More than 300 local union member leaders from across the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions met from April 17-18 to mark the start of national bargaining with Kaiser Permanente. After over a year of tension caused by Kaiser illegally refusing to bargain, and members taking action in response, to say there was excitement in the room would be an understatement.
Ron Ruggiero, SEIU 105 President: “I’m incredibly proud of our members for standing strong and united, for over a year, to win our demand that Kaiser bargain. This is about more than winning a good contract. This fight is about a company that is losing the values it once stood for. Now, it is up to us to protect high-quality patient care and good jobs for our families and our communities. Our members have shown we are tough and I know we’ll keep building our unity and power to get it done.”
The first day of bargaining provided an opportunity for union leaders to come together and discuss overall bargaining strategy, review our goals and expected outcomes, and participate in workgroups and bargaining training.
The April 17-18 sessions focused on establishing the framework for bargaining and no proposals were formally addressed.
Formal bargaining will take place during the following sessions in Los Angeles:
- Session 1: May 14-16
- Session 2: May 28-29
- Session 3: June 18-20
- Session 4: July 9-11
KAISER TRIAL UPDATE:
The National Labor Relations Board has postponed the upcoming April 22nd hearing on Kaiser’s illegal refusal to bargain to August 20th. The NLRB determined the NEW Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) in which Kaiser was charged for withholding $1.5 million in contributions was directly related to their bargaining refusal and should be included in the same hearing.
The new trial date, although untimely, provides us the opportunity to hold all of the upcoming bargaining sessions with this additional pressure looming over Kaiser. This puts us in a stronger posture to reach a National Agreement that ensures quality care for all.
VOICES OF BARGAINING:
Becky Torres, 16 years at Kaiser: “It pays to be united and not back down. Forcing Kaiser to Come to the Table has been successful. I am looking forward to bargaining a great contract!”Patricia Johnson-Gibson, 21 years: “Bargaining kick-off was an is electrifying, and the enthusiasm from all 85,000 union members represented here. The fight begins for a fair contract. We will not bring back crumbs. We want the “whole damn cake”!Darion Ross, two years: “Because of your unity and tenacity SEIU 105 our union had held KP accountable, and we will help them find their way back to partnership and a fair contract.Maria Fenwick, 25 years: “There is power in our unity. We can no longer debate management with the facts. They’re not listening. The only way to stand up for our patients and our jobs is to make management see our power.”Bea Griffith, six years: “It was made apparent that despite Kaiser having lost its way, our union is fully prepared to help them find their way back to their values.”Daniel Perez, 11 years: “SEIU 105 is standing strong with the Coalition to demand a fair contract. When we fight, we win!”
MA/LPN SOLIDARITY ACTION:
Last week, over 200 Kaiser MA’s and LPN’s held an informational meeting to take action against proposed staffing changes and reductions. Members decided not to stay silent and voice their opinion by writing their concerns in the form of an email, along with a unified message, and send it to Sharon Peters, COO of Kaiser Permanente.
Your fellow MA and LPN members are asking you to join this solidarity action demanding workers have a voice in ANY proposed changes to the current staffing model.
“We are deeply concerned about the changes proposed in Primary Care. Most of us are already understaffed and overloaded. We want to be able to deliver high-quality patient care, and the voices of front line staff need to be heard.We demand that Kaiser STOP these proposed changes in Primary Care. Instead, we must develop a sustainable and safe staffing model TOGETHER. Then, conduct real pilot projects that are designed and evaluated together.”
TAKE ACTION: Copy and paste the message above and email it to Sharon Peters at Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to personalize the message and add any additional thoughts from you or your department.
Check out the NEW SEIU 105 Kaiser Member Site for updates and resources!
This site is home to a LIVE calendar of worksite meetings that you can subscribe to, up-to-date materials and resources to download and use at worksites, as well as a downloadable copy of the Kaiser Contract. Are there other resources you would like to see? The ongoing member survey is also available at any time so please keep your questions and suggestions coming