Unions representing over 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers have reached a tentative contract agreement, potentially avoiding another major healthcare worker walkout in the United States.
“The frontline healthcare workers of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions are thrilled to announce a tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente. We extend our gratitude to Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su for her invaluable support,” tweeted the coalition.
Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente has not yet responded to requests for comment.
Last week, Kaiser employees including nurses, lab technicians, and pharmacists staged a three-day walkout in multiple states, with the coalition threatening another strike in November if negotiations failed.
The dispute primarily revolves around worker complaints of chronic understaffing, with Kaiser attributing the issue to a nationwide shortage of healthcare workers.
“Kaiser needs to prioritize the retention and attraction of qualified healthcare professionals. Outsourcing and subcontracting would have a counterproductive effect,” stated Kathleen Coleman, a medical assistant at Arapahoe Primary Care in Colorado.
Kaiser’s wage proposal includes an hourly floor of $21 to $23 (depending on location) starting next year, with increments of one dollar in 2025 and 2026. The unions had previously called for a minimum wage of $25 per hour across all Kaiser facilities.
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