The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions released the following message to its 80,000-plus union members on March 29, 2018:

What we’re fighting for:

We are committed to negotiating the best possible National Agreement that protects all our benefits and rights and includes economic improvements such as:

  • Strong raises – that are equal across regions
  • Increased pension multiplier and change pension hours
  • No takeaways on health plans
  • KP Washington with full National Agreement
  • Insourcing and the end of subcontracting

How we work together:

We have always believed in—and strived for—consensus. For 20 years, we have been able to make 99.9% of our decisions together as unions, by consensus. This is still true with the Coalition we have today.

Our Coalition has grown and changed in many ways.  Because of these changes, we have advocated to update our Coalition decision-making structures to make sure that all Coalition unions are heard and—if we cannot reach consensus—we have a clear way to make decisions and achieve our goals.

All Coalition unions—locals in SEIU, OPEIU, AFSCME (UNAC/UHCP), AFT (OFNHP/ONA), UFCW, IBT, IFPTE, IUOE, KPNAA, ILWU and UNITE HERE—had agreed that in 2018 National Bargaining, if we were unable to reach consensus, we would accept agreement from 70 percent of the represented union members.

For other day-to-day decisions, we believe a two-thirds (66%) super-majority would be a fair way to move forward into the future that is democratic and protects the voice of all unions.  Under this structure, there is no way for one union—even one as large as SEIU-UHW—to make decisions without significant support from other unions.

In the course of preparations for national bargaining, there have been robust conversations about how to keep our Coalition united and strong and bring resolution to our decision-making processes.  We remain committed to an open dialogue about this and feel that it was not in the spirit of partnership for some unions to walk away from the longest lasting, strongest, largest union coalition in the country because of a disagreement over internal decision-making rules within the Coalition.

We hope that the unions who left last minute will re-join the Coalition—and join us at the table with management.  We are stronger together!