Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions have come to a tentative agreement on a new 3-year national contract in which wages, benefits, care quality, affordability, health, and workforce development for the nearly 100,000 members of the unions represented were covered.
The tentative agreement is the largest private sector union agreement to be negotiated this year. The agreement will result in California employees receiving a 3% annual wage increase for each year of the contract and a 2% increase each year for those outside of California.
Current benefits will remain intact and dental benefits will be enhanced with the new national contract.
Kaiser has additionally decided to commit $19 million a year to two educational trust funds which are intended to ensure the company’s diverse workforce receives adequate opportunities to develop their careers.
Ultimately, the goal of the agreement is to ensure that both sides of the equation mutually benefit from a healthy symbiotic relationship, as the employees are reliant on the employer and vice versa. The 3-year contract hopes to achieve this by ensuring that employees have access to healthy and affordable food, a healthy work environment, healthy activities for those off the clock, adequate monetary compensation for duties performed, and educational opportunities.
SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan was quoted by Market Watch having said:
“Unions and management agreed that health improvement is an essential strategy for reducing chronic conditions – one of the leading drivers of rising, unsustainable cost. Workers want to set an example and lead, so we intend to provide incentives for collective attainment of health goals – plus opportunities for union members to lead on health in their communities. This is a high-road, long-term strategy for the common good.”
The healthcare provider’s agreement with a coalition of unions of their workers will affect nurses, technicians, psychologists, scientists, pharmacists, and service workers in Oregon, Washington, Ohio, California, Colorado, Maryland, Hawaii, Virginia, and Georgia, the L.A. Times reported.
What are your thoughts on the 3-year national contract between the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and the Oakland, C.A.-based integrated managed care consortium, Kaiser Permanente?