Kaiser workers OK deal with 21% raises: 7 things to know

Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions-represented employees have voted to approve a new four-year national labor contract following an October strike involving tens of thousands of workers in multiple states. Employees also approved their local collective bargaining deals.

Seven things to know:

1. More than 85,000 Kaiser Permanente workers approved the new national contract by a margin of 98.5%, according to a coalition news release shared with Becker's

2. The new national agreement includes annual wage increases, new minimum wages and a redesigned Performance Sharing Plan, Kaiser said in a statement posted online. It also addresses staffing, additional opportunities for employee education and career development.

3. Specific details of the national agreement include raising wages by 21% over the life of the contract; establishing a new healthcare worker minimum wage of $25 per hour in California and $23 per hour in other states where Kaiser operates; and protective terms related to subcontracting and outsourcing, according to coalition representatives. The deal also includes initiatives such as streamlining hiring practices, increased training and education funding, mass hiring events, and a commitment to upskill current workers and invest in the training of future staff.

4. The agreement, announced Nov. 9, is in effect from Oct. 1, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2027, at hundreds of Kaiser facilities across California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

5. "We will begin implementing the national contract immediately," Kaiser's statement says. "We look forward to working together through the Labor Management Partnership to advance our mission of providing high-quality, affordable healthcare services and improving the health of our members and the communities we serve."

6. Angelica Mateo, a licensed vocational nurse at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center Clinics, said in the coalition release: "This is more than a contract — it signals a new day for front-line healthcare workers and for patient safety across Kaiser facilities. When healthcare workers stand shoulder-to-shoulder to fight for our patients and our jobs, we can win."

7. Approval of the new national labor contract comes after Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser and workers reached a tentative agreement on Oct. 13. The tentative deal was reached about one week after workers began a three-day strike Oct. 4 at Kaiser hospitals and medical office buildings in California, Colorado, Washington and Oregon, and a one-day strike in Virginia and the District of Columbia. The coalition deemed the strike as the largest healthcare worker strike in the U.S.

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