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Union agreement with Kaiser eases burdens for healthcare workers

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Posted at 1:52 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 16:52:18-04

OAKLAND, Calif. — An agreement with Kaiser Permanente will ease some burdens facing workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, including assistance with child care and temporary shelter, and extra leave for workers who are tested or diagnosed with COVID-19.

The agreement provides support for 80,000 workers who are members of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions. They apply to full-time, part-time and per-diem employees and can serve as a model for other hospitals and health systems to protect healthcare workers and the public.

“As healthcare workers in the middle of this pandemic, we know our duty is to our patients and the community, and we take that duty very seriously. But we can only give our best if we know our own lives and our families are protected as well,” said Juanita Kamhoot, who works in surgical services at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas, OR. “This agreement will make a real difference at a time when we need every healthcare worker on the job and focused on taking care of COVID-19 patients.”

There are four key areas the agreement focuses on:

  • Child care assistance - Kaiser employees who work a minimum of 32 hours a week in a KP facility will be eligible for a $300 grant to help pay for childcare. This stipend will last until May 31
  • Temporary shelter - alternative shelter will be provided to employees who test positive for COVID-19, work a double shift, work multiple 12 hour shifts, have fewer than 8 hours between shifts or have a household member who have COVID-19 or is a vulnerable group defined by the CDC
  • 80 hours of additional leave for employees who have tested positive for COVID-19