We are Committed to Best Care
The Kaiser Permanente (KP) Labor Management Partnership (LMP) was founded on the ideal of best care and best jobs. Patients are the center of our value compass and the focus of the work we do every day. For 24 years, this Partnership supported the best patient care. KP caregivers and workers were empowered to give their best, with industry-leading wages, job security, and a meaningful voice in how we improve service and care for KP members.
We’ve been meeting with management for KP national bargaining for two months now. Our bargaining teams entered the discussions with the presumption that those sitting across the table from us are just as committed as we are to providing the best care, any time and anywhere. Click here to view our video on how the LMP allowed UNAC/UHCP members to improve patient care.
We all know that any partnership depends on mutual respect and a strong commitment. We also know that KP continues to claim, at the table and in the hospitals, that market conditions require them to pull back on their promise of the best jobs. Make no mistake: KP is doing extremely well financially and is well positioned to continue to do so. Across the country, members continue to receive extraordinary care.
In unity, the entire Alliance will be participating in a three-day sticker action on June 28-30. Let’s stand together in unity and send a message to KP: we are willing to do whatever it takes to protect our patients. Get in touch with your affiliate/chapter officers (find their names here) to learn more about how you can join our nationwide action.
SUBCOMMITTEE BARGAINING UPDATE
The full labor and management bargaining team met on June 23 to review progress in 2021 national bargaining.
Patient and worker safety
During the June 23 session, the group co-leads shared their progress, including making proactively embedding psychological safety in operations the top priority, which the subcommittee has already started developing options to address. Other deliverables include creating and sustaining just culture; encouraging reporting of injuries, incidents and near misses; preventing workplace violence consistently; and promoting a safe workplace.
Problem and dispute resolution
This subcommittee is working toward three broad areas of mutual interest: clarify and improve the dispute resolution processes in the National Agreement; promote use of interest-based process at all levels, including capacity, support and training; and expedite the resolutions over disagreements about National Agreement or Partnership Agreement interpretation. They’ve started with the first goal and discovered much to work with on “front-end” problems that should be resolved at the lowest level.
The racial justice group has been focused on the existing programs and data-gathering; the subcommittee plans to begin developing options to address deliverables during the July 1 and July 15 bargaining sessions.
Staffing, travelers, and backfill
In the June 23 update, we learned the subcommittee reached consensus on the top priorities: information sharing; training and sponsorship regarding patient and worker safety processes; and ensuring partnership engagement on strategy for staffing, including but not limited to position control, budgeting, workforce planning and bench-marking.
No proposals have been passed across the virtual table; however this subcommittee provoked the strongest reaction from our collective Alliance of Health Care Unions bargaining team during the June 23 session. Specifically, Kaiser Permanente reiterated an argument that wages are too high and a drag on KP. More than a dozen Alliance bargaining team members pushed back on this assertion, pointing out that KP sets the standard for patient care because of the care and service of union members.