May 10, 2019
A special message to our Healthcare Professionals from Julie Miller-Phipps, president, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Health Plan and Hospitals, and Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group:
As you know, we have been in active bargaining for nearly a year now. For the first several months, we can all probably agree that while we were all bargaining in good faith, neither management nor labor were really connecting with each other. That’s not a criticism of anyone involved, it’s just a fact, and there are a lot of reasons for it.
All that said, we seem to have turned a corner over the past several weeks, and we believe that we are on a path toward an agreement. If we can keep making progress, we think we can reach a new contract that is in all our best interests, and more than that, can help create ways to return to working collaboratively to address the very real problems we’re grappling with.
What has caused this change? Over the last several weeks, we have had several meetings with the NUHW bargaining team and we have a better understanding of your concerns and perspectives, and the issues that we need to solve together. These conversations have proven their importance, as we work together on ways to improve the care you provide to our members. Most of us have been personally touched or know of someone who has benefited from the great care provided by our Speech Pathologists, Audiologists, Dieticians, and Health Educators, and those experiences help galvanize us to do better.
At this critical and encouraging time in our contract negotiations, we hope to reach an agreement that will make it easier to work together to develop a new model of care that we can be proud of and can be used to improve health care everywhere. We are all critical to this important mission. And we know it’s challenging.
Thank you for your continued dedication to our members and patients, and for your patience as we work through this process to emerge with a fair contract that enables us to tackle the significant challenges we face together.
We will continue to keep you informed and will strive to provide more information to you next week.