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Tentative agreement reached with the Guild for Professional Pharmacists; strike canceled

The following message was sent to all Northern California employees:

We are very pleased to announce that at about 1:00 a.m. this morning, Kaiser Permanente and the Guild for Professional Pharmacists reached a tentative agreement for a new three-year contract for pharmacists in our Northern California region. The tentative agreement reflects our respect for Kaiser Permanente pharmacy professionals and the exceptional care they provide.

The agreement is aligned with our commitment to high quality, affordable health care and to being the best place to work, and includes the following:

  • Wage increases: Guaranteed across-the-board wage increases through the duration of the three-year contract
  • Health benefits: No reductions or takeaways to already low-cost family medical and dental coverage with the same low copays for prescriptions and office visits
  • Retirement benefits: Maintains generous retirement income benefits and employer-subsidized retiree medical.
  • Bonus opportunities: Higher incentive bonus opportunities
  • Agreement on important operational matters

In light of this, the Guild for Professional Pharmacists has canceled the strike that was expected to begin November 15 and our pharmacies will return to normal operations later today.

Our gratitude

This is indeed very good news. We especially want to thank our employees and physicians who participated in extensive contingency planning and stood ready to ensure our members and patients received Pharmacy services in the event of a strike. We recognize that many of you are continuing your efforts as you prepare for further labor activity this week and we are grateful.

Status of other labor efforts

A historic agreement

This agreement comes on the heels of Saturday’s landmark tentative agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Healthcare Unions, affecting nearly 50,000 Kaiser Permanente employees across the enterprise, including 37,000 of our colleagues in Southern California. This agreement – which is drawing national and international attention — positions Kaiser Permanente for a successful future focused on providing high-quality health care that is affordable and accessible for our members. And, like the Pharmacy Guild agreement, it also maintains industry-leading wage and benefit packages for Alliance-represented employees.

In Northern California, we are also pleased to announce we reached agreement with United Nurses Associations of California (UNAC), the Alliance union that represents our physical, occupational, and speech therapists, and their previously announced strike for Nov. 22 will not occur.

Continuing to bargain in good faith with Local 39

This past weekend we demonstrated again how unique Kaiser Permanente is with our long-standing relationships with labor unions and our ability to successfully reach agreements that benefit our employees and keep them among the best compensated in health care, while advancing our commitment to making health care more affordable.

We are continuing to bargain in good faith with IUOE Local 39 and the National Union of Health Care Workers (NUHW) and are confident we will reach agreements with these unions very soon. We have offered our engineers across the board pay increases and bonuses that, along with Local 39’s rich medical and retirement benefits, will keep them among the best compensated in the profession.

SEIU-UHW, Local 29, and Local 20 have not yet rescinded their sympathy strike notices and are asking their union members to walk out on our patients on Thursday, Nov. 18, and CNA and NUHW are asking their members to do the same on Friday, Nov 19.

Strikes and sympathy strikes will not bring us closer to contract agreements and they hurt the people who end up in the middle–our members and patients. As we head into this week, we know and respect that you have a choice. We hope that every employee will choose to be present this week for our patients and members who need us.

Thank you for your compassion, commitment and dedication, and for acting on behalf of those who need and depend on us.

Debora Catsavas, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, KFHP/H

Darin Tankersley, PhD, Chief of Medical Center Administration and Operations, TPMG

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