[Feb. 6, 2018] OAKLAND, Calif. – Thousands of healthcare workers will protest across California at 32 hospitals owned by Kaiser Permanente between Feb. 14 and March 15 because of the corporation’s plans that undermine patients and the people who care for them.
“Kaiser Permanente is more profitable than ever and the partnership between labor and management is a big reason for that,” said Sonia Allen Smith, an employee at Kaiser Oakland. “The partnership wasn’t built on outsourcing jobs and wage cuts, which harm patient care and our communities.”
Kaiser Permanente’s profits increased 60 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has $32 billion in reserves yet is seeking cuts that undermine patient care. Kaiser has said it wants to reduce wages for new employees by 20 percent in the Central Valley and 10 percent in the Sacramento area, which follows an offer made to employees who are members of the California Nurses Association. Workers are concerned that if wages are cut for new employees, it could spread in the future to current employees.
The corporation also plans to outsource 245 pharmacy warehouse jobs in Oakland, Livermore and Downey, and relocate 700 employees from three call centers in Los Angeles, Baldwin Park and Woodland Hills to other areas of the state where workers will earn $2 per hour less.
More than 55,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in California are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). Their contract with Kaiser Permanente expires Sept. 30, 2018.