On Wednesday, August 25, Kaiser negotiators finally put a proposal on the bargaining table. In the face of the surge, and the growing shortage of workers in every job category, Kaiser proposed to pay all new hires much lower wages (on a two-tier wage scale) and pay current workers a 1% annual raise for the next three years.
“Management has doubled down on a destructive, dead-end proposal that will lead to lower care standards, and even worse staffing levels,” said Michael Barnett, President of USW Local 7600. “We will not agree to divide the workforce and pay new hires less to do the same work.”
Kaiser negotiators stuck to their proposal even after the Alliance presented extensive research showing that in fact, KP wages are very close to pay rates of competitors. The “wage study” is bogus.
“Clearly, Kaiser has lost their way, but we have not,” said Sandra Flores, Business Representative of IUOE Local 501. “We will stand up for our patients and for each other, for as long as it takes, to get a good contract — and we will NOT allow a dangerous race to the bottom to start with our workforce at Kaiser.”
The Alliance has proposed a strong contract that recognizes our expertise, attracts skilled staff to provide safe care, and protects our wages and benefits. In addition to wage increases across the board, we’ve proposed to raise standards in regions and unions that lag behind as well as increased tuition reimbursements.
We’ve also proposed a joint labor-management task force to address competitiveness and affordability, based on shared and accurate data. When we work together in a transparent interest-based process, we achieve innovative solutions.
Union Solidarity Tuesdays Start August 31st!
Join us for Union Solidarity Tuesdays, starting Tuesday, August 31, 2021. On Tuesday, we will wear our union colors, buttons, and stickers in solidarity with our bargaining team. Take a selfie and tell us why you agree safe staffing is important. Use the hashtags #SafeStaffingSavesLives #BestJobsBestCare.
Two-Tier: A Target On Our Backs
With rising #Delta cases and staffing shortages, now more than ever, Kaiser Permanente needs to invest in its greatest asset: healthcare workers.
But instead, KP is proposing lower wages and benefits for new hires. Two-tier wages will only drive skilled workers elsewhere in a time when we need relief.
Learn more about how two-tier wages weaken our union solidarity, job security, and patient care in our latest #BestJobsBestCare video from the Alliance of Health Care Unions: