Last week, the California Nurses Association (CNA) reached a tentative agreement (TA) with Kaiser Permanente after months of solidarity actions, including an almost unanimous strike vote. Like Coalition union members, CNA members are facing chronic short staffing, lingering pandemic stress, and burnout.
Their TA includes 22.5% in wage increases over four years, enhanced retiree medical benefits, and accelerated investments in staffing via the expansion of new grad/resident positions and training opportunities.
What does this mean for Coalition Union members and our upcoming bargaining? Are KP execs moving in the right direction to address the broader healthcare worker staffing crisis? We hope so. But we know it will take more than one contract for one group of workers to solve the far-reaching healthcare worker staffing crisis.
From EVS and nutrition services to OR techs and sterile processing, from pharmacy and Clinical Labs to schedulers and medical assistants– all positions are critical to keeping hospital and clinic doors open. Our work matters. Without us, hospitals and clinics come to a grinding halt.
Next year we begin bargaining for a new National Agreement for 85,000 Coalition union members. We must stay laser-focused on moving KP execs to address the healthcare staffing crisis as a whole and stabilize our workforce.