UNAC/UHCP bargaining teams remained focused and determined as both sides presented a full slate of interests on August 21 and 23.
Bargaining for six local contracts covering Kaiser health care professionals took a deeper dive into issues such as staffing, safety, workload and work-life balance. Our union continued to remind Kaiser—at the table and in facility actions throughout the week—that quality patient care is the end goal.
“Patients…they’re the most important end of it,” said Conor McCullough, an OT from Kaiser Woodland Hills, who’s on the UTSC bargaining team representing physical, occupational and recreation therapists. “The patients are most important for the whole organization. We need management and staff to work closely together to provide that and possibly improve it going forward.”
Just past the half-way mark in the local bargaining scheduling, UNAC/UHCP teams laid every major proposal on the table. Several tentative agreements (TA), which will become part of the final contracts, were reached. But the thorniest issues remained under discussion.
After last session’s emotional testimonies to the dangers of staff working short and stressed, all six tables sought to engage management on rewrites or new language that would enforce safe ratios and reasonable scheduling practices, create safe working environments, and remove barriers to training and hiring for our members.
Highlights from the six bargaining tables
You stood with us
UNAC/UHCP members continued to show solidarity with our team members bargaining diligently at the table. On Monday, August 20, members wore blue to support our focus on the national coordinated bargaining economic talks that day. On Tuesday, August 22, Woodland Hills UNAC/UHCP welcomed JCAHO and DHS with a “Ask Me About Staffing” sticker campaign. Observers joined us for both local bargaining days. Staffing objections and bargaining petitions continued to roll in. More than 1,000 staffing objections were captured in a single month; we delivered those to management last week. We delivered 300 more staffing objections to management on Thursday, August 23.
Back to coordinated bargaining
Next week, in addition to two local bargaining sessions (Monday, August 27 and Thursday, August 30), we go back to the national coordinated bargaining table with the rest of the Alliance of Health Care Unions.