An important update for UFCW Local 400 nurses at Kaiser Permanente

Last week, our members working in Rehabilitation Services at Kaiser Permanente voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. They are not on strike right now, but we wanted to share an update to the rest of our KP union members to bring you up to speed.

The group of approximately 100 rehab therapists work at a dozen facilities in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. They unionized in April and have been negotiating their first collective bargaining agreement since then.

Unfortunately, Kaiser Permanente has not been taking negotiations seriously. KP management is demanding concessions that would take away benefits these therapists have earned and make patient care worse. They have slow-walked negotiations, failed to respond to union proposals, and canceled many sessions. In March, we filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against the company over its failure to bargain in good faith and provide information to our bargaining committee, which is a violation of federal law.

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because Kaiser Permanente management is doing many of the same things to other KP health care workers, which is why 75,000 members of other unions went on strike last week and we still don’t have resolution to our staffing concerns or our push for higher pay.

And just like us, the therapists have had enough. We are in the midst of a nationwide staffing crisis at Kaiser, and management isn’t taking the problem seriously. We are tired of understaffing compromising patient care and overworking our members.

No one wants to go on strike, but if management doesn’t come to its senses, we will do whatever we must in the short-term to ensure the wellbeing of our members and our patients in the long run. If rehab therapists do go on strike, we will update you with further instructions on how you can show your support. Under your union contract, you can and should honor the picket lines of a UFCW strike if and when one is announced.