for every Alliance member.”
“This tentative agreement is a victory for all Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers. We are proud to have served our patients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic even when we risked our lives by doing so. We will continue our dedication to serving our patients and providing security for our own families at home,” says Teresa Almora-Sorosjinda, a Pharmacy Assistant at Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley and a UFCW 770 member.
A faithful employee for 33 years at Kaiser Kern County, UFCW 770 member Gwendolyn Mason points out: “As Kaiser Permanente employees, we’re invested in providing high quality health care to our patients. We are committed to continue being Kaiser Permanente’s true partners. We care for our patients and we will keep offering them the best care possible with professionalism, love and compassion.”
Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance unions have a longstanding history of successful bargaining to collaboratively address mutual interests of all parties. “This landmark agreement positions Kaiser Permanente for a successful future focused on providing high-quality health care that is affordable and accessible for our more than 12 million members and the communities we serve. It also underscores our unwavering commitment to our employees by maintaining industry-leading wages and benefits,” said Christian Meisner, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Kaiser Permanente. “These were challenging negotiations, but this tentative agreement demonstrates the strength of our Labor Management Partnership and the unique success it can achieve when we work together.”
Details of the tentative agreement include:
• Wage increases: Guaranteed across-the-board wage increases each year through 2025 in every region for all Alliance-represented employees.
• Health benefits: No reductions or takeaways to already low-cost family medical and dental coverage with the same low co-pays for prescriptions and office visits.
• Retirement benefits: The Agreement maintains generous retirement income benefits and employer-subsidized retiree medical.
• Bonus opportunities: Introduction of the Alliance Bonus Plan, which provides annual payouts for achieving new mutually-agreed-upon objectives to address affordability.
• New safe staffing and workload language: Will ensure every Kaiser Permanente patient receives extraordinary care every time and in every place.
• Opportunities for career growth: Alliance-represented employees will continue to have excellent career development and advancement opportunities.
The Alliance and Kaiser Permanente have agreed to form a national Affordability and Competitiveness Task Force with specific targets to find innovative ways to address issues of affordability while continuing to work together to protect high-quality patient care.
The tentative agreement was approved by members of the economic subcommittee of the Alliance of Health Care Unions and will now go to the full common issues committee (CIC) and then union members for ratification. Voting on the tentative agreement will occur over the next several weeks. If ratified, the agreement will have an effective date of October 1, 2021.
In light of this, the Alliance unions have canceled their strike notifications.
Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance are part of the longest running, most successful, and innovative labor management partnership in the nation.
About the Alliance of Health Care Unions
The Alliance of Health Care Unions includes locals of AFSCME (UNAC/UHCP), UFCW, USW (Steelworkers), IBT (Teamsters), the Kaiser Permanente Registered Nurse Anesthetists, IUOE, AFT (OFNHP), UNITE HERE, ILWU, and HNHP. The member unions share a deep commitment to providing the highest-quality patient care and service at Kaiser Permanente. We work to improve community health through higher living standards, and keep Kaiser Permanente the best place to work. Alliance workers are in every Kaiser Permanente service regions: 34,000 workers in Southern California; 1,350 in Northern California; 6,300 in Oregon and Washington; 2,100 in Colorado; 2,300 in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia; 3,000 in Georgia; and 1,900 in Hawaii. For more information, go to: ahcunions.org.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.