Update on Labor Management Partnership and National Bargaining

An important message from Chuck Columbus, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer to all Kaiser Permanente employees

You may recall that last month, on the eve of National Bargaining, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions split into two groups, due to leadership conflicts between the unions. As we promised at the time, we have spent the last several weeks meeting with union leadership, to ensure we understand their perspective, interests, and the potential implications of their decisions. Just as importantly, we’ve been working to find a way to move forward, together.

We are still trying to find a path forward together that will result in the most effective labor-management partnership, which would include as many represented employees as possible. We continue to strongly believe that working in partnership with the unions that represent our employees will achieve the best results for our members, patients, and employees.

Joint Meeting to Discuss Partnership the Week of May 7

We have invited union leadership to a joint meeting next week, with two goals in mind:

  1. Create a productive, expanded partnership.
  2. Ensure that the differences between the Coalition and Alliance unions do not interfere with providing our employees and physicians the best environment possible to work together, improving the quality and affordability of the care we provide.

We will provide an update after that meeting, and as we are able.

With that meeting coming together, it makes sense to postpone the National Bargaining sessions that had been scheduled for May 8-10. We want to assure you that as we determine the right next steps forward and regardless of the ultimate form this will take, we will meet all our bargaining obligations.

Commitment to Partnership

We want to reinforce our commitment to the important work of our Labor Management Partnership, especially our Unit-Based Teams. No matter the status of the individual unions and our partnership, we want to both celebrate the significant results that UBTs have delivered, and encourage you to continue that work without interruption. Your participation in UBTs and other opportunities helps to improve the quality of health care for Kaiser Permanente members and the communities we serve, and contributes to making Kaiser Permanente a better place to work.

Even as we work through this time in our partnership, there is so much to acknowledge and celebrate. Click here to view a summary of the great results from 2017. We hope you will take a moment to mark the accomplishments we achieved together and will continue to achieve into the future.