KP-NUHW Bargaining Update, Sept. 8, 2022
To our therapists,
On Sept. 8, we came to the table again prepared to bargain fairly and reach an agreement. We reaffirmed the proposal we made the weekend before the strike, which includes generous wage increases and an increase in IPC time to 18%, with no expiration date to respond. In addition, we committed to investing our resources to help free even more of therapists’ time to treat patients.
The decision we communicated yesterday – a commitment to providing meaningful practice support for therapists, with staff who will take on duties that are below the respective level of your clinical licensure – addresses the core sticking point in bargaining, IPC time.
As you know, unlike other community practices, Kaiser Permanente therapists do not spend time on billing paperwork or business operations and are not paid based on the number of patients seen. Our commitment to practice support, along with increased IPC time to 18%, adds even more advantages, as it is intended to free your time to do what is most important for yourself and your patients. In our Southern California region, we moved to a model with practice support for therapists, and we see value in providing that same type of support for our therapists in Northern California.
Practice support is a reasonable solution – especially in the absence of any constructive movement or new solutions on the part of NUHW, and the union’s continuing demands for IPC time that would result in reducing patients’ access to appointments, which is not acceptable.
We were unexpectedly joined at bargaining yesterday by several hundred others at the invitation of the union. We always appreciate and respect our therapists’ voices but were disappointed that union leadership made serious negotiations impossible with dozens of individuals trying to speak at the same time. Late in the afternoon, we adjourned to reconvene with the designated bargaining team today, when we intend to resume discussions toward settlement of this contract and getting you all back to your patients.
We have the deepest appreciation and gratitude for you and the extraordinary care you provide to our members. We are grateful to those who are continuing to provide care during the strike – nearly 50% of you as of yesterday – and we strongly encourage everyone to consider the impact of the union’s actions and do the right thing for our patients.