July 24, 2020
An Open Letter to Kaiser Permanente:
When we first understood the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kaiser Permanente did the right thing by negotiating a comprehensive employee relief package, including the extremely successful child care benefit program.
These extended benefits allowed Kaiser workers, including those with children who were isolating at home, to continue serving the critical needs of our members. The weekly grant allowed workers with children to go to the clinic or hospital and serve members knowing that their family was secure at home.
Since then, the crisis has worsened, not improved. Throughout California and in many local districts in Kaiser’s market areas, schools are not reopening with in-person learning. Our children will be at home – indefinitely. How are Kaiser parents supposed to be able to care for their children at home while also caring for their patients at work?
In early April, Kaiser Permanente implemented the child care benefit program, which became a great success. The grants to Coalition members cost less than $40 million – a mere one half of one-hundredth (.005%) of KP’s record-breaking $7.4 billion profit in 2019 – and helped more than 21,500 Coalition households.
We are concerned about Kaiser’s decision to roll back the child care benefit. As the cases and hospitalizations surge and we get closer and closer to the start of the school year, it is critical that Kaiser step up and lead on child care again.
The Coalition therefore requests to meet with Senior Leadership immediately to negotiate the swift reinstatement of the child care benefit so that working parents at Kaiser Permanente can be there for our patients in need.