Kaiser Bargaining Update: September 3, 2021

At the bargaining table this week, our UNAC/UHCP bargaining team continued to stand together to improve our wages and preserve benefits. We resisted efforts by Kaiser Permanente to cut costs without accountability, rather than jointly address chronic understaffing and the burnout of union members across the Alliance of Health Care Unions. The employer is taking the absolutely wrong approach.

Everything we’ve fought for in the past 50 years is at stake. KP continues its narrative of competitors threatening to overtake a health care giant with pop-up clinics and expanding virtual care. The reality is that the employer emerged from the pandemic with at least $44 billion in cash reserves and a healthier outlook than many health care systems.

The real threat is that a new crop of KP leaders have redefined the organization’s legacy of partnership, justice, and equity.

Here’s what we are standing for:

  • across-the-board wage increases of 4% in each of the next three years
  • benefits that reflect the value of our exceptional care and service
  • improvements in economics and working conditions such as staffing that will attract even more dedicated RNs and health care professionals to the KP workforce
  • an improvement in Ben Hudnall and education benefits
  • a strong contract that enables us to provide even better patient care and service
  • a robust social justice program, including recognizing the history of African Americans with a new Juneteenth holiday for KP caregivers

💵 Learn more about KP’s strong financial position and the reasons why the employer must invest in safe staffing, patient access to care, staff retention and recruitment, and health equity: investinpatientcare.com/KPfinances.

UNAC/UHCP and Alliance negotiators reported progress in the following bargaining subcommittees:

  • Patient and Worker Safety subcommittee: four joint union and employer recommendations, including creating a national committee to address psychological safety and Just Culture and making the temporary 24/7 EAP line permanent.
  • Problem and Dispute Resolution subcommittee: five joint recommendations, including developing a guide to dispute resolution process and an annual refresher for interest-based conversations.

We still have work to do. Our UNAC/UHCP contract action teams talked to hundreds of KP health plan members and patients Wednesday, Sept. 1, explaining what’s at stake for the future of their care and service.
Many thanks to our UNAC/UHCP subcommittee bargaining leads and the UNAC/UHCP members and staff who have stepped up and worked tirelessly during National Bargaining in 2021.

Sign on to our petition telling KP to invest in patient care and the people who provide it, and share it with others: https://www.unacuhcp.org/invest-in-care