Kaiser Walks Away from Partnership

Q: What did Kaiser do?

A: In May and June, Kaiser management met with leaders from all the unions and indicated that they’re walking away from the Labor Management Partnership as we know it. Kaiser tried to force all unions to sign off on new rules for the Partnership that would greatly expand their own power and severely weaken workers and unions at Kaiser.

Q: What’s this “New Partnership” that Kaiser wants?

A: Under the new rules of Partnership that Kaiser proposed:

  • Kaiser would have greater authority to automate, relocate, and outsource our jobs — and to take away our income security.
  • Kaiser would have huge control over how our Union Coalition operates, including the ability to allow a minority of union members to make decisions against the will of the majority.
  • Kaiser would silence the voice of healthcare workers by prohibiting Coalition unions and members from taking part in policy and political matters that Kaiser disagrees with.

Kaiser also said they refuse to bargain a new National Agreement with our Union Coalition until we sign off on this new Partnership. Read it for yourself here.

 Q: What did the Union Coalition do?

A: We said NO WAY! We will not allow Kaiser to reinvent the Partnership in ways that give them more power to eliminate our jobs, lower our pay, cut our benefits, and silence our voices. Instead, we’re sticking by our bargaining priorities.

 Q: What are our bargaining priorities?

A: The same as they’ve always been — we’re committed to winning a long-term agreement that:

  • Protects a fair and equal Partnership
  • Stops Kaiser outsourcing
  • Protects all our benefits — including our healthcare co-pays and retirement
  • Wins strong pay raises
  • Provides equal pay for equal work
  • Invests in the workforce of the future

Q: What’s going on with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (CKPU)? 

A: A group of small unions representing about one-third of the Coalition decided to break away and form their own group. The leaders of the breakaway unions wanted the right to cut a cheap deal with Kaiser over the objections of the majority of unions. We refused to go along, so those small unions left the Coalition to go it on their own. Some leaders of those unions have voiced a willingness to accept an Agreement with higher healthcare co-pays and lower wage rates for certain regions.

Our Union Coalition is 85,000 members strong. We represent members of SEIU, OPEIU, UNITE HERE, and Engineers and Scientists in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado, and the D.C. area.

Regardless of any deal any other union takes, our Coalition is committed to winning a long-term agreement that stops outsourcing, protects all our benefits, wins strong raises, provides equal pay for equal work, and invests in the workforce of the future. And remember, all our wages and benefits are protected by our current contract through September 2019.

Q: Why is Kaiser acting out like this?

A:  Kaiser is acting more and more like a for-profit corporation — with profits up 22% last year, $29 billion in reserves, and dozens of Kaiser executives making more than $1 million a year. Kaiser leadership used to partner with unions to solve problems and invest in our workforce. But Kaiser’s new corporate mentality is focused on outsourcing jobs, cutting pay, raising rates on patients, and escaping their obligations to negotiate under the Partnership.

Watch this one-minute video to see the personal impact Kaiser outsourcing has on healthcare workers and our families. 

 Q: So what now?

A: We need to show Kaiser that we — the 85,000 members of the Union Coalition — demand our right to bargain and that we’re all in to win a great contract. We have big actions coming up statewide; talk to your SEIU-UHW leader to find out more. We’ve also filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Kaiser for bad faith bargaining.

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