To our employees and physicians:
Welcome to For the Record, your source for sound information about Kaiser Permanente Northern California and the opportunities and challenges we face.
As we consider how best to respond to the rapid changes we're seeing in health care, the economy, and our day-to-day environment, we have been and will continue to be engaged in discussions with the unions that represent our employees. We know you may hear conflicting information from different sources, so we want to make sure you are equipped with facts and information about what Kaiser Permanente is doing and why.
Thank you for all you contribute, every day, to help KP achieve its mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We encourage you to check this site often and contribute your own questions.
In March 2018, on the eve of National Bargaining, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions split into two groups – due to disagreements among its union members over what partnership means – and the scheduled kickoff meetings did not proceed (SEIU-UHW has an existing contract that does not expire until October 2019). The disagreements came after SEIU-UHW union leadership filed a California ballot initiative that attacked Kaiser Permanente’s model and would have removed our ability to maintain the resources we need to care for our members and communities (the initiative was later withdrawn).
As you may know, the National Union of Healthcare Workers, the union representing mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente, has called for a five-day strike this week. We want our members and patients to know that during this strike, we are working hard to deliver high-quality care and services. All our hospitals and medical offices are open. Anyone in need of urgent mental health or other care will receive the services they require, although some non-urgent services are being rescheduled. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this unnecessary strike.
The following message was sent to employees throughout the Northern California region on Thursday, Nov. 29: The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), the union that represents the therapists who provide mental health and wellness care for our members and patients, has issued a 10-day notice of its intent to strike beginning at 6 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 10, and ending at 6 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. In addition, the California Nurses Association (CNA) and Local 39 have issued notices for sympathy strikes over the same time period. We are disappointed to receive these unions’ sympathy strike notices, considering that earlier this year we achieved generous contracts with them both.
We are disappointed the leadership of the National Union of Healthcare Workers would ask our highly valued mental health staff to go out on strike, when we’ve been in active negotiations since the summer, having met in 16 bargaining sessions over 5 months, and with two more bargaining sessions scheduled for next week. Importantly, there are no takeaways in our contract proposal. We are offering guaranteed wage increases which would keep our expert therapists among the best compensated in their profession, and continue to ensure that we attract and retain the most highly skilled professionals.
On Thursday, Nov. 29, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), the union that represents the therapists who provide mental health and wellness care for our members and patients, issued a 10-day notice of its intent to conduct a 5-day strike beginning at 6 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10.
An Important Message from Chuck Columbus, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer: We’re pleased to announce that the new 3-year Alliance National Agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions was overwhelmingly ratified by all 21 union locals in the Alliance. This agreement — the first ever between KP and the newly formed Alliance — is in effect through September 30, 2021. It lays out industry-leading standards for quality, service, affordability, workplace health and safety, and professional development.
Oct. 3 update: Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions have reached a Tentative Agreement on a national, 3-year collective bargaining agreement that covers nearly 48,000 unionized Kaiser Permanente health care workers in 22 union locals. The Tentative Agreement was unanimously approved by an Alliance bargaining delegate conference September 29 and will now go to union members for ratification. The voting is expected to be complete by the end of October. A senior Kaiser Permanente leadership group must also give its formal approval. If ratified, the agreement will have a retroactive effective date of October 1, 2018.
An Important Message From Chuck Columbus, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer: I’m pleased to report that KP and the Alliance of Health Care Unions are moving forward productively toward a new agreement that will enable us to continue to be a great place to work and to receive high-quality, affordable health care.
The following message was sent to all employees on Friday, June 8, from Chuck Columbus, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer: In the weeks since we convened our national labor summit, we have focused on rebuilding a successful labor management partnership with union leadership, in the wake of the split in the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions. This includes engaging union leaders to create an improved partnership agreement, fulfill our bargaining obligations as set forth in the National Agreement and continue to deliver on our mission of providing high-quality, affordable care and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.
The following message was sent to all employees on Wednesday, May 9, 2018: We invited the leadership of every union representing Kaiser Permanente employees to attend a national labor summit this past Monday (and all but one accepted). Our current Labor Management Partnership (LMP) has delivered more than 20 years of productive collaboration and significant results, thanks to the incredible work and innovation of employees, managers and physicians working together. Unfortunately, due to recent events, the current partnership cannot continue as it is.