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We are united to win a contract that addresses workplace and patient care needs

DAILY BARGAINING UPDATE | WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2021

We continue to fight for Alliance members on the front lines who face escalating worker shortages and the fourth surge. While we propose solutions, KP executives at the table are short-sighted, stalling negotiations and failing to address chronic short staffing that can impact patient care.


New KP execs are forging a new strategy in bargaining—excluding Labor in staffing decisions outside of the Partnership model we’ve used for twenty-five years. These KP negotiators withhold standard position control, budgeting, benchmarking and even data that has always been shared. The employer even rejected a series of carefully crafted proposals that would benefit everyone, including a Labor-Management Staffing Committee in each region, a national escalation process to resolve disputes, limits on the use of travelers, and timelines to hold management accountable for providing information.


“Healthcare workers are in urgent need of staffing relief,” said Alliance Executive Director Hal Ruddick. “While management stuck their heads in the sand, we’re coming up with solutions to address staffing and to make sure our union members are included and heard at every step of the process.”


“I’m really proud of our union colleagues who put together solutions to address the current staffing crisis and future staffing needs. This language would bring relief to our members and transform healthcare in this country. We are ready to do whatever it takes to improve staffing in all of our departments,” Joshua Holt, RN bargaining unit chair for OFNHP.


The following joint recommendations were approved by the CIC:

Problem & Dispute Resolution

  • Develop recommendations to promote and support the use of interest-based process at all levels, including capacity, support and training

Patient and Worker Safety

  • Adding and updating language on Just Culture, Culture of Safety, and establishing a recognition program for patient and worker safety for the reporting of injuries, incidents, and near misses

  • Updating and enhancing current Prevention of Workplace Violence language


FIX HR CONNECT


The failures of HR Connect should be addressed in partnership. Retiring members aren’t receiving a departure check. Members who switch to another department or shift are finding their vacation balances zeroed out. Some members struggle for months and KP can’t fix the issue at all. This is not a niche problem—HR Connect is also where jobs are posted for internal applicants, and where they can languish unfilled. The Alliance is crafting a proposed escalation process to finally get relief for members who’ve been left without answers for months.


WE’RE FIGHTING FOR WAGE JUSTICE AT THE TABLE


We’re fighting to raise standards for Alliance members in the Inland Empire and Kern County who have lower wage scales than workers in Los Angeles and Orange County.


A starting anesthesia tech makes 39% less in the Inland Empire than her counterpart in LA. After six years of working, the same anesthesia tech in the IE would make 48% less than an anesthesia tech in LA. Over time the wage disparity grows exponentially.


This wage disparity could be the equivalent of one year of tuition at UC Riverside or local Cal State San Bernardino, or almost three years for a car loan. More than half of the population in the Inland Empire are people of color. The majority of Alliance members impacted by wage injustice are people of color. By continuing to uphold this wage disparity, Kaiser Permanente is perpetuating structural racism and economic inequality.


KP’s proposal would make wage injustice worse


Kaiser’s so-called solution to the wage disparity in Southern California? A two-tier system that would make it even worse by lowering IE wages for new hires.


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