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Important KP-NUHW Bargaining Update

The following message was sent today to Kaiser Permanente Northern California mental health therapists on behalf of Debora Catsavas, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan; and Deborah Royalty, Chief Administrative Officer, The Permanente Medical Group:

Dear NCAL Mental Health Professionals,

We have been negotiating with NUHW for more than a year and as we communicated in our bargaining session last Friday, we would like to bring this to a successful close and move forward.

Last Friday we reiterated our excellent offer to the NUHW bargaining team as our “last, best and final” proposal — with a significant difference. We have added an important element that we hope reflects our interest to move forward with you. If the proposal is accepted within 30 days, Kaiser Permanente will make wage increases in our proposal retroactive to the last contract’s expiration, which was Sept. 30, 2018. The retroactive increase is only available if the contract is agreed to by Sept. 16, 2019. Otherwise, annual wage increases will become effective with the date of the new contract agreement, which is the more traditional approach to timing.     

 If the proposal is accepted by Sept. 16, the 3% salary increase for the first year of the agreement will be retroactive to Sept. 30, 2018. In each of years two and three, you’ll receive an increase of 2.75% to the base and a 0.25% cash payment. There will also be additional increases (market adjustments) varying by licensure: LCSWs, LPCCs, and MFTs: an additional 4% in year 1; and Addiction Medicine & Recovery Services Counselors: an additional 5% in year 1.

Our proposal is a fair and equitable offer that addresses the need for more staff and the need to support office practice activities, while at the same time ensuring optimal patient access.

We are asking your union to accept this offer and recommend ratification, to ensure you get the retroactive pay we are offering.

We have heard your concerns about staffing and resource challenges, facilities constraints and development needs, and are moving forward as quickly as we can to tackle these areas while we continue the bargaining process. Since July we have posted 185 new mental health positions in Northern California medical centers and 86 in Connect 2 Care, and we continue to expand and open new facilities. We’re investing $10 million to expand our post-graduate training programs and $40 million to advance the education and experience of more than 1,000 employees to practice in mental health professions.

All of this is designed to tackle the growing demand for mental health services and to make Kaiser Permanente the place where mental health professionals want to train, work, and enjoy a long career.

You can find details of our offer on the Kaiser Permanente Northern California:


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