September 22, 2023
This morning, our National Bargaining team submitted a 10-day notice to Kaiser Permanente executives that Coalition unions are calling for our first unfair labor practice strike, and some sympathy strikes, starting Oct. 4 at 6 am through 6 am, Oct. 7, 2023. More than 75,000 Kaiser healthcare workers will be united in this work action across California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Virginia, and Washington DC – making it the largest healthcare worker strike in U.S. history.
This three-day strike will be the initial demonstration of our strength to Kaiser that we will not stand for their unfair labor practices. If Kaiser continues to commit unfair labor practices, we are prepared to engage in another longer, stronger strike in November to protest Kaiser’s unfair labor practices when additional Coalition members in Kaiser’s newest market in Washington state can join us (their contract expires Oct. 31).
This is a difficult decision, and we know it will require sacrifices of us all, but Kaiser executives continue to bargain in bad faith over the solutions we urgently need to the Kaiser short staffing crisis and the safety and well being of our patients and workers is on the line.
As frontline healthcare workers, we got into this work to help people. It’s frustrating and painful to watch our patients waiting and suffering while we burn ourselves out trying to do the work of two or even three people trying to care for everyone.
Kaiser executives have the power to solve this problem. But, despite reporting more than $3 billion in profits in the first six months of this year, they are choosing not to. Instead, they are bargaining in bad faith and continuing to wage their divide-and-conquer strategy, insisting on an offensive raise proposal that fails to keep up with the cost of living for anyone:
- Northern CA/KPWA: Annual raises of 4%, 4%, 3%, 3%
- NW/CO/MAS/HI: Annual raises of 3%, 3%, 3%, 2%
- Southern CA: Annual raises of 3%, 3%, 2% (plus 2% lump sum payment), 2% (plus 2% lump sum payment)
Additionally, Kaiser executives:
- Continue to commit unfair labor practices.
- Have failed to respond to numerous dozens of proposals intended to address the growing staffing shortage; and
- Want to slash our PSP bonus to half its current value with a $1,800 max payout; the same PSP bonus they denied front line workers this year while lavishly rewarding every manager and executive.
- Want to eliminate our protections against subcontracting and outsourcing, making all of our jobs less secure.
- Want to be able to require remote workers to permanently report to work at a Kaiser facility with just two weeks’ notice; Can you imagine working from home for 5 years and arranging your life around that and then getting a 2 week notice to turn everything around and return?
After months of delay, Kaiser finally responded to important issues like minimum wage, but overall, they continue to bargain in bad faith.
This is a critical moment for us. It will be the largest healthcare unfair labor practice strike in U.S. history, and the only way we will be successful is if we stand together, stay united, and support each other on the strike line.
Contact your local union today to sign up for picket shifts.