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Kaiser Permanente, Union Reach Agreement Following Strike
After the largest U.S. healthcare strike, Kaiser Permanente and unions announce a tentative agreement. Details remain undisclosed, pending union member approval.
Nearly a week after the largest strike in U.S. health care history, a tentative agreement has been reached between Kaiser Permanente and workers.
A tentative agreement has been reached between Kaiser Permanente and the unions representing thousands of health care workers, the union and company both announced on Friday.
All of the terms have not been released, and the final deal is pending approval from union members.
The agreement comes a week after nearly 75,000 workers conducted the largest strike of health care workers in the U.S. Union officials said the three-day strike was a last resort in response to Kaiser executives' failure to address a staffing crisis.
"Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation’s largest hospital companies that made $3 billion in profits between January and June alone," said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry. "Workers across race and background are taking on Kaiser, saying it’s time to bargain in good faith and respect us, protect us and pay us the living wages we need to thrive. They’re demanding what’s necessary for patients to get the quality care they need and deserve."
Union negotiators said Kaiser workers are demanding a minimum of $25 per hour, with 7% increases in the first two years of the contract and a 6.25% increase in the final two years.SEIU Local 105, which represents workers in Colorado, said its unionized members would get a 21% wage increase over the life of the contract.
"We were able to come to this historic agreement because of our united strength and our willingness to fight for the safety of our patients," the union said. "As a massive step forward in addressing Kaiser’s short-staffing crisis, this tentative agreement aims to ensure that health care workers are protected and equipped to give the best possible care to people across Colorado."
In addition to 75,000 allied health care workers, Kaiser Permanente also employs nearly 24,000 doctors and 68,000 nurses at its 39 hospitals and 622 medical facilities.
Nurses, lab techs, pharmacists, X-ray techs, and food and janitorial workers were among those who went on strike. The nonprofit is one of the nation's biggest health providers, with more than 12 million patients a year.