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Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions to begin negotiations

The following message was sent on Wednesday, April 17, to employees throughout Kaiser Permanente:

An Important Message From

Dennis Dabney
Senior Vice President, National Labor Relations and the Office of the Labor Management Partnership

Jim Pruitt
Vice President, Labor Management Partnership and Labor Relations, The Permanente Federation

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions will begin the bargaining process for a new KP-Coalition National Agreement today and tomorrow in Oakland. Our goal in these important bargaining sessions is to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement that advances the interests of our organization, our employees who are represented by the Coalition unions, and — most importantly — the members and patients we serve. Kaiser Permanente hires, retains, and develops the best people in health care, who are committed to our mission, and enables them to do their best work.

It is important that these sessions get underway, as many of the Coalition unions’ local contracts are nearing their expiration dates.

Kaiser Permanente believes in partnership. We are committed to preserving our long-standing union relationships that go all the way back to World War II and our groundbreaking work together in the shipyards. Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to our unions is as strong today as ever:

  • We are proud to employ more union workers than any other health care organization in the country.
  • Since 2015, we’ve added more than 34,000 union-represented jobs nationwide.
  • We have continued to honor the key provisions of the 2015 National Agreement, which expired Sept. 30, 2018, for employees who are members of Coalition unions.

By working together in partnership with the unions that represent our employees, we will continue to achieve the best results for our members, patients, and the communities who depend on Kaiser Permanente to provide high-quality, affordable health care — and help to keep Kaiser Permanente a great place to work for all. This starts with our pledge to bargain in good faith and our commitment to reach fair and equitable agreements that provide our employees with excellent, market-competitive benefits and wages. We believe this is a positive and realistic goal because this is how we successfully reached a new National Agreement with the Alliance of Heath Care Unions last year.

We’ll be using interest-based bargaining to reach a new agreement. This proven approach to bargaining creates a positive framework where all parties collaborate to develop mutually beneficial solutions based on their shared interests. Kaiser Permanente and our Partnership unions have a strong track record of successful interest-based bargaining, which has helped lead to “win-win” agreements that include shared accountabilities for outcomes, terms for employee development opportunities, and structures to improve the quality and the delivery of care to our members.

As we jointly work to understand one another’s interests and reach a mutually beneficial agreement throughout these upcoming bargaining sessions, it’s important to remember any activities that attack the reputation and business operations of either partner are truly counterproductive to the process and the spirit of interest-based bargaining, and send a confusing message to our members and the communities we jointly serve. It’s also counterproductive to our ultimate goal of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement so we can return to the business of serving our members, our mission, and our communities.

This week’s 2-day bargaining session will focus on training management and union negotiators on the ins and outs of interest-based bargaining. There will be additional bargaining sessions held in the coming weeks. The details of those future sessions will be shared when finalized, and we look forward to sharing the progress made during bargaining in a timely fashion. Thank you.

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