An important message from Debora Catsavas, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Northern California, and
Deborah Royalty, Chief Administrative Officer, The Permanente Medical Group, Inc.
Over the last few weeks, Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions have been working together toward a mutually beneficial national agreement, as we have done for decades. Unfortunately, for the first time in the 22-year history of our Labor Management Partnership, we have so far been unable to reach an agreement around wages and benefits at the small economics subgroup.
We are disappointed in where we are and yet we are clear that we shouldn’t tear one another down but work together in a collaborative fashion to resolve our differences and finalize an agreement. While we’ve kept a number of options open, our most recent proposal was presented to the Coalition on Friday, July 26. We are concerned and do not agree with how our latest proposal is being mischaracterized. We would like to share it with you here.
Market-competitive wages across the board
We are committed to all employees at Kaiser Permanente receiving market-competitive wages. Our current proposal for Coalition-represented employees in Northern California includes increases of 3% across the board beginning in 2019 and each year through 2022.
Continued market-leading benefits
Working together, we’ve found a way to maintain the existing office visit copayment for you and your family by agreeing to incentivize use of the mail-order pharmacy.
Local bargaining continues at local tables with no issues having been escalated to the national table.
Workforce of the future
Working side by side with the Coalition, we created a one-of-a-kind opportunity to participate in addressing the national shortage of health care workers and helping develop the next generation of unionized workers in health care. We have agreed to create new-hire training positions for certain roles and are dedicating
$40 million to a Workforce Development Fund. Newly trained workers will join our workforce in preliminary steps while they learn on the job, culminating in employment at Step 1 of our pay scales. This is not a two-tiered system, rather it is a process to allow newly trained health care staff to receive the additional training and experience needed to qualify for employment.
As we approach Kaiser Permanente’s 75th anniversary, we can be proud that the work we do together is helping to ensure KP’s future in Northern California and beyond. We are grateful for all you do every day for our members and patients, providing the care and service they deserve. Our proposal reflects our appreciation and commitment to you and your future, and to keeping Kaiser Permanente the best place to work.
Our history — and our future — are deeply connected to organized labor. We remain committed to working together for the members and communities that rely on us. We look forward to bringing this negotiation to a successful resolution soon.