As members of the Alliance of Health Care Unions, we have the support of 50,000 union members across Kaiser helping us continue to win industry-leading wages and benefits. While reviewing our benefits, Alliance staff discovered that Kaiser was providing substandard retiree medical benefits to our members. Alliance members in the other Kaiser regions get retiree medical benefit credit for every year in which they work at least 1,000 hours, but KPWA was providing the benefit credit only to employees who work more than 1,560 hours in a year. UFCW Local 21 members who worked between 1,000 hours and 1,560 hours were not receiving credit for those years of service.
We took this issue to a national dispute panel under the Alliance National Agreement on December 1, 2020, and we just won a ruling that retroactive to January 1, 2019, the 1,000-hour standard will apply for UFCW 21 members, giving more part-time members credit for retiree medical benefits. This crucial win further improves benefits for Alliance members in the KPWA region.