Kaiser continues to demand a new Partnership Agreement and is requiring Coalition Unions to sign a new Partnership agreement as a condition of resuming negotiations of a new National Agreement. This “new” Partnership Agreement is completely one-sided. It demands unions and union members waive significant rights, and it gives management the right to vote on expelling unions.
We have met three times with Kaiser leaders over the last few months to reach an agreement. The Coalition has offered a counter proposal that was balanced—offering new rights and responsibilities within the Partnership for both our unions and Kaiser. We also have offered a ‘temporary cease fire’ that would get us back to the table for negotiations while addressing Kaiser’s concerns. Both of these offers have been rejected by Kaiser.
The unions that left the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions—the Alliance of Healthcare Unions—has been in negotiations with Kaiser after signing off on the new Partnership Agreement. They have not reached an agreement as of July 11, 2018 and are not expected to resume negotiations until late August. As those negotiations have progressed, significant concerns have emerged that impact ALL union members at Kaiser. Specifically, Kaiser is demanding:
- Higher co-pays on our medical benefits
- “Market based” wages based on where people work
- Eroding RN staffing ratios
We have even heard that one Alliance union that was simply informing its members of the status of negotiations has been called on the carpet by Kaiser for doing so.
Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions Goals Moving Forward
The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, over 80,000 members strong, is united on the following:
Partnership Agreement: We stand committed to the Partnership and are open to a new Partnership Agreement. However, we require that any such new Agreement must:
- Be reciprocal and not one-sided,
- Protect key union and union members’ rights to advocate for and protect our jobs, job security, and
- Be voted on for ratification at the same time as a new National Agreement.
New National Agreement: We stand united to win a new National Agreement that does the following:
- Secures equity for the Regions Outside of California (ROC) on Wages and our Pension Multiplier;
- Protects our Benefits and Wages;
- Ensures the newly added Washington State unions enjoy the same standards and provisions of the National Agreement and are not relegated to a second-class status on wages, benefits, and employee rights;
- Protects our union jobs and ensuring job security.
Kaiser is making historically high profits, including $1.3 billion in the most recent quarter. There is no reason for Kaiser to be demanding takeaways from anyone. They can afford to move forward to have the best ever National Agreement.
Our Plan to Win Moving Forward
Our Unity is our Strength. The strength of the Coalition over the past 20 years is what has helped us win the best contract in healthcare in the United States. We will not stand idly by while Kaiser continues its bad faith bargaining tactics. Here is our plan to win:
- Worksite Actions: Throughout the Coalition, we are conducting various worksite actions to show our unity and to show Kaiser that we are united and in action together. It is more important than ever for all members to get involved and be active.
- Legal: The Coalition has filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Testimony has been given and dozens of supporting documents have been provided. Kaiser cannot suspend National Agreement negotiations nor precondition those negotiations on a new Partnership Agreement.
- Political Outreach: Kaiser’s bad faith negotiations tactics have concerned a large number of political leaders and they have communicated their concerns to Kaiser leadership. We are reaching out to all political leaders to update them on Kaiser’s refusal to bargain with over 80,000 union members and their anti-union behavior.
- Purchasers: The Coalition has already organized union representatives covering over 1 million Kaiser customers to send letters to Kaiser expressing concern about their behavior.
We are confident that our unity and strength will get Kaiser to come back to the table and negotiate a new National Agreement that our members deserve.