FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 9, 2021
Alliance of Health Care Unions
OAKLAND, Calif. — Nearly 50,000 health care workers have overwhelmingly voted to ratify a 4-year contract with Kaiser Permanente that will help to ensure it remains a great place to work and receive care. The employees are represented by 22 local unions that are part of the Alliance of Health Care Unions and work across hundreds of job classifications in every geographic area where Kaiser Permanente has a presence.
The agreement includes annual wage increases and new staffing language for patient and worker safety, and maintains excellent benefits and innovative programs providing career development and advancement opportunities. This contract renews our shared commitment to the Labor Management Partnership and begins a new chapter where front-line caregivers and managers come together to address affordability and changing market conditions without sacrificing quality care or service.
“Our members have resoundingly endorsed a new national agreement that ensures Kaiser Permanente members can count on excellent care and service, and union members can count on the best jobs and benefits,” said Hal Ruddick, executive director, Alliance of Health Care Unions. “These negotiations were difficult, especially as our members are still battling the pandemic, but in the end the parties affirmed a joint commitment to working together, in partnership, to ensure the best future for union members, Kaiser Permanente, and our patients.”
“This contract reflects our deep appreciation for the extraordinary commitment and dedication of our employees throughout our response to the COVID-19 pandemic while also ensuring that we remain affordable for our members in the future,” said Christian Meisner, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Kaiser Permanente. “We look forward to working together with our labor partners to implement the contract and further our mission of providing high-quality, affordable care.”
The ratified contract, which has an effective date retroactive to October 1, 2021, includes:
- Wage increases: Guaranteed across-the-board wage increases each year through 2025 in every region for all Alliance-represented employees
- Health benefits: Continues family medical and dental coverage with the same low copays for prescriptions and office visits
- Retirement benefits: Maintains generous retirement income benefits and employer-subsidized retiree medical benefits
- Performance sharing: Continues the Labor Management Partnership Performance Sharing Program, which provides annual payouts for achieving new mutually agreed-to objectives
- Safe staffing and workloads: new language to ensure every Kaiser Permanente patient receives extraordinary care, every time and in every place
- Career growth opportunities: Continued excellent career development and advancement opportunities
The Alliance locals that ratified the contract and Kaiser Permanente also agreed to form a national Affordability and Competitiveness Task Force with specific targets to increase affordability while continuing to work together to provide the highest quality patient care.
Members of one bargaining unit, representing 1,500 UNAC/UHCP pharmacists in Southern California, did not ratify the agreement. The contract will go into effect for all union members except that bargaining unit. UNAC/UHCP will return to the bargaining table with Kaiser Permanente.
Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance are part of an innovative relationship known as the Labor Management Partnership, a joint strategy to lead organizational change, create an environment of continuous learning and improvement, and involve the workforce in decision making.
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.
United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) represents more than 32,000 registered nurses and other health care professionals in California and Hawaii, including optometrists; pharmacists; physical, occupational and speech therapists; case managers; nurse midwives; social workers; clinical lab scientists; physician assistants and nurse practitioners. UNAC/UHCP is a member of the Alliance of Health Care Unions and is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.