For months, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions has been working to hold Kaiser Permanente accountable to act in Partnership and follow our National Agreement regarding its Reduction-In-Force/Redeployment plans issued in February 2021. Our perseverance has paid off. A neutral arbitrator has sided with the Coalition unions and found that Kaiser “violated the National Agreement when it did not follow the NCAL KP Redeployment Map as approved on February 28, 2017,” and ordered Kaiser back to the table.
In April 2021, Kaiser notified SEIU-UHW and OPEIU Local 29 leaders of their intent to eliminate the jobs of 315 union members in Northern California and their plans to tell employees the very next day. The affected Unions formally requested to engage in interest-based bargaining, a step required by the 2017 NCAL KP Redeployment Map. Kaiser said that they were not required to do so and denied the unions’ request. Coalition unions saw this as a violation of the National Agreement and the spirit of Partnership.
Escalating the issue through the dispute resolution process, SEIU-UHW and OPEIU 29 leaders refused to give up and let their members’ contractual rights be ignored.
Nearly a year later, the issue was finally resolved at the highest national level in favor of the Coalition. An arbitrator found Kaiser in violation of the National Agreement and has ordered the parties back to the table for 30 days to discuss and problem solve this Redeployment and the issues related to currently affected employees. If no agreement is reached, the arbitrator will order a resolution which will most likely include additional time for redeployment. During redeployment, employees whose positions are eliminated have their jobs, wages, and benefits protected while the unions and Kaiser work to place them in another job.
This Decision not only upholds the integrity of our National Agreement but also shows our tenacity in holding Kaiser accountable to it and the principles of Partnership.