An Important Message From Chuck Columbus, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
In the weeks since we convened our national labor summit, we have focused on rebuilding a successful labor management partnership with union leadership, in the wake of the split in the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions. This includes engaging union leaders to create an improved partnership agreement, fulfill our bargaining obligations as set forth in the National Agreement and continue to deliver on our mission of providing high-quality, affordable care and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.
Making Progress on New Partnership Agreement
We remain committed to the Labor Management Partnership. Consistent with that commitment, at the national labor summit we invited leaders of all unions that represent Kaiser Permanente employees to participate in a new Labor Management Partnership agreement, including unions not previously affiliated with the partnership. Our goal is to create a new, stronger and more inclusive labor management partnership based on trust, mutual respect and cooperation that benefits our patients, members, customers and employees.
Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions recently reached an accord for an improved Labor Management Partnership agreement, one that will move partnership forward by addressing gaps in the existing agreement that have surfaced in the 21 years since it was created. The Alliance is made up of 21 local unions that recently left the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions.
We also met this week with the leadership of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions to work together in drafting a new partnership agreement. We did not complete the agreement in our first meeting and will meet again on June 21. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions includes 12 locals from four international unions.
In addition, we met with the Guild for Professional Pharmacists in the Northwest and Northern California and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) to further discuss including them in a new partnership.
These discussions are ongoing and we will continue to seek participation and input from those unions that have expressed interest in working in partnership. We hope to finalize this new labor management partnership agreement in the coming weeks.
2018 Bargaining Under Way
Due to the changes in union affiliations from the current Labor Management Partnership, National Bargaining could not proceed as originally planned. To fulfill our obligations to bargain as set forth in the National Agreement we made the decision to focus on bargaining with unions that have local contracts expiring in 2018 or that are entitled to wage re-openers (according to the provisions of the 2015 National Agreement), and bargain with other unions as their contracts expire.
We began bargaining with the Alliance of Health Care Unions in coordinated bargaining on behalf of the local unions in their affiliation on May 24. Negotiations are moving forward in two subgroups, one focusing on organizational effectiveness and another addressing ways to reinforce partnership expectations, behaviors and accountability. Coordinated bargaining sessions are scheduled through early July. In addition, we will be conducting local bargaining with some of these units.
We are also currently in bargaining with the Guild in Northern California and will soon begin local bargaining with the Guild in the Northwest and three units of NUHW.
We are pleased with the progress we have made and remain deeply committed to working together with union leadership to create a successful labor management partnership that supports our mission. We will continue to share updates on our progress.
Thank you for your continued commitment to our patients, members and communities.