NewsCovering Kern County


Kaiser and the Alliance of Health Care Unions come to an agreement, cancels strike

Posted at 11:10 AM, Nov 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-13 14:10:15-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions have come to a tentative agreement.

The announcement was made Nov. 13 and has caused the Alliance unions to cancel their strike planned for the upcoming week.

The agreement is a four-year contract covering nearly 50,000 Kaiser employees in 22 local unions. It includes new staffing language, annual wage increases, and maintains benefits while Alliance union-represented employees get advancement opportunities.

“The Alliance of Health Care Unions fought to preserve a Kaiser Permanente where patients can count on excellent patient care and service. This has guided our work for 24 years. This agreement will mean patients will continue to receive the best care, and Alliance members will have the best jobs,” said Hal Ruddick, Executive Director, Alliance of Health Care Unions.

“This contract protects our patients, provides safe staffing, and guarantees fair wages and benefits for every Alliance member.”

“This landmark agreement positions Kaiser Permanente for a successful future focused on providing high-quality health care that is affordable and accessible for our more than 12 million members and the communities we serve. It also underscores our unwavering commitment to our employees by maintaining industry-leading wages and benefits,” said Christian Meisner, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Kaiser Permanente.

“These were challenging negotiations, but this tentative agreement demonstrates the strength of our Labor Management Partnership and the unique success it can achieve when we work together.”

According to Alliance, these are the details of the tentative agreement:

  • Wage increases: Guaranteed across-the-board wage increases each year through 2025 in every region for all Alliance-represented employees.
  • Health benefits: No reductions or takeaways to already low-cost family medical and dental coverage with the same low co-pays for prescriptions and office visits.
  • Retirement benefits: The Agreement maintains generous retirement income benefits and employer-subsidized retiree medical.
  • Bonus opportunities: Introduction of the Alliance Bonus Plan, which provides annual payouts for achieving new mutually agreed to objectives to address affordability.
  • New safe staffing and workload language: Will ensure every Kaiser Permanente patient receives extraordinary care every time and in every place.
  • Opportunities for career growth: Alliance-represented employees will continue to have excellent career development and advancement opportunities.

The two even worked together to form what they call “Affordability and Competitiveness Task Force” that hopes to address issues of affordability while working together to provide care for their patients.

The tentative agreement was approved by members of the economic subcommittee of the Alliance of Health Care Unions and will now go to union members for ratification. Voting on the tentative agreement will occur over the next several weeks. If ratified, the agreement will have an effective date of October 1, 2021.