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Minimal Progress Made in June 25-26 Bargaining
Join Hundreds of UNAC/UHCP Members Sunday, July 8 in Orange County!
In the first of two jam-packed days of bargaining, union negotiators initially made some progress addressing labor and management interests. But by the second day, negotiators were met with backtracking on previous agreements, and a management proposal to end the no-cancellation policy that has been in place for 15 years.
The full language of their proposal on cancellations:
Sunset any provisions (including local CBAs) that prohibit the Employer from canceling or reassigning staff to meet operational needs. In the event that there are more staff scheduled than required, the Employer will determine whether there are other units/departments where employees are needed, provided the employees have the competency to provide safe patient care, and assign employees accordingly, starting with volunteers and then by least senior (inverse seniority).
If the Employer determines employees are not needed in other units/departments, the Employer will cancel shifts according to the following:
1. Provide no less than 2-hour notice prior to start time
2. If less than 2-hour notice, then Employer will provide half shift pay at straight time.
*Staff may voluntarily use vacation time to cover lost hours
“Management is saying that KP is overstaffed. Every day we hear from our members that they are understaffed,” said UNAC/UHCP bargaining team member and Executive Vice President Charmaine Morales, RN. “They’re working out of KP ratio, they’re working out of DHS ratio. We don’t need less staff, we need more staff.”
The Economic subgroup had a two-hour meeting on the second day, having met for two full days on June 18 and 22, and made limited progress on economic issues.
In a union caucus at the end of the second day, Alliance leaders encouraged union members to attend bargaining on Sunday, July 8. “This is the eleventh hour,” said Alliance Chair Kathleen Theobald. “This is when we need union members to show up and let Kaiser know we care.”
In the Operational Effectiveness subgroup, negotiators discussed forecasting the work of the future and staff. Management again called for flexibility, and the unions stressed that the key to flexibility is engaging labor early in the change process, before decisions are made.
“Management’s idea of flexibility seems to be—we tell you what to do you, don’t ask questions, and be happy you’re getting a paycheck,” said UNAC/UHCP bargaining team member Bianka Tulgar, PT.
“All the things that we’re trying to tackle really stem from the need to have meaningful participation from labor,” explained Union Co-Lead Lisa Loucks of UFCW Local 555.
The group discussed the need to fully include labor in forecasting and planning for the work of the future, and addressing barriers, especially barriers to placing employees who have achieved higher qualifications within Kaiser.
“We need our frontline health care professionals to be part of the conversation, because they are the ones doing the work,” said Tulgar.
“We don’t want to continue having a top-down management approach where managers tell us how things should be done and all we do is cooperate and not contribute to the improvement of our patient care,” said UNAC/UHCP bargaining team member Lawrence Louie, PharmD.
It was in this subgroup that management called to end the no-cancellation policy.
“There’s frustration on both sides,” added UNAC/UHCP bargaining team member Kim Smith, RN. “We need to implement the National Agreement so that management gets what it needs and we get what we need out of it.”
The Partnership subgroup focused on improving access to LMP training. In some areas and classifications, basic LMP learning has virtually ground to a halt, including even required LMP Orientation for new hires.
“We need to ensure that from the first time they walk through the door, new frontline workers and managers are trained in how to work in partnership and what the expectations are,” said Valery Robinson, USW 7600 President. “We don’t want to go backwards.”
The group jointly agreed to recommend to the CIC these improvements:
– To speed the development of national standards and updated curriculum, agreement was reached to empower a national LMP Learning Group that will report quarterly to the LMP Executive Committee.
– Language requiring LMP training within 120 days of hire was tightened up, and the standard was improved to require training within 90 days of hire (or in the case of newly-organized or newly-accreted bargaining units, within 90 days of inclusion in National Agreement).
The union negotiating team also agreed to advance two union-only proposals (without agreement of the management members of the subgroup) to require minimum hours of LMP training every year for every employee, and to expand the current 4-hour LMP Orientation to a full 8-hour LMP Orientation class.
“Our goal is to make sure new employees, managers, and newly accreted union members receive partnership training in a timely manner,” said Katie Ekstrom, OFNHP Local 5017 and subgroup Union Co-Lead. “We are shifting our partnership culture through a renewed commitment to learning about partnership early.”
Come to Orange County July 8!
“What we need from you is we need you to be here on July 8. We need to make it very clear to Kaiser Permanente that UNAC/UHCP members will be heard,” said Morales.
Come to Bargaining and Show Kaiser You Care!
Sunday, July 8, 10 am at the Hilton Costa Mesa