Our updated LMP Agreement - An Overview from the Alliance of Health Care Unions
On May 22, our Alliance Unions reached agreement with Kaiser Permanente on an updated version of the original 1997 founding LMP Agreement. The updated LMP Agreement fully preserves our employment security and union rights, while reflecting today’s priorities, structures, and challenges.
In 1997, our unions and management negotiated a founding Labor Management Partnership Agreement (LMP Agreement) that initiated our Labor Management Partnership. The LMP Agreement is not a collective bargaining agreement that we renew every 3-5 years, but rather a broad, standing statement of our LMP founding principles and working agreements. Until now, this agreement had not been updated since 1997.
On May 7, 2018, management proposed a set of updates and changes to the LMP Agreement. We met with management over three days (May 17 and May 21-22) to negotiate an updated LMP Agreement that protects our employment security and union rights, while reflecting the priorities, organizational structures, and challenges we face today. Immediately after reaching the new LMP Agreement on May 22, we kicked off negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
What's Changed in the Updated LMP Agreement Between Alliance Unions and Kaiser Permanente?
The updated LMP Agreement, negotiated between the Alliance of Health Care Unions and Kaiser Permanente on May 22, 2018, preserves our employment security and union rights, while updating our founding 1997 LMP Agreement to reflect today’s priorities, structures, and challenges. Here’s more information:
Employment security and other union rights preserved: Of course, all our Union rights are fully preserved and unchanged. The provisions of the 1997 agreement which set the foundation for our industry-leading job security protections have been retained unchanged. The Employment and Income Security Agreement – which is a separate document – remains in effect and unchanged.
Additional Priorities: new priorities and clarifications include: the Partnership is an operational (not just labor relations) strategy; our shared goal is to make KP the best place to work; supporting the growth of unions at KP is now an explicit goal; we will continue to address affordability for our members and the communities we serve; we will prepare workers to be successful in the work of the future; we will have meaningful sponsorship and accountability at every level; and we agree to ensure a “free to speak” environment for all employees.
Organizational structures: the updated LMP Agreement reflects the current joint governing body (the LMP Strategy Group). It clarifies that union members not covered by the Agreement may participate in partnership activities that affect their work, but may not participate in the consensus decision-making process. There is an added section to reflect the fact that there may be multiple union parties (Alliance unions, and potentially other unions not in the Alliance). We also affirmed labor’s longstanding position stated in our national contract (the National Agreement) that LMP is not co-management; as unions we preserve our independent voice and accountability to our members.
Current challenges: For partnership to reach its potential, both management and labor must live up to the commitments we make to each other. The new agreement strengthens procedures for dealing with non-partnership behavior by either management or labor parties. It contains enforcement provisions when those norms are violated.
The Agreement includes procedures for expulsion from the partnership of any management party, or labor union party, that engages in egregious non-partnering behavior, only as agreed by a vote of 70% or more of the parties.
The new “Conduct and Expectations” section contains a balanced approach to expectations for both management and labor. It clarifies that the parties shall be respectful and build relationships on honesty and trust; parties shall respect each other’s representatives and contracts/agreements; we commit to use contractual procedures for enforcing our national partnership agreements, and to improving those procedures to resolve issues fairly and more quickly; the parties will not engage in legislation or ballot initiatives which are specifically targeted at another member of the partnership, nor engage in conduct aimed at jeopardizing the tax-exempt status of the organization, nor support legislation which undermines the rights of labor unions. To our knowledge, no other major national employer has signed a statement explicitly agreeing not to support legislation that undermines the rights of unions.