At the Table for Our Patients
Kaiser local bargaining continued Monday and Wednesday this week at the Sheraton Fairplex in Pomona.
UNAC/UHCP’s bargaining teams continue to take the lead at our six bargaining tables. Most of our teams have presented all their interests. Some have been racking up tentative agreements (TAs), while others have received little to no response from management. At several tables management has yet to present their own interests.
“I like that the place we’re coming from is quality of care and patient safety,” said Max Wang, PharmD from San Diego and Steward Coordinator for UPSC. “We definitely want to help our members in terms of their rights, but it always is from a patient first perspective.”
Management, however, continues to push for “flexibility” at most of the tables—which seems to mean the ability to do anything they want any time without regard to existing contract language or the highest values of patient care.
The Youngest Member Observers
The youngest member observers this week were a team of infants and children, attending the KPASCO bargaining in the arms of their OD mothers, or in strollers, or entertaining themselves with video games.
Their mothers shared moving stories with the all-male management team of seven about their hardships under Kaiser’s current lactation policy, which allows nursing ODs to express milk only on unpaid time like lunches.
Mothers told of spending thirty minute lunches simultaneously eating, charting and pumping; of having to double up on patient appointments or stay late to accommodate their regular patient load while their newborn infant waits at home. They spoke of the incredible stress to mother and baby and the difficulty of maintaining milk supply under such unsupportive conditions.
Kaiser physicians on the other hand won the right last year to schedule lactation breaks during one AM and one PM appointment slot. KPASCO proposed an equitable policy for Optometrists.
Other Highlights from the Six Bargaining Tables
Bargaining is Expected to Heat Up
At some tables we’ve made substantial progress. We’ve put TAs on the board and presented most of our interests. Most of management’s interests are still to come. We should expect the bargaining to get tougher as that happens and we continue to push hard for patient safety.
That means it’s more important than ever to support our negotiations in every way we can. Wear UNAC/UHCP colors on Blue Days. Continue to read the bargaining update emails. Watch and share our videos on social media.
Don’t believe anything you hear about negotiations from management or another non-alliance union unless it’s confirmed by a UNAC/UHCP bargaining team member, officer, steward or BAT member.
The most powerful way to support our teams is to attend negotiations in person, so plan to attend an upcoming session along with a group of coworkers. Bringing children along to bargaining helps show them the importance of standing up for our patients and our families.
Plus, for fun, continue to post your own #ShiggyChallengeRemix videos to the Heart of KP page to let our patients, our communities and our employer know how dedicated—and talented—we are. Watch our first video to learn how: https://www.facebook.com/unacuhcp/videos/2602423816450394/.
August is a big month for local bargaining. Our next dates are Tuesday, August 14 and Wednesday, August 15 at the Sheraton Fairplex in Pomona. View the full schedule below.