Setting the Record Straight: False SEIU-UHW Claims About NLRB Process
The NLRB is following its routine process to set an evidentiary hearing, however SEIU-UHW claims that the NLRB reached a decision and that Kaiser Permanente has been indicted. Neither is true.
The remaining Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, including SEIU-UHW, has recently been making misleading and inaccurate claims about the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) process concerning a charge about bargaining that the remaining Coalition filed in May 2018. The NLRB is following its routine process to set an evidentiary hearing, as already announced in December 2018, however SEIU-UHW claims that the NLRB reached a decision and that Kaiser Permanente has been indicted. Neither is true.
We recognize SEIU-UHW leadership intends to advocate forcefully for its position, but we expect them to be honest in doing so. It’s disappointing that they are choosing to mischaracterize this NLRB process.
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 — and the scheduled bargaining kickoff meetings did not proceed (SEIU-UHW has existing contracts that do not expire until June 2019 or later). 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removed our ability to maintain the resources we need to care for our members and communities (the initiative was later withdrawn).
The remaining Coalition, including SEIU-UHW, subsequently filed a charge with the NLRB concerning National Bargaining. The determination by the district 32 office of the National Labor Relations Board is not a verdict. It is the beginning of the NLRB’s process to hold evidentiary hearings to fully understand this complicated case.
Those hearings have been scheduled to begin on March 19 in Oakland. We are confident the NLRB will agree that Kaiser Permanente has acted lawfully and in good faith in our dealings with SEIU-UHW and the other remaining unions following the breakup of the Coalition.
Ever since the former Coalition broke apart, Kaiser Permanente has been doing everything possible to be constructive and make progress. We have already reached agreement with 21 former Coalition unions, which now have joined in a new Partnership group they have named the Alliance of Health Care Unions. We have sought to return to a true spirit of partnership with the remaining unions.
As we have said in the past, our preference is to be in partnership with the unions who represent our employees, but for unions who prefer a traditional union-employer relationship to a partnership, we will continue to work fairly and constructively. We will continue to bargain with each union in good faith, and we look forward to resolving the issues raised in the NLRB matter.