57,000 Kaiser Workers in CA Ratify Agreement to Protect Jobs, Patient Care

57,000 Kaiser Workers in CA Ratify Agreement to Protect Jobs, Patient Care

[Oct. 16, 2019] OAKLAND, Calif.Fifty-seven thousand Kaiser Permanente workers in California have overwhelmingly ratified a four-year contract with the company that will protect middle-class jobs and establish a unique fund to train the workforce of the future to deal with major projected shortages of licensed staff.

“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,” said Jessica Rodriguez, an emergency department technician at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. “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.”

The ratified contract includes:

  1. Revitalizing the worker-management partnership, which is a formal arrangement that promotes cooperation between frontline workers and managers to develop innovative ways to improve the delivery of patient care, create better job conditions, and lower costs;
  2. Creating a ground-breaking, $130 million workforce development program that recruits, trains and places thousands of people in licensed healthcare positions, and helps address the industry’s anticipated shortage of nearly half a million workers in the state over the next decade;
  3. Emphasizing the need to attract and retain quality caregivers – who are critical to the company’s success – by providing annual raises of 3 percent in each of the four years;
  4. Protecting middle-class jobs by banning subcontracting and greatly limiting outsourcing of current positions; and
  5. Forming a committee to ensure patient care integrates both cutting-edge technology and quality, dedicated caregivers.

Fifty-seven thousand Kaiser Permanente employees in California are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), and their new contract expires Sept. 30, 2023.

An additional 26,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. voted to ratify – or are in the process of voting to ratify – similar contracts. Voting is expected to conclude by Oct. 19.

Combined, the 83,000 workers comprise the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions.