Kaiser, union at tentative deal with 21% raises: 6 things to know

Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente and a labor coalition have reached a tentative four-year deal after a strike earlier this month involving tens of thousands of workers in multiple states.

Six things to know: 

1. Kaiser and workers reached the tentative agreement Oct. 13, 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, according to an announcement by union officials. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions deemed the strike as the largest healthcare worker strike in the U.S.

2. "The front-line healthcare workers of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions are excited to have reached a tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente. We are thankful for the instrumental support of acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su," union officials announced on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.

3. Kaiser officials posted a similar statement on X: "We are excited to have reached a tentative agreement with the front-line health care workers of the @UnionCoalition. … We are thankful for the instrumental involvement of Acting U.S. Labor Secretary @ActSecJulieSu."

4. During negotiations, workers expressed concerns about issues such as staffing, wages and provisions related to subcontracting and outsourcing. Union and Kaiser officials, in news releases shared with Becker's, said details of the tentative agreement include raising wages by 21 percent 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. 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, according to union and Kaiser officials.

5. The tentative agreement will go to the more than 85,000 Kaiser employees who are represented by Coalition unions for possible approval. The ratification process is slated to begin on Oct. 18. If ratified, the agreement will have an effective date of Oct. 1.

6. The coalition had warned of another significant work action from Nov. 1-8 if a new labor deal was not reached. Workers who went on strike earlier this month included licensed vocational nurses, emergency department technicians, certified nursing assistants, radiology technicians, ultrasound sonographers, teleservice representatives, respiratory therapists, X-ray technicians, optometrists, dietary services, behavioral health workers, surgical technicians, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, transporters, home health aides, phlebotomists, medical assistants, dental assistants, call center representatives and housekeepers, among other positions.

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