Kaiser Permanente, 85,000 workers to resume contract talks

Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente and more than 85,000 healthcare workers nationwide will resume negotiations this month.

The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions — comprising 11 labor unions in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia — and Kaiser have scheduled bargaining sessions for April 17 through April 19. The coalition's national agreement with Kaiser expired Sept. 30.

The renewed talks come about a year after the coalition filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in May 2018, alleging that Kaiser violated federal law by refusing to negotiate a new contract and proposing negotiating conditions that would prohibit unions from speaking out about patient care issues or taking political action against the healthcare giant.

A hearing on the complaint is scheduled for April 22 in Oakland, Calif.

Since Kaiser now has dropped negotiating conditions, talks can resume, the union said.

"We're thankful to have resolved this impasse and look forward to resuming negotiations and ultimately securing a new national agreement for Kaiser workers," said Tamara Rubyn, secretary-treasurer of the coalition.

John Nelson, vice president of communications for Kaiser, echoed the sentiments.

"We look forward to the interest-based bargaining process that has served Kaiser Permanente and our labor partners so well in the past, and to the successful completion of a new agreement with the remaining coalition unions that benefits our employees and members," he said in a statement.


More articles on human capital and risk:

Hospitals and unions: 10 recent conflicts, agreements
Tenet-owned Michigan hospital settles alleged labor violations
U of California patient care workers to strike April 10


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