National Bargaining Kicks Off in Oakland

April 20, 2023

Our first challenge to Kaiser: Hire 10,000 new workers

The biggest issue we have to solve at Kaiser is the chronic understaffing we face in our facilities. And Kaiser knows it too! They shared some eye-popping statistics with us:

  • 11.1% of all Coalition positions are vacant
  • The average vacancy takes 80 days to fill (and that’s just the average – we know it sometimes takes more than six months!)

Given the urgency of the staffing crisis, we presented a challenge to management: let’s commit to an increase of 10,000 new Kaiser employees into Coalition positions by the end of 2023. And they said yes! To accomplish this, a small national working team of Kaiser and Coalition members will be mobilized to focus on:

    • Reducing the use of expensive contractors
    • Reducing the overall time it takes to fill vacancies
    • Removing structural barriers to hiring
    • Finding inefficiencies in the hiring process

This group will report back at the next bargaining session on May 16.

Kaiser Has the Resources to Do What’s Right 

Management spent a lot of their time talking about what a bad financial year 2022 was for them. But here’s the reality: Kaiser’s net worth is $58.9 billion, and it made $20 billion in profits in the last five years. It’s not a question of money. It’s a question of priorities and values.

Coalition Leaders Set Expectations for National Bargaining

Coalition leaders nationwide echoed the same message to Kaiser execs that it is time for a little less talk and a lot more action. When a panel asked Linda Bridges, OPEIU Local 2 President from the Mid-Atlantic, what keeps her up at night, she answered,

“Kaiser is not hearing us. Partnership has become a shell, just talking points or words on a page. We need a commitment to solutions.

If Kaiser doesn’t act, members will.”

Next up: Coalition Unions’ Week of Action from May 22-26. Contact your local union leaders for details.

Find out what 33,140 allied healthcare workers at 100+ medical facilities across California have to say about the most severe crisis in healthcare in more than 100 years.

Healthcare professionals detail dire understaffing and mental health crisis. See the facts and figures behind the staffing shortage crisis.