Medical Technology

Kaiser Permanente, Unions Reach Labor Deal to Avert Strike

LOS ANGELES (AP) -A coalition of unions representing 50,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in California, Oregon and six other states canceled the strike notice after negotiating an agreement on labor issues with the health care network.

The Alliance of Health Care Unions and Kaiser Permanente jointly announced the agreement, staving off an unavoidably destructive strike that would have seen 32,000 employees, most of them from Southern California, threatened to walk out next Monday in protest of the lack of staff and wage cuts for new hires.

Additional members of the alliance, comprised of 21 local unions, have authorized a one-day “sympathy strike” on Nov. 18.

The agreement on the four-year contract provides annual wage increases, providing health benefits to employees. It also includes new language on staffing to protect patients and employees the statement stated.

Hal Ruddick, the alliance’s executive director, stated that the agreement will ensure patients continue to receive the best medical treatment and that Alliance members will have the best jobs. “This agreement protects our members, guarantees secure staffing, and ensures fair wages for all Alliance members.”

Christian Meisner, Kaiser Permanente’s chief human resources officer, explained that the agreement “underscores the unwavering commitment we have to our employees through maintaining industry-leading wages, and benefits.”

Bargaining continues with local Kaiser pharmacists in Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, and engineers from a group.

“We hope to reach agreements very soon,” Kaiser spokesperson Steve Shivinsky stated.

The alliance claims to have more than 35,000 member employees in California as well as 6,300 employees in Oregon and Washington; 2,100 in Colorado 2300 in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia 3,300 in Georgia and 1,900 in Hawaii.

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The Medical Progress

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