5 things to know: Kaiser staff prepare to strike

Labor unions representing no less than 27,000 Kaiser Permanente staff in California and Oregon are readying their memberships to vote on whether or not they may go on strike, union leaders stated. The votes come as union contracts expire Thursday. Beneath nationwide labor legislation, healthcare unions are required to provide employers 10 days’ discover of a strike.

The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Well being Care Professionals, which incorporates 24,000 registered nurses, pharmacists, rehab therapists, midwives and optometrists, will maintain its vote Oct. 1 by Oct. 10. The Oregon Federation of Nurses and Well being Professionals, which represents 3,400 healthcare staff, will begin its vote Oct. 4. Each unions are a part of the 21-union Alliance of Well being Care Unions that represents 52,000 Kaiser staff.

1. Earlier in September, UNAC/UHCP stated it was pausing participation in its labor-management partnership with the built-in well being system over contract negotiations. The labor administration partnership is a 24-year-old agreement between the well being system and its unions—now known as the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and the Alliance of Health Care Unions—to jointly make decisions about affected person care, entry and high quality.

2. The employer has provided a 1% across-the-board increase for union staff and a two-tiered pay scale that would cut back compensation for brand spanking new hires in comparison with present staff beginning in 2023, which the union doesn’t help. Beforehand, Arlene Peasnall, senior vice chairman of human assets at Kaiser Permanente, stated the corporate’s proposal contains wage will increase for all present staff, no adjustments to the retirement plan and ensures no wage cuts for present staff.

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3. Union leaders say contract negotiations have stalled, and that they haven’t met with Kaiser representatives since Sept. 10. OFNHP executives stated Wednesday that, “As of now, there are not any acceptable gives from Kaiser,” and that unions in 9 states are getting ready for strike votes. Kaiser has not but responded to requests for remark.

4. About 500 folks joined OFNP for a rally on the Kaiser company headquarters in Portland Wednesday to marketing campaign for protected staffing and a good contract, labor leaders stated.

“All of us, healthcare staff and the neighborhood, are talking with one voice,” stated Jodi Barschow, OFNHP President and a registered nurse at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Middle. “We’re saying it is time to settle a contract that fixes the staffing disaster, places sufferers and healthcare staff first and permits us to lastly come out of the pandemic stronger than after we began.”

5. The well being system doubtless narrowly avoided a strike by the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions in September 2019 over contract negotiations, after agreeing to greater wages and a workforce growth program.

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