LOS ANGELES—A tentative deal was reached Nov. 13 between Kaiser Permanente and union leaders that will prevent a strike by thousands of nurses and other health care workers who were planning to hit the picket line Nov. 15 at Kaiser facilities across Southern California and beyond.
Kaiser and the Alliance of Health Care Unions agreed on a four-year contract covering nearly 50,000 health care employees in 22 local unions, according to union spokesman Jeff Rogers.
“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 of the alliance. “This contract protects our patients, provides safe staffing, and guarantees fair wages and benefits for every Alliance member.”
According to the union, the tentative deal includes:
—Guaranteed across-the-board wage increases each year through 2025.
—No reductions to family medical and dental coverage.
—Maintaining generous retirement income benefits and employer-subsidized retiree medical.
—Introduction of the Alliance Bonus Plan, which provides annual payouts for achieving new mutually agreed-upon objectives to address affordability.
—Opportunities for career growth and advancement.
The two sides also agreed to form a national affordability and competitiveness task force to “find innovative ways to address issues of affordability while continuing to work together to protect high-quality patient care.”
The deal now goes to the full common issues committee, and then to union members for ratification. Voting will occur over the next several weeks.
If ratified, the agreement will have an effective date of Oct. 1, 2021. The union canceled its strike notifications.