Kaiser Members: Important Update about Kaiser Budget
One year ago this month, UNAC/UHCP and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (CKPU) began discussions with Kaiser regarding “affordability.” After several months of protracted meetings last autumn, Kaiser announced the position eliminations of roughly 550 employees in Southern California, including 175 UNAC/UHCP members.
At a meeting in late November, over 150 local affiliate officers authorized UNAC/UHCP to withdraw from all Partnership activities as a response to the position eliminations. Our withdrawal had a clear impact. The value of UNAC/UHCP members in UBTs, WPS and Attendance Improvement initiatives was obvious when the Kaiser Southern California ranking of UBTs went from first to last during our withdrawal.
Recently UNAC/UHCP and the CKPU were informed that the Company faces a $600 million budget gap for 2014. This gap is 20% greater than last year’s gap, although we are unable to verify the gap amount because Kaiser has not shared a detailed budget with us. We sent Kaiser a Request for Information this week.
UNAC/UHCP President Ken Deitz is asking that all UNAC/UHCP members continue in the LMP activities at this time. We believe that our boycott demonstrated our value and hope that through our participation in the Partnership, we can help reduce the impact of Kaiser’s financial concerns. However, we are committed to doing what is best for all members and will evaluate our position on this issue based on how Kaiser chooses to deal with the $600 million “budget gap,” which has yet to be verified.