Monday strike at Kaiser Permanente averted with tentative deal

A strike organized by thousands of Kaiser Premanente workers slated for Monday was averted after the company reached a tentative deal with the Alliance of Health Care Unions. 

The union and company released a joint statement on Saturday saying that the strike that would have included more than 30,000 workers was canceled after members for the economic committee of the union approved a new agreement for employees. 

The strike was originally organized because Kaiser Permamnente wanted to implement a two-tier system to pay new employees in 2023 less than what current employees make.

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The union also previously stated that the company did not give big enough pay increases.

The agreement reached Saturday includes wage increases for all employees every year until 2025, no reductions in health benefits, bonus opportunities and opportunities for career growth. 

The two-tier pay system is scrapped from the new deal. 

“The Alliance of Health Care Unions fought to preserve a Kaiser Permanente where patients can count on excellent patient care and service. This has guided our work for 24 years. This agreement will mean patients will continue to receive the best care, and Alliance members will have the best jobs,” Hal Ruddick, executive director for Alliance of Health Care Unions, said. 

The announced agreement comes a day after Democratic Senators wrote a letter to Kaiser Permanente supporting the union.

“Instead of treating these workers with the dignity and respect they deserve you have demanded that they accept just a 2 percent wage increase and a two-tier system that allows you to pay new workers lower wages,” the senators wrote. “Considering your recent profit margins, we find this offer to be demeaning and unacceptable.”

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The company called the tentative deal a “landmark agreement.”

“These were challenging negotiations, but this tentative agreement demonstrates the strength of our Labor Management Partnership and the unique success it can achieve when we work together,” Christian Meisner, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Kaiser Permanente, said.

Voting to solidify the deal will happen in the next few weeks, according to the statement.