Kaiser continues its aggressive behavior towards all unions
Partnership Agreement: Kaiser continues to demand a new Partnership Agreement and is requiring Coalition Unions to sign a new Partnership agreement as a condition of resuming negotiations of a new National Agreement. This “new” Partnership Agreement is completely one-sided. It demands unions and union members waive significant rights, and it gives management the right to vote on expelling unions. We have met three times with Kaiser leaders over the last few months to reach an agreement. The Coalition has offered a counter proposal that was balanced—offering new rights and responsibilities within the Partnership for both our unions and Kaiser. We also have offered a ‘temporary cease fire’ that would get us back to the table for negotiations while addressing Kaiser’s concerns. Both of these offers have been rejected by Kaiser. Alliance Negotiations The unions that left the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions—the Alliance of Healthcare Unions—has been in negotiations with Kaiser after signing off on the new Partnership Agreement. They have not reached an agreement as of July 11, 2018 and are not expected to resume negotiations until late August. As those negotiations have progressed, significant concerns have emerged that that impact ALL union members at Kaiser. Specifically, Kaiser is demanding:
Higher co-pays on our medical benefits
“Market based” wages based on where people work
Eroding RN staffing ratios
We have even heard that one Alliance union that was simply informing its members of the status of negotiations has been called on the carpet by Kaiser for doing so. Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions Goals Moving Forward The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, over 80,000 members strong, is united on the following: Partnership Agreement: We stand committed to the Partnership and are open to a new Partnership Agreement. However, we require that any such new Agreement must:
Be reciprocal and not one-sided,
Protect key union and union members’ rights to advocate for and protect our jobs, job security, and
Be voted on for ratification at the same time as a new National Agreement.
New National Agreement: We stand united to win a new National Agreement that does the following:
Secures equity for the Regions Outside of California (ROC) on Wages and our Pension Multiplier;
Protects our Benefits and Wages;
Ensures the newly added Washington State unions enjoy the same standards and provisions of the National Agreement and are not relegated to a second-class status on wages, benefits, and employee rights;
Protects our union jobs and ensuring job security.
Kaiser is making historically high profits, including $1.3 billion in the most recent quarter. There is no reason for Kaiser to be demanding takeaways from anyone. They can afford to move forward to have the best ever National Agreement. Our Plan to Win Moving Forward Our Unity is our Strength. The strength of the Coalition over the past 20 years is what has helped us win the best contract in healthcare in the United States. We will not stand idly by while Kaiser continues its bad faith bargaining tactics. Here is our plan to win:
Worksite Actions: Throughout the Coalition, we are conducting various worksite actions to show our unity and to show Kaiser that we are united and in action together. It is more important than ever for all members to get involved and be active.
Legal: The Coalition has filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Testimony has been given and dozens of supporting documents have been provided. Kaiser cannot suspend National Agreement negotiations nor precondition those negotiations on a new Partnership Agreement.
Political Outreach: Kaiser’s bad faith negotiations tactics have concerned a large number of political leaders and they have communicated their concerns to Kaiser leadership. We are reaching out to all political leaders to update them on Kaiser’s refusal to bargain with over 80,000 union members and their anti-union behavior.
Purchasers: The Coalition has already organized union representatives covering over 1 million Kaiser customers to send letters to Kaiser expressing concern about their behavior.
We are confident that our unity and strength will get Kaiser to come back to the table and negotiate a new National Agreement that our members deserve.
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April 2, 2018
Well said, Local 30! Local 2 members echo these sentiments.
Dear Local 30 Members, I would like to update you on where we are with our National Bargaining and provide more details on how we got here. First off, to be clear Local 30 has NOT left the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions. While several other groups have decided to leave for a variety of reasons, the OPEIU local unions across the country remain committed to the Coalition and to the choice our members made years ago when they voted to join. As a result of the unannounced departure of nearly a third of the membership of the Coalition, Kaiser has been put in the unenviable position of having to figure out how they will proceed given the now multiple demands to bargain. While we in the Coalition certainly maintain our right to bargain, Kaiser leadership has asked for some time to try to sort this out. We have agreed to allow them that time and our National Bargaining will be delayed for a bit to accommodate that request. We fully intend to return as soon as possible to the bargaining table. For now the Coalition unions continue to prepare for bargaining and work with our committees on our proposals and arguments to ensure our success. We will continue to communicate regularly to keep you informed. Our next meetings as a leadership team will be the week of April 9th and we will continue to develop our strategy and communication plan to keep our members in the loop. Your patience is requested as we work through the issues before us. Lastly, while the unions that left the Coalition have chosen to no longer be “Partner” unions under the National Agreement, they are still unions and as such we all share many of the same values and goals. Their leaders and their members are still our friends and colleagues and the work we have always done together has benefited us all. For these reasons I am asking that we all refrain from any negative comments and avoid playing into the rumor mill. These communications from me and from YOUR union are intended to keep you informed, but also to make sure you can determine the fact from the fiction. While I cannot control the things that others may say, I will do my best to make sure that you get the facts you need to be able to tell truth from fiction. If you know of other Local 30 members who would like to receive these text and email updates, please have them go to our website or just call the office. In unity, Walter Allen Jr. Executive Director/CFO
March 29, 2018
A message from the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions
What we’re fighting for:
We are committed to negotiating the best possible National Agreement that protects all our benefits and rights and includes economic improvements such as:
- Strong raises that are equal across regions - Increased pension multiplier and change pension hours - No takeaways on health plans - KP Washington with full National Agreement - Insourcing and the end of subcontracting
How we work together:
We have always believed in—and strived for—consensus. For 20 years, we have been able to make 99.9% of our decisions together as unions, by consensus. This is still true with the Coalition we have today.
Our Coalition has grown and changed in many ways. Because of these changes, we have advocated to update our Coalition decision‐making structures to make sure that all Coalition unions are heard and—if we cannot reach consensus—we have a clear way to make decisions and achieve our goals. All Coalition unions—locals in SEIU, OPEIU, AFSCME (UNAC/UHCP), AFT (OFNHP/ONA), UFCW, IBT, IFPTE, IUOE, KPNAA, ILWU and UNITE HERE—had agreed that in 2018 National Bargaining, if we were unable to reach consensus, we would accept agreement from 70 percent of the represented union members.
For other day‐to‐day decisions, we believe a two‐thirds (66%) super‐majority would be a fair way to move forward into the future that is democratic and protects the voice of all unions. Under this structure, there is no way for one union—even one as large as SEIU‐UHW—to make decisions without significant support from other unions.
In the course of preparations for national bargaining, there have been robust conversations about how to keep our Coalition united and strong and bring resolution to our decision‐making processes. We remain committed to an open dialogue about this and feel that it was not in the spirit of partnership for some unions to walk away from the longest lasting, strongest, largest union coalition in the country because of a disagreement over internal decision‐making rules within the Coalition.
We hope that the unions who left last minute will re‐join the Coalition—and join us at the table with management. We are stronger together!
The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, AFL‐CIO, represents Kaiser Permanente employees in the following unions: SEIU Locals 49, 105, 121RN, 1199NW, UHW; OPEIU Locals 2, 8, 29, 30, 50 (HNA); IFPTE Local 20, and UNITE HERE Local 5.
March 27, 2018
Letter to our Kaiser Permanente bargaining unit members
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This week, Union leaders, bargaining team members, and observers of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions arrived in Oakland to begin negotiations with management for a new National Agreement. Unfortunately, we were met with an announcement by some unions: Effective immediately, they have withdrawn from the Coalition.
This has not deterred us from our mission and responsibilities. Local 2 and your bargaining team are proud to confirm our unity, strength and readiness for negotiations with our sister locals from OPEIU, SEIU, SEIU-UHW, UNITE-HERE and IFPTE.
Over the course of the next few months, you may hear many different versions of the events. Do not let the politics, power plays and propaganda confuse you or deter you from our purpose. We are here in good faith to represent the interests of our membership. We are 80,000 Union Strong across all regions in Kaiser Permanente.
We are not here to end the partnership. Nor are we one of the unions that has pulled our membership out of the National Agreement. Our membership continues to enjoy in full force the benefits and privileges of the National CBA.
Despite the narrative that is being spun by some of the previous Coalition Unions, we ask that you remain focused and grounded in the tasks at hand: To better the lives and working conditions of our sisters and brothers.
We know that there are a lot of unanswered questions at this point, and we are all dealing with this in real time. We ask that you strengthen your resolve. We will keep you informed as the situation progresses.
In Solidarity, In Solidarity,
Linda S. Bridges Sarah S. Levesque Secretary Treasurer1st Vice President OPEIU, Local 2, AFL-CIOOPEIU, Local 2, AFL-CIO
OPEIU Local 2 Survey for Bargaining with Kaiser Permanente