September 30, 2023
In a few hours, our contract will expire and it doesn’t look like we will have a new agreement. There have been good discussions with Kaiser on a number of issues, and while there is no concrete agreement, we can see a path to resolution on raising shift differentials, a fair remote work agreement, and investments in training for both current employees to promote to harder to fill jobs and community members to become the healthcare workforce needed for the future. On important issues, though, we remain far apart:
- Across-the-Board Raises (ATBs): A fair and equitable across-the-board pay increase for every member of our Coalition. We have held to our proposal for 6.5%, 6.5%, 5.75%, 5.75%. Kaiser is continuing to offer only 3%, 3%, 3%, 3% for SCAL/NW/CO/MAS/HI and 4%, 4%, 3%, 3% for NCAL/KPWA.
- Protections against Subcontracting and Outsourcing: While Kaiser has finally agreed to extend our hard-won protections against subcontracting and outsourcing, they are insisting on removing the Revenue Cycle workforce from that agreement. They want to outsource the revenue cycle function the way that other health systems have done.
- Applying the Partnership to Acquisitions: We continue to insist that Kaiser apply the principles of Partnership and the right to organize a union to any system they acquire. Kaiser wants to grow a non-union, low-wage/low-benefit arm of the company through acquisitions. This threatens all of our wages and benefits over the long run.
- PSP Bonus: We need Kaiser to come up from their low offer of $750 max if we make our goals but they don’t meet their financial target. We also need a plan structure that allows us to meet the maximum payout.
- Premium Subsidy/HRA Retiree Medical: We are seeking modest improvements to the premium subsidy/HRA retiree medical plan that we will be transitioning to in 2028 based on the feedback of members who are already under that plan. Kaiser is not agreeing to this even though it was the Coalition that helped Kaiser reduce its accounting liability in 2015 by restructuring our retiree medical plan.
Kaiser continues to bargain in bad faith over these issues and, so far, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
While the negotiating team continues to work on negotiations, hundreds of leaders nationwide came together to get trained on how to run amazing picket lines at our unfair labor practices strike that begins at 6 am on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Meanwhile, media interest in our strike are picking up with national stories in the Wall Street Journal, CBS and CNN. Elected officials are increasingly paying attention and calling on Kaiser to settle a fair contract with healthcare workers. All eyes are on us as we prepare for the largest healthcare workers’ strike in history!