UNITE HERE Local 5—representing LPNs, ward clerks and other health care workers employed at KP medical centers and offices on the islands—is the first UNITE HERE local to join the Coalition. Supported by Coalition-backed training and advocacy, union members have worked alongside physicians and health plan managers, earning accolades for outstanding patient care and gains in affordability and workplace safety.

The new local brings 1,900 union workers into the Coalition’s fold in Hawaii. OPEIU Local 50/Hawaii Nurses Association joined the Coalition in 2009 with 800 nurses.

“We’re delighted to join the Coalition. We’re confident that this will improve the lives of our union members and our patients who deserve quality patient care,” says Joyce Griffin, who works as a lead patient accounting representative at Kaiser Permanente and serves on the Executive Board of Local 5.

Local 5 has started the next step: formally becoming a party to the National Agreement and part of the Labor Management Partnership, a 20-year mutual strategy that has provided union workers with:

  • a stronger voice on the job,
  • ways to meet ever-evolving health changes and challenges,
  • the tools they need to deliver the best, most affordable care to the communities that serve KP members and patients, and
  • industry-leading wages and benefits.