This week, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is negotiating a new national contract with the health care giant. More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente health care workers across the country have voted to authorize a strike if Thursday and Friday’s bargaining sessions do not end in an acceptable deal.
If announced, the strike will affect the more than 12 million people served by Kaiser’s 39 hospitals and 715 medical offices in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Georgia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The unions involved represent about 40% of Kaiser staff.
Union representatives have blasted Kaiser for what they say is a lack of engagement, especially on staffing levels. But Kaiser told STAT that the system is “confident” it can reach an agreement before the contract expires on Sept. 30. “Our priority is to reach an agreement that ensures we can continue to provide market-competitive pay and outstanding benefits,” said Kaiser’s national media relations director Steve Shivinsky in a statement.