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Analysis

Kaiser Permanente Workers in California Ratify 4-Year Contract

By John Commins  
   October 16, 2019

New contract provides annual 3% raises in each of the next four years, invests $130M for workforce development.

Kaiser Permanente workers in California have "overwhelmingly" ratified a new four-year contract with the health system, the Service Employees International Union said.

The new contract runs through September 30, 2023.

"Our new contract recognizes the skill and dedication we bring to our work, and the guaranteed raises and protected benefits give us the peace of mind to focus on caring for our patients," Jessica Rodriguez, an emergency department technician at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, said in an SEIU media release.

"We are also proud to have negotiated an agreement that is focused on the future and making sure patients have access to highly skilled and trained caregivers in the years to come," she said.

Kaiser Permanente, in a brief statement, called the ratification of the new contract "encouraging" and said it would have more comments after the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions announces final results later this week.

The ratified contract:

  1. Revitalizes the worker-management partnership, which promotes cooperation between frontline workers and managers to improve care delivery and job conditions, and lower costs;
     
  2. Invests $130 million in workforce development to recruit, train and place thousands of clinicians in licensed healthcare positions, and addresses workforce shortages.
     
  3. Focuses on recruiting and retaining caregivers with annual 3% raises in each of the next four years;
     
  4. Bans subcontracting and limits outsourcing of current positions.
     

In addition to the 57,000 KP employees in California, another 26,000 KP workers in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. either voted to ratify – or are in the process of voting to ratify – similar contracts. The combined 83,000 workers comprise the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions.

Voting is expected to end on Saturday.

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

In addition to the 57,000 KP employees in California, another 26,000 KP workers in six states and Washington, D.C. either voted to ratify – or are in the process of voting to ratify – similar contracts.

Kaiser Permanente called the ratification of the new contract encouraging' as the health system awaits final results on Saturday.


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