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  • To our Psych-Social Chapter Employees
    posted on October 19, 2019Printable Version
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  • KPSC Wildfire Assistance Programs Launched
    posted on October 11, 2019Printable Version

    A message from Frank Hurtarte, senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Plan and Hospitals, and Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, with an update on the Southern California wildfires:

    The Saddleridge Wildfire which began last night in Sylmar and was aided by winds of up to 70 mph, has burned more than 4,700 acres as of this morning. Evacuation orders have been given in the Porter Ranch and Oakridge Estates areas affecting 100,000 people and 20,000 homes. This wildfire is the largest of 5 affecting Los Angeles, Riverside, and Ventura counties.

    We want to let all Southern California employees and physicians know that if they’ve been affected by these fires they are in our thoughts and we will ensure their access to Kaiser Permanente’s assistance and support programs throughout the wildfire season. This help also applies to all KPIT and Program Offices employees who sit in this Region.

    Our hope is that these emergency assistance resources will offer the help needed to cope with the difficulties and potential destruction resulting from these fires. If you’ve been affected, below are the details and links to documents connected with Kaiser Permanente’s Disaster Assistance Programs:

    Short-Term Emergency Support and Resources Reference Guide


    $500 Grant – Short Term Emergency for employees displaced from their primary residence for a minimum of 48-hours, under mandatory evacuation:
    • For urgent and immediate needs such as food, clothing, temporary shelter.
    • Completed forms should be submitted to Deborah Silverman at Deborah.Silverman@kp.org.
    • Processing after completed form is submitted and approved is approximately 48 hours.
    • This is reportable income.

    (Per employee, includes on-call and temporary status)

    https://www.kpscalfyi.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/KP_ShortTerm_AssistanceForm.pdf


    $5,000 Grant (Loss of Homes) – Short Term Emergency for employees who have a total loss of their owned or rented primary residence
    • For urgent and immediate needs for home loss.
    • Completed forms should be submitted to Deborah Silverman at Deborah.Silverman@kp.org.
    • Processing after completed form is submitted and approved is approximately 48 hours.
    • This is reportable income.

    (Per household)

    https://www.kpscalfyi.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/KP_5K_Grant.pdf


    $10,000 Loan – for employees and physicians who are awaiting other forms of emergency financial aid such as federal programs and insurance claims as a result of full or significant loss of their primary residence.

    • In the form of an interest-free loan requiring completion of an Emergency Loan Application and Promissory Note which stipulates payback via payroll deduction over 18 months beginning three (3) months after approval.
    • Contact Local Human Resources Department.
    • Processing after completed form is submitted and approved is approximately 48 hours.
    (Per employee)

    https://www.kpscalfyi.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/KP_EmergencyLoanApplication.pdf


    ETO/PTO/Vacation/FPD Cash Out Eligibility
    Employees may be eligible to cash out available ETO / PTO, Vacation, or FPD to help meet a severe financial hardship due to certain unforeseeable emergency events. 
     
    Call HRSC at 1-877-457-4772.  See HR Policy CA 4.03 for more details.


    Accommodations for employees and physicians whose owned or rented primary residence was destroyed or declared uninhabitable, or were under a mandatory evacuation, or had a recommendation of evacuation

    • Can be reimbursed up to $250 /day for the cost of a hotel room, AirBnB, and BnB, up to a maximum of 7 nights.
    • Processing after completed form is submitted and approved is approximately 48 hours.
    • This is reportable income.

    (Per household)

    https://www.kpscalfyi.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/KP_Accomodations.pdf


    Vanguard Withdrawal

    Employees may also be eligible for a Financial Hardship withdrawal from their Vanguard or Fidelity 401k plan. 

    • All KFH/HP/SCPMG employees and all union-represented employees contact: Vanguard at (800) 523-1188

    NOTE: The above links to the assistance information and forms are posted on KPSCALFYI.org, a website that is accessible from any internet-connected phone, tablet, or computer. Please bookmark this location and check back for updates.

    Employee Assistance and Physician Wellness Programs
    Some of us may be either personally impacted or know of someone who is affected by the wildfires. If you need additional support, please use the services of KP’s Employee Assistance Program. EAP counselors are licensed, trained clinicians who can assist with a wide range of work and personal issues. Click here for a list of EAP counselors by location. Physicians can visit the SCPMG Physician Wellness website for resources or contact Physician Work Life Solutions at 800-505-1879.

    Reminder: Safeguard Your Health
    It’s important to take precautions to stay healthy if you or your family are in an area being impacted by the current fire — especially those with respiratory conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We recommend that you:

    • Stay indoors and keep your windows closed (unless instructed otherwise).
    • Use “controller” steroid inhalers (like QVAR) as prescribed.
    • Use “quick relief” inhalers to help with shortness of breath.
    • If you have oxygen, use it if you have difficulty breathing.
    • Turn on your air conditioner to see if it helps, especially if it’s central air. If you have a window A/C unit, make sure the filter is clean.
    • Use fans in each room to help move the air in your house.

    Click here for more tips provided by the American Red Cross on heat safety measures, responding during a heat wave, and heat-related illnesses.

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    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • Tentative Agreement Reached with Coalition
    posted on October 2, 2019Printable Version

    September 25, 2019

    Four-year agreement between Kaiser Permanente and Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions would cover 85,000 employees; strike threat withdrawn.

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions have reached a tentative agreement on a national, 4-year collective bargaining agreement that covers 85,000 unionized Kaiser Permanente health care workers in 11 local unions.

    The tentative agreement provides annual pay increases and maintains excellent employee benefits while also creating a program to reduce the national shortage of health care workers. If ratified, the agreement will position Kaiser Permanente — including its members, employees, and local communities — for a sustainable future as the organization works to make its high-quality, integrated model of care even more affordable and accessible in all its regions.

    The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions comprises 11 local unions from 3 international unions. It includes IFPTE (International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers) Local 20, OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union) Local 29, OPEIU Local 30, OPEIU Local 50/Hawaii Nurses Association, OPEIU Local 2, OPEIU Local 8, SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 49, SEIU-UHW (SEIU United Healthcare Workers West), SEIU Local 121RN, SEIU Local 105 and SEIU 1199NW.

    “We greatly respect and value our employees who deliver on our mission every day,” said Arlene Peasnall, interim chief human resources officer, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals. “This agreement is a testament to the dedication, compassion, and skill those employees bring to work every day and demonstrates that Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition have a shared commitment to affordability for our members.

    “Kaiser Permanente has an unparalleled track record of working constructively with labor to solve problems together to improve the care and service offered to our members and patients,” Peasnall added. “We may disagree at times, but we have always been able to work through our challenges to align on common goals.”

    Agreement details

    The new tentative agreement includes:

    • Solid wage increases: Guaranteed wage increases each year through 2023 in Northern and Southern California, Colorado, Hawaii, the Mid-Atlantic States (northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.), Northwest (Oregon and southwest Washington), and Washington regions.
    • Opportunities for career growth: Kaiser Permanente employees will have the opportunity to move into new roles in a training capacity after pursuing the education needed for the job, at an adjusted Step 1 pay scale; they are guaranteed they will not make less than in their former position. Once experience requirements are met, they will continue in the normal steps for the position at the full rate.
    • Workforce development fund: A new multimillion-dollar fund will be created to provide educational opportunities for Californians who may not otherwise be able to pursue a career in health care.
    • Retirement security: The agreement preserves the existing defined benefit pension plan along with other strong retirement benefits.
    • Outsourcing: The parties have agreed to a list of jobs that will not be outsourced or subcontracted for the life of the contract.
    • Career mobility: The agreement offers an additional $250 for employee travel as part of the tuition reimbursement program, raising the total to $750.
    • Affordable health care: The agreement includes a pharmacy utilization approach that incents employees to utilize the more efficient mail-order prescription service.

    The tentative agreement was reached by Kaiser Permanente and Coalition negotiators on September 24, following nearly 5 months of active bargaining that began in April 2019. It will now go to Coalition union members for ratification, where voting is expected to be completed by the end of October.

    If ratified, the contract will have an effective date of October 1, 2019, and will cover more than 85,000 health care employees: 67,000 in California; 8,300 in Oregon and Washington; 3,100 in Colorado; 5,000 in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia; and 1,000 in Hawaii. Coalition employees represent hundreds of job classifications, from optometrists and pharmacists to maintenance and service workers.

    About Kaiser Permanente

    About Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.

    Contact

    Marc Brown
    Marc.T.Brown@kp.org
    510-271-6328

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    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Summary of Last, Best, and Final Offer to NUHW Healthcare Professionals Unit
    posted on September 7, 2019Printable Version

    Reaching an Agreement

    We’ve negotiated with NUHW for more than a year and at our Thursday, September 5 bargaining session, we reiterated our excellent offer to the NUHW bargaining team as our “last, best, and final” proposal — with a significant difference. We added an important element that we hope reflects our interest to move forward with you. If the proposal is accepted by September 25, 2019, Kaiser Permanente will make wage increases in our proposal retroactive to the pay period closest to September 30, 2018, the date of the last contract’s expiration. This means the 3% salary increase for the first year of the agreement will go into effect during the pay period closest to September 30, 2018. In each of years 2 and 3 you’ll receive an increase of 2% to the base and a 1.5% cash payment. If this offer is not accepted, the annual wage increases will become effective as of the first full pay period to begin after ratification of the agreement which is the more traditional approach to timing.

    Please see the information below for details about the other key features of our offer. It’s our hope that after your review, you’ll conclude that these terms will provide you with highly attractive wages and benefits and will strengthen Kaiser Permanente’s ability to be the best place in health care to work and to receive care.

    Contract Proposal Summary
    (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    Your Personal Economics


    Annual Performance Sharing Bonus of up to $3,000*

    A Ratification Bonus of 1% will be paid to full- and part-time active employees employed on the date the new contract is ratified.

    No changes to Active Medical and Pension Programs

    Annual dental coverage*
    Increased to a maximum of $1,500

    Alternate Mental Health*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Alternate Mental Health coverage will cover 80% of reasonable and customary charges, inclusive of both inpatient and outpatient, with no maximum number of visits.

    Increased tuition reimbursement to $3,000/year with $750 of the total usable for travel which brings this benefit on par with other roles.

    Wage Differential Enhancements*

    Differential increases for Evening and Night Shifts, and Bilingual Pay.

    Tax Deferred Retirement Savings*
    Effective January 1, 2021, Kaiser Permanente will match 100% of an eligible employee’s contribution to his/her EDC plan, up to three percent (3%) of the employee’s eligible compensation. Effective January 1, 2021, Employees working at Kaiser Permanente on December 31 of the applicable year who contribute throughout that year at least 2% of their eligible compensation, or 3% of eligible compensation if they participate in the EDC plan, will receive the applicable match from Kaiser Permanente on the total of his/her eligible compensation.

    Retiree Medical Health Reimbursement Account*
    Increased to $2,000 per year of service.

    Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Summary of Last, Best, and Final Offer to NUHW Psych-Social Chapter
    posted on September 7, 2019Printable Version

    Reaching an Agreement

    We’ve negotiated with NUHW for more than a year and at our Thursday, September 5 bargaining session, we reiterated our excellent offer to the NUHW bargaining team as our “last, best, and final” proposal — with a significant difference. We added an important element that we hope reflects our interest to move forward with you. If the proposal is accepted by September 25, 2019, Kaiser Permanente will make wage increases in our proposal retroactive to the pay period closest to September 30, 2018, the date of the last contract’s expiration. This means the 3% salary increase for the first year of the agreement will go into effect during the pay period closest to September 30, 2018. In each of years 2 and 3 you’ll receive an increase of 2% to the base and a 1.5% cash payment. If this offer is not accepted, the annual wage increases will become effective as of the first full pay period to begin after ratification of the agreement which is the more traditional approach to timing.

    Please see the information below for details about the other key features of our offer. It’s our hope that after your review, you’ll conclude that these terms will provide you with highly attractive wages and benefits and will strengthen Kaiser Permanente’s ability to be the best place in health care to work and to receive care.

    Contract Proposal Summary
    (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    Your Personal Economics


    Annual Performance Sharing Bonus of up to $5,000*
    A Ratification Bonus of 1% will be paid to full- and part-time active employees employed on the date the new contract is ratified.

    A Ratification Bonus of 1% will be paid to full- and part-time active employees employed on the date the new contract is ratified.

    No changes to Active Medical and Pension Programs

    Annual Dental Coverage*
    Effective January 1, 2021, the dental plan participants’ annual maximum will be increased to $1,500 per calendar year. Also effective January 1, 2021, the lifetime maximum for child orthodontia will be increased to $1,500.

    Alternate Mental Health*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Alternate Mental Health coverage will cover 80% of reasonable and customary charges, inclusive of both inpatient and outpatient, with no maximum number of visits.

    Benefits by Design Voluntary Programs*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Benefits by Design Voluntary Program will be made available to eligible employees on an after-tax basis. Available options may include: long-term care insurance, legal services insurance, additional term life insurance, identity theft maintenance, and auto, homeowners’, and pet insurance.

    Wage Differential Enhancements*
    Differential increases for Evening Shifts, Night Shifts, and Standby Pay.

    Market-competitive adjustments to wage scales*
    Kaiser Permanente proposed market adjustment increases to wage scales for Psychiatric Registered Nurse professionals with associated minimum requirements for the position to align with other Southern California nursing professionals.

    Tax Deferred Retirement Savings*
    Effective January 1, 2021, Kaiser Permanente will match 100% of an eligible employee’s contribution to his/her EDC plan, up to three percent (3%) of the employee’s eligible compensation. Effective January 1, 2021, Employees working at Kaiser Permanente on December 31 of the applicable year who contribute throughout that year at least 2% of their eligible compensation, or 3% of eligible compensation if they participate in the EDC plan, will receive the applicable match from Kaiser Permanente on the total of his/her eligible compensation.

    Retiree Medical Health Reimbursement Account*
    Increased to $2,000 per year of service

    Your Practice & Staffing


    Immediate Relief* (within 30 days of contract ratification)
    • Staffing with temporary agency resources and therapists where available to assist with return access.
    • Staffing with temporary agency psychiatric RNs for triage where indicated.

    Increased supplemental staffing resources
    (temporary, per-diem, agency) for an immediate increase in internal capacity.

    Office practice support (as indicated)
    • Appointment clerks
    • Clerical resources
    • Extender roles

    More recruiters and staff working to fill mental health positions.

    More rapid expansion and refresh of mental health offices, facilities.

    SCAL Care Navigators*
    20 additional FTE positions (LCSW/MFT) for the Southern California Care Navigator rollout and implementation will be created to provide immediate access relief. The positions will be added as soon as administratively possible in relation to individual medical center start-up operational needs.

    New Job Classifications*
    Two new classifications have been proposed: Developmental Psychologist and Neuropsychologist. Both classifications will be paid 5% above the current Psychologist wage scale. Also, an additional 5% differential will be paid to Neuropsychologists who obtain and provide proof of valid Neuropsychology board certification.

    Professional Development & Growing the Workforce


    Increased tuition reimbursement to $3,000/year*

    Student Loan Repayment Program
    • Graduates of accredited bachelor’s or master’s level programs would receive a $10,000 lifetime repayment for qualified student loans related to education in mental health professions, with a maximum reimbursement payment of $2,500 per year.
    • Graduates of accredited doctorate level programs would receive $20,000 lifetime repayment for qualified student loans related to education in mental health professions, with a maximum reimbursement payment of $5,000 per year.
    • Current employees with at least a .80 FTE, who have an existing college school loan(s) from an accredited college/university receiving a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree in the field of mental/behavioral health, are eligible to apply for this program.
    • This program is for loans already incurred as of June 1, 2019.

    KP investments to support
    • Post graduate Fellowship & Residency programs
    • Expansion of KP’s master’s practicum and post-doctorate programs
    • Grants to fund clinical research
    • Grants to expand college degree programs in mental health

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    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • KPSC-NUHW Psych-Social Chapter Employees and Healthcare Workers Update
    posted on August 2, 2019Printable Version

    August 2, 2019

    A special message to our Psych-Social Chapter Employees and Health Care Professionals from Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and Frank Hurtarte, senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Health Plan and Hospitals.

    Kaiser Permanente and NUHW Psych-Social Chapter Employees and Health Care Professionals met collectively to bargain on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Kaiser Permanente listened to the NUHW bargaining team members share why Kaiser Permanente’s package proposal had been rejected. NUHW had no counter proposal to KP’s last offer. No further bargaining dates are scheduled at this time.

    Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • 2019 Coalition Bargaining Update
    posted on July 10, 2019Printable Version

    Dennis Dabney – senior vice president, National Labor Relations and the Office of Labor Management Partnership, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan & Hospitals

    Jim Pruitt – vice president, Labor Management Partnership and Labor Relations, The Permanente Federation

    The negotiators crafting a new National Agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions set to work developing joint options as the fourth bargaining session got underway on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Los Angeles.

    The Work of the Future subgroup worked on 3 options that may become recommendations, and if so, they will move to the full 120-member Common Issues Committee for consideration. One of the key joint interests for the subgroup is to find ways to make it easier for current Kaiser Permanente employees to move into new, open, lateral, or advanced positions before outside applicants, and these options addressed that issue.

    The process was both painstaking and collaborative, with productive give and take — and a round of applause at the end of the day acknowledging the subgroup’s efforts.

    Nakia Linzie-Shavers, SEIU-UHW, and Bill Gilmyers, Northern California workforce planning director, hold a lively conversation in the Work of the Future subgroup.

    The other 2 subgroups, Commitment to Partnership and Operational Effectiveness, also made steady progress.

    Partnership subgroup members worked on 2 options they identified as mutual. The first one is to revitalize Labor Management Partnership education and training. The group has discussed recommending a renewed focus on training that would target managers and union-represented employees and feature a standardized curriculum about the principles and responsibilities of partnership, with an eye toward improving performance outcomes.

    The group’s second joint option addresses the issue resolution and problemsolving process and calls for quickly resolving issues at the lowest possible level, with clear steps for escalation at the local, regional, and national levels.

    In the Operational Effectiveness subgroup, 2 of the identified joint interests are eliminating workplace injuries and how to forecast the care needs of the patients of the future. Tuesday afternoon, the subgroup moved on to discuss staffing issues.

    Another group of senior management and union leaders is working on the economic details of a potential agreement.

    For the latest bargaining updates and other materials for managers, please visit about.kp.org/together.

    To see more images of partnership in action, please visit our Partnership photo gallery.

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    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • Moving forward on our commitment to mental health
    posted on July 9, 2019Printable Version


    Kaiser Permanente is taking action to improve the patient and provider experience and we’re moving forward as quickly as we can.

    As part of their ongoing commitment to transparency and continued communication, Kaiser Permanente leaders in California shared the following message with our statewide mental health professionals on Monday, July 8, 2019.

    Dear mental health care professionals,

    We last wrote to you on June 26, 2019, to share our perspective on the agreement we reached with NUHW leaders, which we were asking you to ratify. At the time, we expressed our disappointment that union leadership was advocating for you to reject the agreement and noted that regardless, we would immediately move forward with a number of our key commitments. These included:

    • Addressing staffing and patient access concerns
    • Addressing constraints caused by space limitations
    • Building a pipeline of mental health professionals for Kaiser Permanente and beyond

    Again, the challenges we face are also national challenges and require a multitude of solutions, of which we believe the most important is to examine and explore ways to redesign the model of care, a process we hope to do collaboratively with you as proposed in the new labor contract. In the meantime, we’d like to update you on our progress to address those issues that don’t require a new labor contract. 

    Hiring, staffing and patient access
    As you know, we have been actively recruiting for additional mental health staff and most recently have added to this effort 300 new positions statewide. Consistent with our commitment previously communicated, we additionally are seeking interim, short-term staffing resources to assist us in meeting demands while we extend this recruitment for permanent positions. While we’re moving forward with additional recruitment, it should be a priority for us to collaborate on our model-of-care redesign effort as a critical component of the resolution to our challenges.

    Improving facilities and treatment spaces
    We also have shared with you that we are spending more than $700 million on projects to expand and update our mental health care offices, with the goal of increasing care accessibility, convenience, comfort, and privacy. We noted in our last communication that we are accelerating this work to more rapidly expand the number of therapist offices, group rooms, and telepsychiatry seats. 

    We proudly announced this past week in Northern California the planned opening of a much-needed new, inpatient combined medical-psychiatric unit at the Fremont Medical Center. We’ve been working on this new facility since October 2016, awaiting approval from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. We also announced in Northern California plans to open outpatient mental health centers in San Leandro and Fremont later this year, adding 100 new offices where mental health providers will treat patients. In Southern California we’ve begun work to launch 11 new and updated facilities.

    Building a pipeline of future mental health professionals
    Hiring alone won’t solve our long-term challenges, which is why we shared that we would be investing in programs that will build a pipeline of mental health professionals.

    We’re moving forward with expanding our postgraduate training program across California to better position Kaiser Permanente as a premier mental health learning organization and to make us the place where mental health professionals want to train, work, and enjoy a long career. We’re activating this initiative with a $10 million investment for new fellows in degreed mental health professions. We expect to open enrollment for this expanded program in the next few months. Our ultimate goal is to have approximately 300 individuals in this program statewide. This is a tremendous opportunity that we encourage you to share with new graduates and colleagues across the state.

    We are also developing a new graduate degree program modeled after our nurse scholars program in Northern California. For those employees who are planning to attend master’s degree or doctoral programs, this could enable additional education and greater personal and professional growth. 

    We remain committed to advancing our mental health services and addressing the challenges you face in your practice as a mental health professional. Recently, union leadership said that we were not doing enough and called out 2 key open issues: staffing, including providing therapists time for follow-up care; and equity in raises and benefits.

    Our staffing plan will address patient backlog and provide therapists with more time to manage workloads and essential follow-up patient care. Importantly, we have also committed to look at this further as a part of our collaborative effort to examine our model of providing care. 

    Relative to pay equity and benefits, your bargaining team presented a number of issues related to equity.  As you review the proposed agreement, we think you will see that we addressed many of these in both regions.  

    And for Southern California therapists, we understand that the defined contribution program has been an issue. As an organization we’re seeking to move toward more portable benefits. Going forward it will be important that employees who choose to work for multiple organizations have the ability to take certain benefits with them throughout their career. These benefits need to continue to be market-leading. This is the case for the benefits proposed in your contract. For those employees with DC-only retirement benefits, we’re enhancing your maximum employer DC contribution from 7.25% to 9% by increasing the employer match up to 3%. Total potential savings into your DC accounts would be at least 12% if you contribute at least 3% to achieve the match. Presently, approximately 11 Kaiser Permanente labor contracts have defined contribution programs and to be clear, it’s a change we’re making at the senior executive level as well. Last month, we announced that this retirement model will become the standard for all senior executive employees who join Kaiser Permanente beginning January 1, 2021. 

    Kaiser Permanente has made a commitment to respond to the challenge of increasing demand for mental health services and we’ve made a commitment to you to improve your professional practice. And yet, we also know that this is the beginning. As we’ve repeatedly said, and as you know, this is not a Kaiser Permanente problem alone, it is a problem our nation and the health care system face.

    Our commitment to be a model for our nation in mental health by addressing the challenges in our system is real. It does not come from any external source or activity, it comes from our values and mission — to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. The needs of our members and our communities for mental health services has never been greater.

    We look forward to a resolution of the contract, but as we noted in our last communication, we’re moving forward with our commitment to improve mental health for our members and the communities we serve. Equally important is our commitment to you and your engagement with us in this work. We look forward to our owning this work together and working collaboratively on what we can do for mental health at Kaiser Permanente and the nation.   

    Julie Miller-Phipps
    president, Southern California Region Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals
    Annie Russell, RN, MSN, MBA
    chief operating officer Southern California Permanente Medical Group
    Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • KPSC-NUHW Psych-Social Chapter Employees. Kaiser Permanente Summary of Key Proposals.
    posted on June 27, 2019Printable Version

    June 26, 2019

    To our valued Mental Health Professionals and Registered Nurses,

    The contract proposal that is currently out to you for consideration is as important to us as it is to you. We’ve been at the Bargaining Table for almost one full year. Our most recent discussions have yielded what we consider significant progress to address your concerns. We are disappointed by the recommendation of your union for you to reject the proposal which our bargaining teams did together and as a result, postpone the improvements that need to be made immediately.

    As we shared in our letter to each of you, we hear your concerns about workloads and patient return access. We need a contract to move forward on addressing these critical things. We’ve heard that the union doesn’t trust that management is sincere in improving workloads and patient access. Therefore, to demonstrate our commitment, we are moving forward with bringing in relief staffing through temporary positions and agency resources – despite not knowing the outcome of the ratification vote. We have also accelerated recruitment strategies to fill our 75 open positions. We will also be adding new Psychotherapist FTEs over the coming months above and beyond those open positions. There is much more we need to do that is provided in our offer but can’t without your approval of the contract.

    We see the joint six-month intensive workgroup as being a factor in our effectively addressing the growing demand for mental health care services in the future. If we are to more effectively meet the demand, we must collaboratively rethink and redesign our model of psychotherapy. As a result of this work, we will bring more patients back to receiving care by Kaiser Permanente therapists instead of community-based providers, and that will drive the hiring of even more Kaiser Permanente therapists going forward.

    The current offer under consideration addresses most of your personal and professional interests and will relieve many of your immediate concerns and daily challenges. It includes significant, meaningful provisions to address staffing, scheduling, and compensation.  It is also accompanied by several initiatives we are undertaking to recruit and retain the best mental health professionals.  We are also looking at what facility expansion is necessary to accommodate this planned growth.

    We urge you to vote in favor of ratification of the proposal, so we can all move forward.

    For your reference, we’ve included information that highlights the benefits of our offer. You also can view this information online at https://www.kpscalfyi.org/home/.

    Thank you for your dedication to our patients and the work you do every day. Together, we will work to improve mental health care, make Kaiser Permanente the employer of choice for mental health professionals, and develop a model that can benefit the entire nation.

    Sincerely,

    Julie Miller-Phipps
    president, Southern California Region Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals
    Annie Russell, RN, MSN, MBA
    chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group

    Summary of Kaiser Permanente Key Contract Proposals for the
    Psych/Social Chapter
    (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    Addressing Staffing and Access Concerns
    We will immediately address the strain that has been placed on your daily office practice due to the rapid increase in demand for appointments, combined with staffing shortages and space constraints in several of our service areas. We also have initiatives and bargaining proposals that will address mid- and long-term staffing and access challenges, described below.

    We will immediately address the strain that has been placed on your daily office practice due to the rapid increase in demand for appointments, combined with staffing shortages and space constraints in several of our service areas. We also have initiatives and bargaining proposals that will address mid- and long-term staffing and access challenges, described below.

    Immediate Relief
    Within 30 days of contract ratification, we will increase staffing with temporary agency resources and therapists where available to assist with return access. We will also increase staffing with temporary agency psychiatric RNs for triage where indicated.

    Mid-Term Staffing and Return Access Proposals

    • We will expand the number of recruiters and staff working exclusively on filling mental health and wellness care positions.
    • We will provide office practice support with appointment clerks, clerical resources and extender roles to reduce the administrative burden of scheduling/rescheduling/appointment confirmation and related clinical correspondence and paperwork as indicated.

    New Job Classifications*

    • Two new classifications have been proposed: Developmental Psychologist and Neuropsychologist. Both classifications will be paid 5% above the current Psychologist wage scale. Also, an additional 5% differential will be paid to Neuropsychologists who obtain and provide proof of valid Neuropsychology board certification.

    Long-Term Staffing and Return Access Proposals

    • As we are challenged with an increased demand for services, we will continue to increase our supplemental staffing resources including temporary, on-call and agency personnel where indicated.
    • We will evaluate retention and turnover data, focusing on attrition in less than two years. We will also launch a National/Regional recruitment campaign focused on mental health care jobs.

    Adding Space and Improving Office Environments

    • We are accelerating capital investments where possible to more rapidly expand the number of therapist offices, group rooms, and telepsychiatry seats.  We are also accelerating the refresh of our existing mental health treatment environments.

    Designing the Future of Mental Health Care

    • Our Joint 6-Month Intensive Workgroup: We all agree that to address the growing demand for mental health care we need to advance the existing model of care, and we must do it together. That’s why it’s so exciting that we have reached agreement in bargaining to convene a collaborative,
      6-month access and innovation intensive workgroup to assist in advancing design of the psychotherapy model of care with a specific focus on improving our internal capacity to provide therapy, and to develop innovative approaches on using feedback informed care, case conferencing, caseloads, and treatment planning.
    • Increased Patient Engagement: We will increase engagement with our mental health patient advisory council, which provides input into the design of patient and family care experiences, and consultation on initiatives to improve mental health service.
    • Grants to Fund Clinical Research: We will commit $6 million to support research by our California mental health professionals that promotes evidence-based treatment and improved outcomes in mental health care.
    • Communication: We are also putting in place direct to clinician communication and innovative interactive digital strategies to elicit your ongoing feedback and keep all of you informed of our commitment and actions in your professional area of practice.

    Increasing the Number of Mental Health Professionals, and Recruiting and Retaining Therapists
    We will commit substantial resources – $50 million over three years – to increase the number of people entering, developing, and remaining in the mental health professions, and also make Kaiser Permanente the preferred place for them to deliver care and grow their skills and knowledge.

    • Existing Student Loan Repayment Program*: To help recruit new professionals and acknowledge those already working in mental health care, we have proposed a loan repayment program for existing .80 FTE employees and new hires who are currently carrying student loan debt. Those with loans related to their bachelor’s or master’s degree would be eligible for $2,500/year up to a $10,000 lifetime repayment. Doctorate level participants would be eligible for $5,000/year up to a $20,000 max.
    • Covering Future Education Costs: We will provide 75% tuition coverage at KP partner educational institutions to help employees pursue master’s and doctorate degrees in mental health professions, and for existing mental health professionals to pursue master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical practice.
    • New Graduate Fellowship and Residency Programs: We will create post-graduate Fellowship and Residency programs for new graduates in degreed mental health professions, and expand our master’s practicum and post-doctorate programs, through our university relationships, to attract students with the ultimate goal of employment at Kaiser Permanente.
    • Expanding College Degree Programs: We will commit $10 million in charitable grants to educational institutions statewide to expand capacity in mental health professional careers, with an emphasis in graduating bilingual and/or diverse students that reflect community need.

    Industry Leading Compensation
    We are offering a combination of wage and benefits increases that ensure you will receive continued market leading compensation. Our offer includes*:

    • Wages: We are proposing combined pay increases/across-the-board wage increases for the Psych-Social Bargaining Unit of 3% (retroactive to October 2018), and 2% for the next two years, for a total of 7% ATB increases over the term of the contract, coupled with 1.5% lump sum payments for active and part-time and full-time employees in 2019 and 2020. This would total more than $23,500 for LCSWs earning the median wage, and $29,000 for psychologists at the median.
    • Psychiatric RN Adjustment: We are offering market adjustments to wage scales for Psychiatric Registered Nurses to align with the wage scales of other SCAL nursing professionals
    • Incentive Pay: We are offering up to $5,000 per year in annual performance bonus, for a total of $15,000 over the life of the contract.
    • Ratification Bonus: Active full- and part-time employees will receive a 1% ratification bonus within 60 days after the ratification date (or as soon as administratively possible).
    • Retirement Plan: In addition to the existing employer contribution of 6% to the Employee Defined Contribution plan, effective 1/1/21, employees will be eligible for an Employer match of your contribution, up to 3% of your salary. So, if you contribute 3%, the net effect would be a 12% annual contribution to your retirement savings.
    • Active & Retiree Medical: Effective 1/1/2020, we have offered to increase the retiree medical Health Reimbursement Account by $1,000 per year of service from $1,000 to $2,000.
    • Alternate Mental Health*: Effective January 1, 2020, the Alternate Mental Health coverage will increase from 50% to 80% of reasonable and customary charges, inclusive of both inpatient and outpatient, with no maximum number of visits.
    • Dental Benefits: To bring you to parity with other professionals, we are proposing increases to the annual dental maximum and child lifetime orthodontics maximum to $1,500.
    • Tuition Reimbursement: We are proposing to increase tuition reimbursement from $2,500 to $3,000 with $750 of the total usable for travel. This is in addition to the new tuition and loan payment programs we are also putting in place, described above.
    • Shift Differentials: Our additional proposals to bring you to parity with other professionals include increases to certain evening (32 cents) and night ($1.50) differentials, and standby.

    Developing a Shared Understanding
    We will also commit to work together to gather and analyze data related to Kaiser Permanente jobs and pay rates, develop a common understanding of this data relative to the market, and review our findings together ahead of the next round of bargaining. We remain committed to competitive pay that allows Kaiser Permanente to continue to be an employer of choice while improving affordability and delivering high-quality care and service.

    We believe this combination of business initiatives and bargaining proposals described above is the largest investment made by a healthcare organization in the country and is reflective of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to improving mental health care over the term of this agreement. With your help, we will lead the nation in mental health, through early detection and evidence-based treatment across a full continuum of care settings.

    * An asterisk means this item is subject to bargaining.

    Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • KPSC-NUHW Healthcare Professionals. Kaiser Permanente Summary of Key Proposals.
    posted on June 27, 2019Printable Version

    A special message to our Healthcare Professionals:

    June 26, 2019

    To our valued Audiologists, Speech Pathologists, Dietitians, and Health Educators,

    The contract proposal that is currently out to you for consideration is as important to us as it is to you. We’ve been at the Bargaining Table for almost one full year. Our most recent discussions have yielded what we consider significant progress to address your concerns. We are disappointed by the recommendation of your union for you to reject the proposal which our bargaining teams did together and as a result, postpone the improvements that need to be made immediately.

    As we shared in our message to you in early June, we hear your concerns and we’re responding to them. Your bargaining team colleagues shared your desire for inclusion in a collaborative process with management to design the future model of care. They also helped us understand your perspective on equity in rewards and recognition, and the desire to improve care for our members.

    We believe the current offer under consideration addresses most of your personal and professional interests and will relieve many of your immediate concerns and daily challenges. But if we are to move forward on addressing these critical issues, we need to have a contract.

    We urge you to vote in favor of ratification of the proposal, so we can all move forward.

    For your reference, we’ve included information that highlights the benefits of our offer. You also can view this information online at https://www.kpscalfyi.org/home/.

    Thank you for your dedication to our patients and the work you do every day. Together, we will work to improve health care, make Kaiser Permanente the employer of choice for our healthcare professionals, and develop a model that can benefit the entire nation.

    Sincerely,

    Julie Miller-Phipps
    president, Southern California Region Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals
    Annie Russell, RN, MSN, MBA
    chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group

    Summary of Kaiser Permanente key Contract Proposals for the Healthcare Professionals Unit (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    Across the Board Wage Increases and lump sum payments*

    • Effective retroactively to October 7, 2018, an increase of 3%.
    • Effective October 6, 2019, an increase of 2% and a 1.5% lump sum bonus for full- and part-time active employees.
    • Effective October 5, 2020, an increase of 2% and a 1.5% lump sum bonus for full- and part-time active employees.

    Annual Performance Sharing Bonus of up to $3,000*

    A Ratification Bonus of 1% will be paid to full- and part-time active employees employed on the date the new contract is ratified.

    No changes to Active Medical and Pension Programs

    Annual dental coverage*
    Increased to a maximum of $1,500

    Alternate Mental Health*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Alternate Mental Health coverage will cover 80% of reasonable and customary charges, inclusive of both inpatient and outpatient, with no maximum number of visits.

    Increased tuition reimbursement to $3,000/year with $750 of the total usable for travel which brings this benefit on par with other roles.

    Wage Differential Enhancements*
    Differential increases for Evening and Night Shifts, and Bilingual Pay.

    Tax Deferred Retirement Savings*
    Effective January 1, 2021, Kaiser Permanente will match 100% of an eligible employee’s contribution to his/her EDC plan, up to three percent (3%) of the employee’s eligible compensation. Effective January 1, 2021, Employees working at Kaiser Permanente on December 31 of the applicable year who contribute throughout that year at least 2% of their eligible compensation, or 3% of eligible compensation if they participate in the EDC plan, will receive the applicable match from Kaiser Permanente on the total of his/her eligible compensation.

    Retiree Medical Health Reimbursement Account*
    Increased to $2,000 per year of service.

    * An asterisk means this item is subject to bargaining. 

    Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

 

NUHW Healthcare Professionals

  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Summary of Last, Best, and Final Offer to NUHW Healthcare Professionals Unit
    posted on September 7, 2019Printable Version

    Reaching an Agreement

    We’ve negotiated with NUHW for more than a year and at our Thursday, September 5 bargaining session, we reiterated our excellent offer to the NUHW bargaining team as our “last, best, and final” proposal — with a significant difference. We added an important element that we hope reflects our interest to move forward with you. If the proposal is accepted by September 25, 2019, Kaiser Permanente will make wage increases in our proposal retroactive to the pay period closest to September 30, 2018, the date of the last contract’s expiration. This means the 3% salary increase for the first year of the agreement will go into effect during the pay period closest to September 30, 2018. In each of years 2 and 3 you’ll receive an increase of 2% to the base and a 1.5% cash payment. If this offer is not accepted, the annual wage increases will become effective as of the first full pay period to begin after ratification of the agreement which is the more traditional approach to timing.

    Please see the information below for details about the other key features of our offer. It’s our hope that after your review, you’ll conclude that these terms will provide you with highly attractive wages and benefits and will strengthen Kaiser Permanente’s ability to be the best place in health care to work and to receive care.

    Contract Proposal Summary
    (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    Your Personal Economics


    Annual Performance Sharing Bonus of up to $3,000*

    A Ratification Bonus of 1% will be paid to full- and part-time active employees employed on the date the new contract is ratified.

    No changes to Active Medical and Pension Programs

    Annual dental coverage*
    Increased to a maximum of $1,500

    Alternate Mental Health*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Alternate Mental Health coverage will cover 80% of reasonable and customary charges, inclusive of both inpatient and outpatient, with no maximum number of visits.

    Increased tuition reimbursement to $3,000/year with $750 of the total usable for travel which brings this benefit on par with other roles.

    Wage Differential Enhancements*

    Differential increases for Evening and Night Shifts, and Bilingual Pay.

    Tax Deferred Retirement Savings*
    Effective January 1, 2021, Kaiser Permanente will match 100% of an eligible employee’s contribution to his/her EDC plan, up to three percent (3%) of the employee’s eligible compensation. Effective January 1, 2021, Employees working at Kaiser Permanente on December 31 of the applicable year who contribute throughout that year at least 2% of their eligible compensation, or 3% of eligible compensation if they participate in the EDC plan, will receive the applicable match from Kaiser Permanente on the total of his/her eligible compensation.

    Retiree Medical Health Reimbursement Account*
    Increased to $2,000 per year of service.

    Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • KPSC-NUHW Psych-Social Chapter Employees and Healthcare Workers Update
    posted on August 2, 2019Printable Version

    August 2, 2019

    A special message to our Psych-Social Chapter Employees and Health Care Professionals from Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and Frank Hurtarte, senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Health Plan and Hospitals.

    Kaiser Permanente and NUHW Psych-Social Chapter Employees and Health Care Professionals met collectively to bargain on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Kaiser Permanente listened to the NUHW bargaining team members share why Kaiser Permanente’s package proposal had been rejected. NUHW had no counter proposal to KP’s last offer. No further bargaining dates are scheduled at this time.

    Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • KPSC-NUHW Healthcare Professionals. Kaiser Permanente Summary of Key Proposals.
    posted on June 27, 2019Printable Version

    A special message to our Healthcare Professionals:

    June 26, 2019

    To our valued Audiologists, Speech Pathologists, Dietitians, and Health Educators,

    The contract proposal that is currently out to you for consideration is as important to us as it is to you. We’ve been at the Bargaining Table for almost one full year. Our most recent discussions have yielded what we consider significant progress to address your concerns. We are disappointed by the recommendation of your union for you to reject the proposal which our bargaining teams did together and as a result, postpone the improvements that need to be made immediately.

    As we shared in our message to you in early June, we hear your concerns and we’re responding to them. Your bargaining team colleagues shared your desire for inclusion in a collaborative process with management to design the future model of care. They also helped us understand your perspective on equity in rewards and recognition, and the desire to improve care for our members.

    We believe the current offer under consideration addresses most of your personal and professional interests and will relieve many of your immediate concerns and daily challenges. But if we are to move forward on addressing these critical issues, we need to have a contract.

    We urge you to vote in favor of ratification of the proposal, so we can all move forward.

    For your reference, we’ve included information that highlights the benefits of our offer. You also can view this information online at https://www.kpscalfyi.org/home/.

    Thank you for your dedication to our patients and the work you do every day. Together, we will work to improve health care, make Kaiser Permanente the employer of choice for our healthcare professionals, and develop a model that can benefit the entire nation.

    Sincerely,

    Julie Miller-Phipps
    president, Southern California Region Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals
    Annie Russell, RN, MSN, MBA
    chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group

    Summary of Kaiser Permanente key Contract Proposals for the Healthcare Professionals Unit (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    Across the Board Wage Increases and lump sum payments*

    • Effective retroactively to October 7, 2018, an increase of 3%.
    • Effective October 6, 2019, an increase of 2% and a 1.5% lump sum bonus for full- and part-time active employees.
    • Effective October 5, 2020, an increase of 2% and a 1.5% lump sum bonus for full- and part-time active employees.

    Annual Performance Sharing Bonus of up to $3,000*

    A Ratification Bonus of 1% will be paid to full- and part-time active employees employed on the date the new contract is ratified.

    No changes to Active Medical and Pension Programs

    Annual dental coverage*
    Increased to a maximum of $1,500

    Alternate Mental Health*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Alternate Mental Health coverage will cover 80% of reasonable and customary charges, inclusive of both inpatient and outpatient, with no maximum number of visits.

    Increased tuition reimbursement to $3,000/year with $750 of the total usable for travel which brings this benefit on par with other roles.

    Wage Differential Enhancements*
    Differential increases for Evening and Night Shifts, and Bilingual Pay.

    Tax Deferred Retirement Savings*
    Effective January 1, 2021, Kaiser Permanente will match 100% of an eligible employee’s contribution to his/her EDC plan, up to three percent (3%) of the employee’s eligible compensation. Effective January 1, 2021, Employees working at Kaiser Permanente on December 31 of the applicable year who contribute throughout that year at least 2% of their eligible compensation, or 3% of eligible compensation if they participate in the EDC plan, will receive the applicable match from Kaiser Permanente on the total of his/her eligible compensation.

    Retiree Medical Health Reimbursement Account*
    Increased to $2,000 per year of service.

    * An asterisk means this item is subject to bargaining. 

    Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • KPSC – NUHW Healthcare Professionals Contract Proposal Summary Update
    posted on June 19, 2019Printable Version

    We Want to Reach a Contract

    Kaiser Permanente wants to create a labor agreement that:

    • Continues to provide our Healthcare Professional employees with highly attractive wages and benefits.
    • Produces a fulfilling work and care environment for our staff and our members.
    • Propels the collaboration between management and labor that will help us, together, meet and beat the health care challenges facing our nation.

    We have actively bargained with NUHW’s leadership to reach such a contract since last July. We’ve held more than 20 bargaining sessions and attained tentative agreements. Most importantly, we’ve listened to you and we believe our current proposals reflect and respond to the vital issues that have been raised during our talks.

    The information below highlights our key proposals delivered to NUHW’s bargaining team. Over the next several days, your union leadership is asking that you review and determine if our offer is right for you. It’s our hope that after your review, you’ll conclude that these terms will provide you with highly attractive wages and benefits and will strengthen Kaiser Permanente’s ability to be the best place in health care to work and to receive care.

    A Summary of Kaiser Permanente’s Key Contract Proposals to the Healthcare Professionals (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    Your Personal Economics


    Across the Board Wage Increases and lump sum payments*
    • Effective retroactively to October 7, 2018, an increase of 3%.
    • Effective October 6, 2019, an increase of 2% and a 1.5% lump sum bonus for full- and part-time active employees.
    • Effective October 5, 2020, an increase of 2% and a 1.5% lump sum bonus for full- and part-time active employees.

    Annual Performance Sharing Bonus of up to $3,000*

    A Ratification Bonus of 1% will be paid to full- and part-time active employees employed on the date the new contract is ratified.

    No changes to Active Medical and Pension Programs

    Annual dental coverage*
    Increased to a maximum of $1,500

    Alternate Mental Health*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Alternate Mental Health coverage will cover 80% of reasonable and customary charges, inclusive of both inpatient and outpatient, with no maximum number of visits.

    Increased tuition reimbursement to $3,000/year with $750 of the total usable for travel which brings this benefit on par with other roles.

    Wage Differential Enhancements*

    Differential increases for Evening and Night Shifts, and Bilingual Pay.

    Tax Deferred Retirement Savings*
    Effective January 1, 2021, Kaiser Permanente will match 100% of an eligible employee’s contribution to his/her EDC plan, up to three percent (3%) of the employee’s eligible compensation. Effective January 1, 2021, Employees working at Kaiser Permanente on December 31 of the applicable year who contribute throughout that year at least 2% of their eligible compensation, or 3% of eligible compensation if they participate in the EDC plan, will receive the applicable match from Kaiser Permanente on the total of his/her eligible compensation.

    Retiree Medical Health Reimbursement Account*
    Increased to $2,000 per year of service.

    Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • KPSC-NUHW Healthcare Professionals Labor Update – 06/04/19
    posted on June 5, 2019Printable Version

    June 4, 2019

    A special message to our Kaiser Permanente Southern California NUHW Healthcare Professionals from Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and Julie Miller-Phipps, regional president, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Plan and Hospitals. 

    In our May 10 letter to you, we shared our optimism over a new path of collaboration after several weeks of conversations with patients, providers, and members of the bargaining team. Over the three weeks of bargaining we’ve had since then, we feel even more positive that we have jointly made tremendous progress toward an agreement. We are sending you this letter, so you can see for yourself the comprehensive set of proposals and initiatives we have been discussing in bargaining. We know it’s long, and we hope you’ll agree this is important, so are providing you with everything.

    Your bargaining team colleagues are thoughtful, credible and informative. We feel so fortunate to have such a talented and compassionate group of clinicians at the table committed to providing the highest quality of l health care and service to our members and patients. They shared your desire for inclusion in a collaborative process with management to design the future model of care. They also helped us understand your perspective on equity in rewards and recognition, and the desire to improve care for our members.

    We share in this commitment. We want to ensure you are aware of several efforts we are mobilizing – some on our own initiative, and some subject to bargaining – to improve access and care for patients, and address what we have learned about your interests.

    We have listened to your concerns and in response we are committed to the following immediate actions to make a positive difference for our patients and providers:

    Rewards and Recognition that reflect our industry leading compensation and benefits program:

    • Combination of wage increases and guaranteed lump sum payments that ensure continued market leading compensation. For Health Care Professionals we are proposing across-the-board wage increases for the of 3% (retroactive to October 2018), and 2% for the next two years, coupled with 1% lump sum payments in each of those next two years.
    • Annual Performance Sharing Bonus program up to $3,000 for the Health Care Professionals Unit
    • We will also commit to work together to gather and analyze data related to Kaiser Permanente jobs and pay rates, develop a common understanding of this data relative to the market, and review our findings ahead of the next round of bargaining. We remain committed to competitive pay that allows Kaiser Permanente to continue to be an employer of choice while improving affordability and delivering high-quality care and service.
    • In addition to the existing Employer’s contribution of 6% to the Defined Contribution pension plan, we are offering an additional 3% match of your contribution. So, if you contribute 3%, the net effect would be a 12% annual contribution.
    • Double the retiree medical Health Reimbursement Account from $1,000 per year of service to $2,000. No change to existing active medical and pension programs
    • Increase the annual dental maximum and child lifetime orthodontics maximum to $1,500 to bring you on par with other professionals.
    • Increase tuition reimbursement from $2,500 to $3,000 with $750 of the total usable for travel which bring this benefit on par with other roles.


    Communication

    At the bargaining table, we have put forward the essential elements to close bargaining in a comprehensive proposal that reflects our interest in improving the working conditions and compensation of our valued Healthcare Professionals and improving services for our members and patients.

    Thank you for your dedication to our patients and the work you do every day. Together, we will work to improve health care services to make Kaiser Permanente the employer of choice for Healthcare Professionals and demonstrate that Kaiser Permanente is a model for the entire nation.

    Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
    Please do not include any medical, personal, or confidential information in your comment. Conversation is strongly encouraged; however, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to moderate comments as necessary to prevent medical, personal, and confidential information from being posted on this website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will remove all spam, personal attacks, profanity, and off topic commentary. Finally, we reserve the right to change the posting guidelines at any time, at our sole discretion.

  • KPSC-NUHW Healthcare Professionals Special Labor Update
    posted on May 13, 2019Printable Version

    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.

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  • KPSC-NUHW Healthcare Professionals Update
    posted on May 4, 2019Printable Version

    May 3, 2019

    A message to our Healthcare Professionals from Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group; Arlene Peasnall, senior vice president, Human Resources Consulting, National Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals; and Maryanne Malzone, interim senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Plan and Hospitals.

    The 17th bargaining session between Kaiser Permanente and NUHW’s Healthcare Professionals unit occurred on Tuesday, April 30.

    Kaiser Permanente and NUHW had a meaningful discussion during the session regarding NUHW’s proposal on career ladders.

    The next bargaining session is scheduled for May 13.

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  • KPSC-NUHW Healthcare Professionals Update
    posted on April 18, 2019Printable Version

    April 18, 2019

    A message to our Healthcare Professionals from Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group; Arlene Peasnall, senior vice president, Human Resources Consulting, National Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals; and Maryanne Malzone, interim senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Plan and Hospitals.

    The 16th bargaining session between Kaiser Permanente and NUHW’s Healthcare Professionals unit occurred on Tuesday, April 16.

    Kaiser Permanente and NUHW reached a tentative agreement for the Regional Professional Practice Committee.

    An economic package that included a counter to NUHW’s proposal to increase the bilingual pay for Speech Therapists was presented by Kaiser Permanente.

    NUHW offered a career ladder proposal for audiologists, speech therapists, and dieticians. KP rejected the proposals for the first two groups and will review the language for dietitians.

    The next bargaining session is scheduled for April 30.

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  • KPSC-NUHW Psych-Social and Healthcare Professionals Update
    posted on April 9, 2019Printable Version

    April 8, 2019

    A special message to our Kaiser Permanente Southern California NUHW employees from Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group; Arlene Peasnall, senior vice president, Human Resources Consulting, National Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals; and Maryanne Malzone, interim senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Plan and Hospitals:

    Dear Colleagues:

    As you are aware, Kaiser Permanente and NUHW have been bargaining since July 2018. Throughout the process, we’ve been committed to providing you with ongoing bargaining updates. As a valued employee, we think it’s important that you receive accurate information from both sides of the bargaining table so that you can make informed decisions. Recently, you received communications from the NUHW leadership that we must respond to directly because it contains misinformation and false claims.

    Kaiser Permanente, its leaders, physicians, and employees support our unions and value the process of arriving at a contract that benefits the employees and organization, and ultimately sustains our mission of health for our members and communities. This process only works when it’s built on a foundation of transparency, trust, and truth. Please take a few moments to review the information that follows below. As always, we’re grateful for your dedication to the mission, our members and patients.

    Thank you.

    NUHW Claim: In the three months since we went on strike, KP has barely moved on core issues that must be resolved in our next contract.

    KP Response: NUHW’s demands for pay related increases are unreasonably high, and that’s why we’re far apart on economic issues. The union cannot expect KP to use members’ premiums to “make-up” for wage increases not received during the five years the union took to reach and sign the 2015 agreement with KP. Our organization has a track record of paying above the median market rate for our Psych-Social and Healthcare Professionals employees and market data already shared with the union’s bargaining teams verify that fact. For example:

    Unit & Position% Above SCAL Median Wages
    Psych-Social Chapter  
    Psychologists27%
    Licensed Clinical Social Workers23%
    Healthcare Professionals  
    Audiologists11%
    Speech Pathologists 7%
    Dieticians 24%

    At KP we are committed to paying market competitive salaries and benefits, including retirement, to our people to ensure we keep the great people we have and continue to attract and retain new talent.

    NUHW Claim: KP has offered no realistic proposal to increase staffing, improve access to treatment appointments, or make our schedules more manageable.

    KP Response: We’ve been addressing options to meet the ever-increasing demand for mental health services, including improving access and the use of highly-qualified outside contractors (this latter option was agreed to by NUHW when it signed the 2015 contract). These outside mental health professionals have contributed to easing the appointment demand as we also continue to address access needs by building additional facilities and offices for our therapists. We’ve also proposed the creation of a new “Psychotherapy Model of Care and Innovation Collaborative” – a 12-member group that would include an equal number of NUHW and KP representatives who would meet on a quarterly basis to develop strategies to address issues such as access to care and how our current model needs to evolve for KP to be the model for Behavioral Health.

    NUHW Claim: KP is offering lower raises than what they provided to other unionized workers.

    KP Response: Our wage proposals are based on market data that shows KP already pays wages that are above the market. NUHW’s demands for wage increases are unreasonably high, and that’s why we’re far apart on economic issues. Additionally, the union’s current wage demands place an unfair and unsustainable burden on our membership and establish false expectations among the KP Southern California employees it represents. Each contract we establish with one of our unions is a separate agreement determined through bargaining and based on the circumstances of that bargaining unit.

    NUHW Claim: KP has refused to restore defined-benefit pensions for recent hires in Southern California.

    KP Response: This is true. As we’ve said, Kaiser Permanente will not restore this program. It’s an unsustainable plan over the long term. The union, of its own accord, agreed to eliminate this program for new hires when it signed the 2015 agreement. And if we’re going to make our members’ health care more affordable, we cannot resume highly expensive programs of the past.

    NUHW Claim: KP is refusing to seriously tackle major problems or treat NUHW members with the same dignity as its other employees.

    KP Response: We always have and always will respect our unions and their members. It is employees — represented or not— working in concert with our physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals who make it possible for us to meet the health needs of our 4.6 million Southern California Health Plan members. Throughout our nearly 75-year history, we have a strong record of positive performance and success when it comes to bargaining fairly with the unions that represent our employees. We value our employees as well as their rights to be represented by their unions.

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  • KPSC-NUHW Healthcare Professionals Update
    posted on March 29, 2019Printable Version

    April 1, 2019

    A message to our Healthcare Professionals from Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group; Arlene Peasnall, senior vice president, Human Resources Consulting, National Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals; and Maryanne Malzone, interim senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Plan and Hospitals.

    The 15th bargaining session between Kaiser Permanente and NUHW’s Healthcare Professionals unit occurred on Wednesday, March 27.

    The parties signed a tentative agreement regarding tuition reimbursement; this will increase the amount of the total annual reimbursement that can be allocated to travel and lodging expenses. Kaiser Permanente proposed an increase in the Employer match for the Defined Contribution retirement plan and is awaiting the Union’s response.

    NUHW reiterated their position concerning the importance of their proposed increase in bilingual pay for Speech Therapists and adding a 15-year longevity step for all Health Care Professionals’ classifications.

    The union also agreed to clarify by the next bargaining session a previously submitted proposal regarding career ladders.

    The next confirmed meeting date is April 16.

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NUHW Psych-Social

  • To our Psych-Social Chapter Employees
    posted on October 19, 2019Printable Version
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  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Summary of Last, Best, and Final Offer to NUHW Psych-Social Chapter
    posted on September 7, 2019Printable Version

    Reaching an Agreement

    We’ve negotiated with NUHW for more than a year and at our Thursday, September 5 bargaining session, we reiterated our excellent offer to the NUHW bargaining team as our “last, best, and final” proposal — with a significant difference. We added an important element that we hope reflects our interest to move forward with you. If the proposal is accepted by September 25, 2019, Kaiser Permanente will make wage increases in our proposal retroactive to the pay period closest to September 30, 2018, the date of the last contract’s expiration. This means the 3% salary increase for the first year of the agreement will go into effect during the pay period closest to September 30, 2018. In each of years 2 and 3 you’ll receive an increase of 2% to the base and a 1.5% cash payment. If this offer is not accepted, the annual wage increases will become effective as of the first full pay period to begin after ratification of the agreement which is the more traditional approach to timing.

    Please see the information below for details about the other key features of our offer. It’s our hope that after your review, you’ll conclude that these terms will provide you with highly attractive wages and benefits and will strengthen Kaiser Permanente’s ability to be the best place in health care to work and to receive care.

    Contract Proposal Summary
    (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    Your Personal Economics


    Annual Performance Sharing Bonus of up to $5,000*
    A Ratification Bonus of 1% will be paid to full- and part-time active employees employed on the date the new contract is ratified.

    A Ratification Bonus of 1% will be paid to full- and part-time active employees employed on the date the new contract is ratified.

    No changes to Active Medical and Pension Programs

    Annual Dental Coverage*
    Effective January 1, 2021, the dental plan participants’ annual maximum will be increased to $1,500 per calendar year. Also effective January 1, 2021, the lifetime maximum for child orthodontia will be increased to $1,500.

    Alternate Mental Health*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Alternate Mental Health coverage will cover 80% of reasonable and customary charges, inclusive of both inpatient and outpatient, with no maximum number of visits.

    Benefits by Design Voluntary Programs*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Benefits by Design Voluntary Program will be made available to eligible employees on an after-tax basis. Available options may include: long-term care insurance, legal services insurance, additional term life insurance, identity theft maintenance, and auto, homeowners’, and pet insurance.

    Wage Differential Enhancements*
    Differential increases for Evening Shifts, Night Shifts, and Standby Pay.

    Market-competitive adjustments to wage scales*
    Kaiser Permanente proposed market adjustment increases to wage scales for Psychiatric Registered Nurse professionals with associated minimum requirements for the position to align with other Southern California nursing professionals.

    Tax Deferred Retirement Savings*
    Effective January 1, 2021, Kaiser Permanente will match 100% of an eligible employee’s contribution to his/her EDC plan, up to three percent (3%) of the employee’s eligible compensation. Effective January 1, 2021, Employees working at Kaiser Permanente on December 31 of the applicable year who contribute throughout that year at least 2% of their eligible compensation, or 3% of eligible compensation if they participate in the EDC plan, will receive the applicable match from Kaiser Permanente on the total of his/her eligible compensation.

    Retiree Medical Health Reimbursement Account*
    Increased to $2,000 per year of service

    Your Practice & Staffing


    Immediate Relief* (within 30 days of contract ratification)
    • Staffing with temporary agency resources and therapists where available to assist with return access.
    • Staffing with temporary agency psychiatric RNs for triage where indicated.

    Increased supplemental staffing resources
    (temporary, per-diem, agency) for an immediate increase in internal capacity.

    Office practice support (as indicated)
    • Appointment clerks
    • Clerical resources
    • Extender roles

    More recruiters and staff working to fill mental health positions.

    More rapid expansion and refresh of mental health offices, facilities.

    SCAL Care Navigators*
    20 additional FTE positions (LCSW/MFT) for the Southern California Care Navigator rollout and implementation will be created to provide immediate access relief. The positions will be added as soon as administratively possible in relation to individual medical center start-up operational needs.

    New Job Classifications*
    Two new classifications have been proposed: Developmental Psychologist and Neuropsychologist. Both classifications will be paid 5% above the current Psychologist wage scale. Also, an additional 5% differential will be paid to Neuropsychologists who obtain and provide proof of valid Neuropsychology board certification.

    Professional Development & Growing the Workforce


    Increased tuition reimbursement to $3,000/year*

    Student Loan Repayment Program
    • Graduates of accredited bachelor’s or master’s level programs would receive a $10,000 lifetime repayment for qualified student loans related to education in mental health professions, with a maximum reimbursement payment of $2,500 per year.
    • Graduates of accredited doctorate level programs would receive $20,000 lifetime repayment for qualified student loans related to education in mental health professions, with a maximum reimbursement payment of $5,000 per year.
    • Current employees with at least a .80 FTE, who have an existing college school loan(s) from an accredited college/university receiving a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree in the field of mental/behavioral health, are eligible to apply for this program.
    • This program is for loans already incurred as of June 1, 2019.

    KP investments to support
    • Post graduate Fellowship & Residency programs
    • Expansion of KP’s master’s practicum and post-doctorate programs
    • Grants to fund clinical research
    • Grants to expand college degree programs in mental health

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  • KPSC-NUHW Psych-Social Chapter Employees and Healthcare Workers Update
    posted on August 2, 2019Printable Version

    August 2, 2019

    A special message to our Psych-Social Chapter Employees and Health Care Professionals from Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and Frank Hurtarte, senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Health Plan and Hospitals.

    Kaiser Permanente and NUHW Psych-Social Chapter Employees and Health Care Professionals met collectively to bargain on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Kaiser Permanente listened to the NUHW bargaining team members share why Kaiser Permanente’s package proposal had been rejected. NUHW had no counter proposal to KP’s last offer. No further bargaining dates are scheduled at this time.

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  • Moving forward on our commitment to mental health
    posted on July 9, 2019Printable Version


    Kaiser Permanente is taking action to improve the patient and provider experience and we’re moving forward as quickly as we can.

    As part of their ongoing commitment to transparency and continued communication, Kaiser Permanente leaders in California shared the following message with our statewide mental health professionals on Monday, July 8, 2019.

    Dear mental health care professionals,

    We last wrote to you on June 26, 2019, to share our perspective on the agreement we reached with NUHW leaders, which we were asking you to ratify. At the time, we expressed our disappointment that union leadership was advocating for you to reject the agreement and noted that regardless, we would immediately move forward with a number of our key commitments. These included:

    • Addressing staffing and patient access concerns
    • Addressing constraints caused by space limitations
    • Building a pipeline of mental health professionals for Kaiser Permanente and beyond

    Again, the challenges we face are also national challenges and require a multitude of solutions, of which we believe the most important is to examine and explore ways to redesign the model of care, a process we hope to do collaboratively with you as proposed in the new labor contract. In the meantime, we’d like to update you on our progress to address those issues that don’t require a new labor contract. 

    Hiring, staffing and patient access
    As you know, we have been actively recruiting for additional mental health staff and most recently have added to this effort 300 new positions statewide. Consistent with our commitment previously communicated, we additionally are seeking interim, short-term staffing resources to assist us in meeting demands while we extend this recruitment for permanent positions. While we’re moving forward with additional recruitment, it should be a priority for us to collaborate on our model-of-care redesign effort as a critical component of the resolution to our challenges.

    Improving facilities and treatment spaces
    We also have shared with you that we are spending more than $700 million on projects to expand and update our mental health care offices, with the goal of increasing care accessibility, convenience, comfort, and privacy. We noted in our last communication that we are accelerating this work to more rapidly expand the number of therapist offices, group rooms, and telepsychiatry seats. 

    We proudly announced this past week in Northern California the planned opening of a much-needed new, inpatient combined medical-psychiatric unit at the Fremont Medical Center. We’ve been working on this new facility since October 2016, awaiting approval from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. We also announced in Northern California plans to open outpatient mental health centers in San Leandro and Fremont later this year, adding 100 new offices where mental health providers will treat patients. In Southern California we’ve begun work to launch 11 new and updated facilities.

    Building a pipeline of future mental health professionals
    Hiring alone won’t solve our long-term challenges, which is why we shared that we would be investing in programs that will build a pipeline of mental health professionals.

    We’re moving forward with expanding our postgraduate training program across California to better position Kaiser Permanente as a premier mental health learning organization and to make us the place where mental health professionals want to train, work, and enjoy a long career. We’re activating this initiative with a $10 million investment for new fellows in degreed mental health professions. We expect to open enrollment for this expanded program in the next few months. Our ultimate goal is to have approximately 300 individuals in this program statewide. This is a tremendous opportunity that we encourage you to share with new graduates and colleagues across the state.

    We are also developing a new graduate degree program modeled after our nurse scholars program in Northern California. For those employees who are planning to attend master’s degree or doctoral programs, this could enable additional education and greater personal and professional growth. 

    We remain committed to advancing our mental health services and addressing the challenges you face in your practice as a mental health professional. Recently, union leadership said that we were not doing enough and called out 2 key open issues: staffing, including providing therapists time for follow-up care; and equity in raises and benefits.

    Our staffing plan will address patient backlog and provide therapists with more time to manage workloads and essential follow-up patient care. Importantly, we have also committed to look at this further as a part of our collaborative effort to examine our model of providing care. 

    Relative to pay equity and benefits, your bargaining team presented a number of issues related to equity.  As you review the proposed agreement, we think you will see that we addressed many of these in both regions.  

    And for Southern California therapists, we understand that the defined contribution program has been an issue. As an organization we’re seeking to move toward more portable benefits. Going forward it will be important that employees who choose to work for multiple organizations have the ability to take certain benefits with them throughout their career. These benefits need to continue to be market-leading. This is the case for the benefits proposed in your contract. For those employees with DC-only retirement benefits, we’re enhancing your maximum employer DC contribution from 7.25% to 9% by increasing the employer match up to 3%. Total potential savings into your DC accounts would be at least 12% if you contribute at least 3% to achieve the match. Presently, approximately 11 Kaiser Permanente labor contracts have defined contribution programs and to be clear, it’s a change we’re making at the senior executive level as well. Last month, we announced that this retirement model will become the standard for all senior executive employees who join Kaiser Permanente beginning January 1, 2021. 

    Kaiser Permanente has made a commitment to respond to the challenge of increasing demand for mental health services and we’ve made a commitment to you to improve your professional practice. And yet, we also know that this is the beginning. As we’ve repeatedly said, and as you know, this is not a Kaiser Permanente problem alone, it is a problem our nation and the health care system face.

    Our commitment to be a model for our nation in mental health by addressing the challenges in our system is real. It does not come from any external source or activity, it comes from our values and mission — to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. The needs of our members and our communities for mental health services has never been greater.

    We look forward to a resolution of the contract, but as we noted in our last communication, we’re moving forward with our commitment to improve mental health for our members and the communities we serve. Equally important is our commitment to you and your engagement with us in this work. We look forward to our owning this work together and working collaboratively on what we can do for mental health at Kaiser Permanente and the nation.   

    Julie Miller-Phipps
    president, Southern California Region Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals
    Annie Russell, RN, MSN, MBA
    chief operating officer Southern California Permanente Medical Group
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  • KPSC-NUHW Psych-Social Chapter Employees. Kaiser Permanente Summary of Key Proposals.
    posted on June 27, 2019Printable Version

    June 26, 2019

    To our valued Mental Health Professionals and Registered Nurses,

    The contract proposal that is currently out to you for consideration is as important to us as it is to you. We’ve been at the Bargaining Table for almost one full year. Our most recent discussions have yielded what we consider significant progress to address your concerns. We are disappointed by the recommendation of your union for you to reject the proposal which our bargaining teams did together and as a result, postpone the improvements that need to be made immediately.

    As we shared in our letter to each of you, we hear your concerns about workloads and patient return access. We need a contract to move forward on addressing these critical things. We’ve heard that the union doesn’t trust that management is sincere in improving workloads and patient access. Therefore, to demonstrate our commitment, we are moving forward with bringing in relief staffing through temporary positions and agency resources – despite not knowing the outcome of the ratification vote. We have also accelerated recruitment strategies to fill our 75 open positions. We will also be adding new Psychotherapist FTEs over the coming months above and beyond those open positions. There is much more we need to do that is provided in our offer but can’t without your approval of the contract.

    We see the joint six-month intensive workgroup as being a factor in our effectively addressing the growing demand for mental health care services in the future. If we are to more effectively meet the demand, we must collaboratively rethink and redesign our model of psychotherapy. As a result of this work, we will bring more patients back to receiving care by Kaiser Permanente therapists instead of community-based providers, and that will drive the hiring of even more Kaiser Permanente therapists going forward.

    The current offer under consideration addresses most of your personal and professional interests and will relieve many of your immediate concerns and daily challenges. It includes significant, meaningful provisions to address staffing, scheduling, and compensation.  It is also accompanied by several initiatives we are undertaking to recruit and retain the best mental health professionals.  We are also looking at what facility expansion is necessary to accommodate this planned growth.

    We urge you to vote in favor of ratification of the proposal, so we can all move forward.

    For your reference, we’ve included information that highlights the benefits of our offer. You also can view this information online at https://www.kpscalfyi.org/home/.

    Thank you for your dedication to our patients and the work you do every day. Together, we will work to improve mental health care, make Kaiser Permanente the employer of choice for mental health professionals, and develop a model that can benefit the entire nation.

    Sincerely,

    Julie Miller-Phipps
    president, Southern California Region Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals
    Annie Russell, RN, MSN, MBA
    chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group

    Summary of Kaiser Permanente Key Contract Proposals for the
    Psych/Social Chapter
    (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    Addressing Staffing and Access Concerns
    We will immediately address the strain that has been placed on your daily office practice due to the rapid increase in demand for appointments, combined with staffing shortages and space constraints in several of our service areas. We also have initiatives and bargaining proposals that will address mid- and long-term staffing and access challenges, described below.

    We will immediately address the strain that has been placed on your daily office practice due to the rapid increase in demand for appointments, combined with staffing shortages and space constraints in several of our service areas. We also have initiatives and bargaining proposals that will address mid- and long-term staffing and access challenges, described below.

    Immediate Relief
    Within 30 days of contract ratification, we will increase staffing with temporary agency resources and therapists where available to assist with return access. We will also increase staffing with temporary agency psychiatric RNs for triage where indicated.

    Mid-Term Staffing and Return Access Proposals

    • We will expand the number of recruiters and staff working exclusively on filling mental health and wellness care positions.
    • We will provide office practice support with appointment clerks, clerical resources and extender roles to reduce the administrative burden of scheduling/rescheduling/appointment confirmation and related clinical correspondence and paperwork as indicated.

    New Job Classifications*

    • Two new classifications have been proposed: Developmental Psychologist and Neuropsychologist. Both classifications will be paid 5% above the current Psychologist wage scale. Also, an additional 5% differential will be paid to Neuropsychologists who obtain and provide proof of valid Neuropsychology board certification.

    Long-Term Staffing and Return Access Proposals

    • As we are challenged with an increased demand for services, we will continue to increase our supplemental staffing resources including temporary, on-call and agency personnel where indicated.
    • We will evaluate retention and turnover data, focusing on attrition in less than two years. We will also launch a National/Regional recruitment campaign focused on mental health care jobs.

    Adding Space and Improving Office Environments

    • We are accelerating capital investments where possible to more rapidly expand the number of therapist offices, group rooms, and telepsychiatry seats.  We are also accelerating the refresh of our existing mental health treatment environments.

    Designing the Future of Mental Health Care

    • Our Joint 6-Month Intensive Workgroup: We all agree that to address the growing demand for mental health care we need to advance the existing model of care, and we must do it together. That’s why it’s so exciting that we have reached agreement in bargaining to convene a collaborative,
      6-month access and innovation intensive workgroup to assist in advancing design of the psychotherapy model of care with a specific focus on improving our internal capacity to provide therapy, and to develop innovative approaches on using feedback informed care, case conferencing, caseloads, and treatment planning.
    • Increased Patient Engagement: We will increase engagement with our mental health patient advisory council, which provides input into the design of patient and family care experiences, and consultation on initiatives to improve mental health service.
    • Grants to Fund Clinical Research: We will commit $6 million to support research by our California mental health professionals that promotes evidence-based treatment and improved outcomes in mental health care.
    • Communication: We are also putting in place direct to clinician communication and innovative interactive digital strategies to elicit your ongoing feedback and keep all of you informed of our commitment and actions in your professional area of practice.

    Increasing the Number of Mental Health Professionals, and Recruiting and Retaining Therapists
    We will commit substantial resources – $50 million over three years – to increase the number of people entering, developing, and remaining in the mental health professions, and also make Kaiser Permanente the preferred place for them to deliver care and grow their skills and knowledge.

    • Existing Student Loan Repayment Program*: To help recruit new professionals and acknowledge those already working in mental health care, we have proposed a loan repayment program for existing .80 FTE employees and new hires who are currently carrying student loan debt. Those with loans related to their bachelor’s or master’s degree would be eligible for $2,500/year up to a $10,000 lifetime repayment. Doctorate level participants would be eligible for $5,000/year up to a $20,000 max.
    • Covering Future Education Costs: We will provide 75% tuition coverage at KP partner educational institutions to help employees pursue master’s and doctorate degrees in mental health professions, and for existing mental health professionals to pursue master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical practice.
    • New Graduate Fellowship and Residency Programs: We will create post-graduate Fellowship and Residency programs for new graduates in degreed mental health professions, and expand our master’s practicum and post-doctorate programs, through our university relationships, to attract students with the ultimate goal of employment at Kaiser Permanente.
    • Expanding College Degree Programs: We will commit $10 million in charitable grants to educational institutions statewide to expand capacity in mental health professional careers, with an emphasis in graduating bilingual and/or diverse students that reflect community need.

    Industry Leading Compensation
    We are offering a combination of wage and benefits increases that ensure you will receive continued market leading compensation. Our offer includes*:

    • Wages: We are proposing combined pay increases/across-the-board wage increases for the Psych-Social Bargaining Unit of 3% (retroactive to October 2018), and 2% for the next two years, for a total of 7% ATB increases over the term of the contract, coupled with 1.5% lump sum payments for active and part-time and full-time employees in 2019 and 2020. This would total more than $23,500 for LCSWs earning the median wage, and $29,000 for psychologists at the median.
    • Psychiatric RN Adjustment: We are offering market adjustments to wage scales for Psychiatric Registered Nurses to align with the wage scales of other SCAL nursing professionals
    • Incentive Pay: We are offering up to $5,000 per year in annual performance bonus, for a total of $15,000 over the life of the contract.
    • Ratification Bonus: Active full- and part-time employees will receive a 1% ratification bonus within 60 days after the ratification date (or as soon as administratively possible).
    • Retirement Plan: In addition to the existing employer contribution of 6% to the Employee Defined Contribution plan, effective 1/1/21, employees will be eligible for an Employer match of your contribution, up to 3% of your salary. So, if you contribute 3%, the net effect would be a 12% annual contribution to your retirement savings.
    • Active & Retiree Medical: Effective 1/1/2020, we have offered to increase the retiree medical Health Reimbursement Account by $1,000 per year of service from $1,000 to $2,000.
    • Alternate Mental Health*: Effective January 1, 2020, the Alternate Mental Health coverage will increase from 50% to 80% of reasonable and customary charges, inclusive of both inpatient and outpatient, with no maximum number of visits.
    • Dental Benefits: To bring you to parity with other professionals, we are proposing increases to the annual dental maximum and child lifetime orthodontics maximum to $1,500.
    • Tuition Reimbursement: We are proposing to increase tuition reimbursement from $2,500 to $3,000 with $750 of the total usable for travel. This is in addition to the new tuition and loan payment programs we are also putting in place, described above.
    • Shift Differentials: Our additional proposals to bring you to parity with other professionals include increases to certain evening (32 cents) and night ($1.50) differentials, and standby.

    Developing a Shared Understanding
    We will also commit to work together to gather and analyze data related to Kaiser Permanente jobs and pay rates, develop a common understanding of this data relative to the market, and review our findings together ahead of the next round of bargaining. We remain committed to competitive pay that allows Kaiser Permanente to continue to be an employer of choice while improving affordability and delivering high-quality care and service.

    We believe this combination of business initiatives and bargaining proposals described above is the largest investment made by a healthcare organization in the country and is reflective of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to improving mental health care over the term of this agreement. With your help, we will lead the nation in mental health, through early detection and evidence-based treatment across a full continuum of care settings.

    * An asterisk means this item is subject to bargaining.

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  • KPSC – NUHW Psych-Social Professionals Contract Proposal Summary Update
    posted on June 19, 2019Printable Version

    We Want to Reach a Contract

    Kaiser Permanente wants to create a labor agreement that:

    • Continues to provide our Psych-Social Chapter employees with highly attractive wages and benefits.
    • Produces a fulfilling work and care environment for our staff and our members.
    • Propels the collaboration between management and labor that will help us, together, meet and beat the mental health care challenges facing our nation.

    We have actively bargained with NUHW’s leadership to reach such a contract since last July. We’ve held more than 20 bargaining sessions and attained tentative agreements. Most importantly, we’ve listened to you and we believe our current proposals reflect and respond to the vital issues that have been raised during our talks.

    The information below highlights our key proposals delivered to NUHW’s bargaining team. Over the next several days, your union leadership is asking that you review and determine if our offer is right for you. It’s our hope that after your review, you’ll conclude that these terms will provide you with highly attractive wages and benefits and will strengthen Kaiser Permanente’s ability to be the best place in health care to work and to receive care.

    A Summary of Kaiser Permanente’s Key Contract Proposals to the Psych-Social Chapter Employees
    (*Items listed are subject to bargaining)

    Your Personal Economics


    Across the Board Wage Increases and lump sum payments*

    • Effective retroactively to October 7, 2018, an increase of 3%.
    • Effective October 6, 2019, an increase of 2% and a 1.5% lump sum bonus for full- and part-time active employees.
    • Effective October 5, 2020, an increase of 2% and a 1.5% lump sum bonus for full- and part-time active employees.

    Annual Performance Sharing Bonus of up to $5,000*
    A Ratification Bonus of 1% will be paid to full- and part-time active employees employed on the date the new contract is ratified.

    No changes to Active Medical and Pension Programs

    Annual dental coverage*
    Increased to a maximum of $1,500

    Alternate Mental Health*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Alternate Mental Health coverage will cover 80% of reasonable and customary charges, inclusive of both inpatient and outpatient, with no maximum number of visits.

    Benefits by Design Voluntary Programs*
    Effective January 1, 2020, the Benefits by Design Voluntary Program will be made available to eligible employees on an after-tax basis. Available options may include: long-term care insurance, legal services insurance, additional term life insurance, identity theft maintenance, and auto, homeowners’, and pet insurance.

    Wage Differential Enhancements*
    Differential increases for Evening Shifts, Night Shifts, and Standby Pay.

    Market-competitive adjustments to wage scales*
    Kaiser Permanente proposed market adjustment increases to wage scales for Psychiatric Registered Nurse professionals with associated minimum requirements for the position to align with other Southern California nursing professionals.

    Tax Deferred Retirement Savings*
    Effective January 1, 2021, Kaiser Permanente will match 100% of an eligible employee’s contribution to his/her EDC plan, up to three percent (3%) of the employee’s eligible compensation. Effective January 1, 2021, Employees working at Kaiser Permanente on December 31 of the applicable year who contribute throughout that year at least 2% of their eligible compensation, or 3% of eligible compensation if they participate in the EDC plan, will receive the applicable match from Kaiser Permanente on the total of his/her eligible compensation.

    Retiree Medical Health Reimbursement Account*
    Increased to $2,000 per year of service

    Your Practice & Staffing


    Immediate Relief* (within 30 days of contract ratification)
    • Staffing with temporary agency resources and therapists where available to assist with return access.
    • Staffing with temporary agency psychiatric RNs for triage where indicated.

    Increased supplemental staffing resources
    (temporary, per-diem, agency) for an immediate increase in internal capacity.

    Office practice support (as indicated)
    • Appointment clerks
    • Clerical resources
    • Extender roles

    More recruiters and staff working to fill mental health positions.

    More rapid expansion and refresh of mental health offices, facilities.

    SCAL Care Navigators*
    20 additional FTE positions (LCSW/MFT) for the Southern California Care Navigator rollout and implementation will be created to provide immediate access relief. The positions will be added as soon as administratively possible in relation to individual medical center start-up operational needs.

    New Job Classifications*
    Two new classifications have been proposed: Developmental Psychologist and Neuropsychologist. Both classifications will be paid 5% above the current Psychologist wage scale. Also, an additional 5% differential will be paid to Neuropsychologists who obtain and provide proof of valid Neuropsychology board certification.

    Professional Development & Growing the Workforce


    Increased tuition reimbursement to $3,000/year*

    Future educational costs
    75% tuition coverage at partner schools for eligible employees pursuing master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical practice.

    KP investments to support:
    • Post graduate Fellowship & Residency programs
    • Expansion of KP’s master’s practicum and post-doctorate programs
    • Grants to fund clinical research
    • Grants to expand college degree programs in mental health

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  • Bargaining Update
    posted on June 8, 2019Printable Version
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  • KPSC-NUHW Psych-Social Special Labor Update
    posted on May 13, 2019Printable Version

    May 10, 2019

    A special message to our Psych-Social Chapter employees 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 interest, and more than that, can help create ways to return to working collaboratively to address the very real problems we’re grappling with in mental health care.

    What has caused this change? Over the last several weeks, we have had a number of 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 include addressing follow-up appointments, scheduling, workload and other matters that are important to you, and can help improve the ways we deliver care.

    We have seen firsthand the dramatic increase in demand for care, and understand the strain that is putting on you and the whole profession. While we’ve been focused on building new offices and recruiting more providers, we realize that it is simply not enough to solve what is a national problem. We have to come together to work on ways to tackle this very complex challenge. None of us can do it alone.

    We have had moving meetings with several Kaiser Permanente members who are living with the tragedy of suicide in their families. These conversations, like those we have with our Behavioral Health Patient Advisory Councils, are humbling but important, as we work together on ways to improve mental health care for our members. All of us have been personally touched by mental illness in one way or another, and these 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, one that can be used everywhere to improve mental 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.

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  • KPSC-NUHW Psych-Social Labor Update
    posted on April 25, 2019Printable Version

    April 25, 2019

    A message to our Psych-Social Workers from Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group; Arlene Peasnall, senior vice president, Human Resources Consulting, National Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals; and Maryanne Malzone, interim senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Plan and Hospitals.

    The 21st bargaining session was held April 24th between Kaiser Permanente and NUHW.

    NUHW provided a counter proposal to KP’s proposed Medical Social Work performance goals, presented on April 16th. Kaiser Permanente rejected this counter proposal.

    KP requested a response to its December 20, 2018 economic proposal. The union conveyed that it would provide a comprehensive economic counter proposal but would not have it ready for this session.

    Kaiser Permanente and NUHW agreed to hold May 17 and May 20 for the next bargaining sessions.

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  • KPSC-NUHW Psych-Social and Healthcare Professionals Update
    posted on April 9, 2019Printable Version

    April 8, 2019

    A special message to our Kaiser Permanente Southern California NUHW employees from Annie Russell, RN, chief operating officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group; Arlene Peasnall, senior vice president, Human Resources Consulting, National Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals; and Maryanne Malzone, interim senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Plan and Hospitals:

    Dear Colleagues:

    As you are aware, Kaiser Permanente and NUHW have been bargaining since July 2018. Throughout the process, we’ve been committed to providing you with ongoing bargaining updates. As a valued employee, we think it’s important that you receive accurate information from both sides of the bargaining table so that you can make informed decisions. Recently, you received communications from the NUHW leadership that we must respond to directly because it contains misinformation and false claims.

    Kaiser Permanente, its leaders, physicians, and employees support our unions and value the process of arriving at a contract that benefits the employees and organization, and ultimately sustains our mission of health for our members and communities. This process only works when it’s built on a foundation of transparency, trust, and truth. Please take a few moments to review the information that follows below. As always, we’re grateful for your dedication to the mission, our members and patients.

    Thank you.

    NUHW Claim: In the three months since we went on strike, KP has barely moved on core issues that must be resolved in our next contract.

    KP Response: NUHW’s demands for pay related increases are unreasonably high, and that’s why we’re far apart on economic issues. The union cannot expect KP to use members’ premiums to “make-up” for wage increases not received during the five years the union took to reach and sign the 2015 agreement with KP. Our organization has a track record of paying above the median market rate for our Psych-Social and Healthcare Professionals employees and market data already shared with the union’s bargaining teams verify that fact. For example:

    Unit & Position% Above SCAL Median Wages
    Psych-Social Chapter  
    Psychologists27%
    Licensed Clinical Social Workers23%
    Healthcare Professionals  
    Audiologists11%
    Speech Pathologists 7%
    Dieticians 24%

    At KP we are committed to paying market competitive salaries and benefits, including retirement, to our people to ensure we keep the great people we have and continue to attract and retain new talent.

    NUHW Claim: KP has offered no realistic proposal to increase staffing, improve access to treatment appointments, or make our schedules more manageable.

    KP Response: We’ve been addressing options to meet the ever-increasing demand for mental health services, including improving access and the use of highly-qualified outside contractors (this latter option was agreed to by NUHW when it signed the 2015 contract). These outside mental health professionals have contributed to easing the appointment demand as we also continue to address access needs by building additional facilities and offices for our therapists. We’ve also proposed the creation of a new “Psychotherapy Model of Care and Innovation Collaborative” – a 12-member group that would include an equal number of NUHW and KP representatives who would meet on a quarterly basis to develop strategies to address issues such as access to care and how our current model needs to evolve for KP to be the model for Behavioral Health.

    NUHW Claim: KP is offering lower raises than what they provided to other unionized workers.

    KP Response: Our wage proposals are based on market data that shows KP already pays wages that are above the market. NUHW’s demands for wage increases are unreasonably high, and that’s why we’re far apart on economic issues. Additionally, the union’s current wage demands place an unfair and unsustainable burden on our membership and establish false expectations among the KP Southern California employees it represents. Each contract we establish with one of our unions is a separate agreement determined through bargaining and based on the circumstances of that bargaining unit.

    NUHW Claim: KP has refused to restore defined-benefit pensions for recent hires in Southern California.

    KP Response: This is true. As we’ve said, Kaiser Permanente will not restore this program. It’s an unsustainable plan over the long term. The union, of its own accord, agreed to eliminate this program for new hires when it signed the 2015 agreement. And if we’re going to make our members’ health care more affordable, we cannot resume highly expensive programs of the past.

    NUHW Claim: KP is refusing to seriously tackle major problems or treat NUHW members with the same dignity as its other employees.

    KP Response: We always have and always will respect our unions and their members. It is employees — represented or not— working in concert with our physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals who make it possible for us to meet the health needs of our 4.6 million Southern California Health Plan members. Throughout our nearly 75-year history, we have a strong record of positive performance and success when it comes to bargaining fairly with the unions that represent our employees. We value our employees as well as their rights to be represented by their unions.

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Coalition

  • Tentative Agreement Reached with Coalition
    posted on October 2, 2019Printable Version

    September 25, 2019

    Four-year agreement between Kaiser Permanente and Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions would cover 85,000 employees; strike threat withdrawn.

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions have reached a tentative agreement on a national, 4-year collective bargaining agreement that covers 85,000 unionized Kaiser Permanente health care workers in 11 local unions.

    The tentative agreement provides annual pay increases and maintains excellent employee benefits while also creating a program to reduce the national shortage of health care workers. If ratified, the agreement will position Kaiser Permanente — including its members, employees, and local communities — for a sustainable future as the organization works to make its high-quality, integrated model of care even more affordable and accessible in all its regions.

    The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions comprises 11 local unions from 3 international unions. It includes IFPTE (International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers) Local 20, OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union) Local 29, OPEIU Local 30, OPEIU Local 50/Hawaii Nurses Association, OPEIU Local 2, OPEIU Local 8, SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 49, SEIU-UHW (SEIU United Healthcare Workers West), SEIU Local 121RN, SEIU Local 105 and SEIU 1199NW.

    “We greatly respect and value our employees who deliver on our mission every day,” said Arlene Peasnall, interim chief human resources officer, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals. “This agreement is a testament to the dedication, compassion, and skill those employees bring to work every day and demonstrates that Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition have a shared commitment to affordability for our members.

    “Kaiser Permanente has an unparalleled track record of working constructively with labor to solve problems together to improve the care and service offered to our members and patients,” Peasnall added. “We may disagree at times, but we have always been able to work through our challenges to align on common goals.”

    Agreement details

    The new tentative agreement includes:

    • Solid wage increases: Guaranteed wage increases each year through 2023 in Northern and Southern California, Colorado, Hawaii, the Mid-Atlantic States (northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.), Northwest (Oregon and southwest Washington), and Washington regions.
    • Opportunities for career growth: Kaiser Permanente employees will have the opportunity to move into new roles in a training capacity after pursuing the education needed for the job, at an adjusted Step 1 pay scale; they are guaranteed they will not make less than in their former position. Once experience requirements are met, they will continue in the normal steps for the position at the full rate.
    • Workforce development fund: A new multimillion-dollar fund will be created to provide educational opportunities for Californians who may not otherwise be able to pursue a career in health care.
    • Retirement security: The agreement preserves the existing defined benefit pension plan along with other strong retirement benefits.
    • Outsourcing: The parties have agreed to a list of jobs that will not be outsourced or subcontracted for the life of the contract.
    • Career mobility: The agreement offers an additional $250 for employee travel as part of the tuition reimbursement program, raising the total to $750.
    • Affordable health care: The agreement includes a pharmacy utilization approach that incents employees to utilize the more efficient mail-order prescription service.

    The tentative agreement was reached by Kaiser Permanente and Coalition negotiators on September 24, following nearly 5 months of active bargaining that began in April 2019. It will now go to Coalition union members for ratification, where voting is expected to be completed by the end of October.

    If ratified, the contract will have an effective date of October 1, 2019, and will cover more than 85,000 health care employees: 67,000 in California; 8,300 in Oregon and Washington; 3,100 in Colorado; 5,000 in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia; and 1,000 in Hawaii. Coalition employees represent hundreds of job classifications, from optometrists and pharmacists to maintenance and service workers.

    About Kaiser Permanente

    About Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.

    Contact

    Marc Brown
    Marc.T.Brown@kp.org
    510-271-6328

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  • 2019 Coalition Bargaining Update
    posted on July 10, 2019Printable Version

    Dennis Dabney – senior vice president, National Labor Relations and the Office of Labor Management Partnership, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan & Hospitals

    Jim Pruitt – vice president, Labor Management Partnership and Labor Relations, The Permanente Federation

    The negotiators crafting a new National Agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions set to work developing joint options as the fourth bargaining session got underway on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Los Angeles.

    The Work of the Future subgroup worked on 3 options that may become recommendations, and if so, they will move to the full 120-member Common Issues Committee for consideration. One of the key joint interests for the subgroup is to find ways to make it easier for current Kaiser Permanente employees to move into new, open, lateral, or advanced positions before outside applicants, and these options addressed that issue.

    The process was both painstaking and collaborative, with productive give and take — and a round of applause at the end of the day acknowledging the subgroup’s efforts.

    Nakia Linzie-Shavers, SEIU-UHW, and Bill Gilmyers, Northern California workforce planning director, hold a lively conversation in the Work of the Future subgroup.

    The other 2 subgroups, Commitment to Partnership and Operational Effectiveness, also made steady progress.

    Partnership subgroup members worked on 2 options they identified as mutual. The first one is to revitalize Labor Management Partnership education and training. The group has discussed recommending a renewed focus on training that would target managers and union-represented employees and feature a standardized curriculum about the principles and responsibilities of partnership, with an eye toward improving performance outcomes.

    The group’s second joint option addresses the issue resolution and problemsolving process and calls for quickly resolving issues at the lowest possible level, with clear steps for escalation at the local, regional, and national levels.

    In the Operational Effectiveness subgroup, 2 of the identified joint interests are eliminating workplace injuries and how to forecast the care needs of the patients of the future. Tuesday afternoon, the subgroup moved on to discuss staffing issues.

    Another group of senior management and union leaders is working on the economic details of a potential agreement.

    For the latest bargaining updates and other materials for managers, please visit about.kp.org/together.

    To see more images of partnership in action, please visit our Partnership photo gallery.

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  • 2019 Coalition Bargaining Update
    posted on June 20, 2019Printable Version

    Dennis Dabney
    senior vice president, National Labor Relations and the Office of Labor Management Partnership

    Jim Pruitt
    vice president, Labor Management Partnership and Labor Relations, The Permanente Federation

    The tempo of bargaining with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions picked up this week in Los Angeles, with Kaiser Permanente executives sharing an overview of KP’s economic proposal with the 120 management and union members of the Common Issues Committee.

    The financial discussion took place during the Tuesday, June 18, morning session. It included a period where members of the CIC, the negotiating body for these bargaining sessions, could raise questions and concerns — and they did, speaking passionately about the need to approach our Labor Management Partnership with fresh ideas and energy.

    The KP proposal includes:

    • Pay increases in every year of the contract.
    • For current employees, beginning January 1, 2021, we’re proposing to change the copayment schedule for medical benefits to include a $20 copay for office visits.
    • For future employees, we’re proposing an updated package of benefits that better aligns with the market.

    Kaiser Permanente’s proposal is designed to balance 2 imperatives: We want to offer a market-leading package of pay and benefits to attract and retain the best people in health care — while ensuring we can deliver high-quality, affordable health care to our members and patients.

    Mary Beth Kelner, regional director for The Permanente Medical Group, takes in a moment during the Partnership subgroup meeting.

    The bargaining team members broke into their 3 subgroups and continued to work Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, using the interest-based process:

    • The Work of the Future subgroup heard presentations from the 2 LMP-supported education trusts. The presentations sparked ideas that could serve as the basis to lead the parties to a mutual interest.
    • The Operational Effectiveness and Quality Care Delivery subgroup has jointly developed 2 deliverables: How to eliminate workplace injuries; and how to forecast and outline the care needs of patients for the future.
    • In the Commitment to Partnership subgroup, the focus was on how to keep KP on the cutting edge of providing innovative care to our members. Flexibility in responding to member needs while supporting employee work-life balance and early partnership on major technological and other change projects were discussed.

    For the latest bargaining updates and other materials for managers, please visit about.kp.org/together. The bargaining session will conclude Thursday, June 20.

    To see more images of partnership in action, please visit our Partnership Photo Gallery.

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  • 2019 Coalition Bargaining Update
    posted on May 30, 2019Printable Version

    May 29, 2019

    A Coalition Bargaining Update From Dennis Dabney, senior vice president, National Labor Relations and the Office of the Labor Management Partnership; and Jim Pruitt, vice president, Labor Management Partnership and Labor Relations, The Permanente Federation:

    Management and union representatives addressed complicated questions during the 2-day Kaiser Permanente-Coalition bargaining session in Los Angeles that ended Wednesday, May 29.

    At this point in the interest-based negotiations, as expected, the participants in each of the 3 subgroups worked on refining their common interests — a process that also exposed differing views.

    In the subgroup working on how to strengthen our Labor Management Partnership, the bargaining team developed options around training — with concerns raised about region-to-region variations. Possible options include standardizing lesson content and enhancing delivery options for employees.

    “It’s about the value of training,” said Richard Trogman, chief operating officer of the Woodland Hills Medical Center in Southern California. “You have to express the commitment and the expectation. Just ‘checking the box’ won’t get you there.”

    “This is our opportunity. If we’re going to move this organization forward, the frontline has to have training,” said Donna Norton, an SEIU-UHW member and union partnership representative from Northern California.

    The Work of the Future subgroup, meanwhile, agreed to a dozen shared interests and grouped them into buckets such as career development, early engagement, and innovation in care delivery, and then began to develop options.

    Paul Costa, director of National Labor Relations, takes notes during the Operations Effectiveness and Care Quality subgroup meeting.

    In the Operational Effectiveness and Care Quality subgroup, much of the discussion centered on workplace safety issues. The engaged and vocal group identified key opportunities where joint efforts will help ensure a safe environment for everyone.

    Throughout the day, one constant was a strong belief in the value of partnership.

    “I’m encouraged by the level of engagement around some really tough issues,” said Rosalyn Evans, the managing director for the Labor Management Partnership in Northern California and the management co-lead for the Partnership subgroup. “We want to partner optimally while ensuring the success of our organization to provide the best care for our members.”

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  • 2019 Coalition Bargaining Update
    posted on May 29, 2019Printable Version

    May 28, 2019

    A Coalition Bargaining Update From Dennis Dabney, Senior Vice President, National Labor Relations and the Office of the Labor Management Partnership; and Jim Pruitt, Vice President, Labor Management Partnership and Labor Relations, The Permanente Federation:

    Management and union representatives opened the second session of bargaining between Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions on a high note, seeking common ground both inside and outside their meeting rooms. 

    In the Commitment to Partnership subgroup, bargaining team members broke into small groups so managers and union leaders could discuss pain points around flexibility, timely decision-making, staffing, backfill, and training. Then together, they began to develop options that would enable us to solve those issues and improve an already world-class partnership.

    Sam Bajaj, a chief operating officer, confers with Ethan Ruskin, an SEIU-UHW member from Northern California, during the Partnership subgroup meeting.

    “Conversations have been respectful, honest, and transparent,” said Kim Pritchard, assistant medical group administrator at the Riverside Medical Center in Southern California and a management member of the bargaining team. “Everyone is voicing their ideas and interests.”

    “We’re talking — and that can’t be understated,” said Ollie Allen, union bargaining team member, medical assistant for the Vallejo Chronic Pain Clinic in Northern California, and member of SEIU-UHW.

    Understanding the value of strong relationships, managers and union members sat down together at meal times, too, using the time to get acquainted with one another and discover other common interests.

    The 100-member bargaining team, known as the Common Issues Committee, is divided into 3 subgroups. In addition to the subgroup addressing how to strengthen our Labor Management Partnership, one is focused on how to improve organizational performance while delivering high-quality care, and the last on how to prepare for jobs that will be changing in the future.

    Those groups also worked this session to identify common interests and develop options in their areas. 

    Kaiser Permanente believes that by working in partnership with the unions that represent our employees, we will continue to achieve the best results for our members, patients, and the communities we serve. Together, we can advance Kaiser Permanente’s mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care — and help to keep Kaiser Permanente a great place to work.

    Sincerely,

    Dennis Dabney & Jim Pruitt

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  • Positive tone prevails at first KP-Coalition bargaining session
    posted on May 17, 2019Printable Version

    An important message from Dennis Dabney, senior vice president, National Labor Relations and the Office of the Labor Management Partnership,  and Jim Pruitt, vice president, Labor Management Partnership and Labor Relations, The Permanente Federation:

    Energized by the work at hand, management and union negotiators wrapped up the first Kaiser Permanente-Coalition bargaining session in Los Angeles on Thursday, May 16.

    In a lively exercise, the subgroup working on how to strengthen our Labor Management Partnership “voted” with their feet to identify the issues they felt most strongly about. The management and union bargaining team members, joined by union observers, stood shoulder-to-shoulder in front of large posters with options such as education and training, early engagement of labor in decision making, and other topics.

    Union representatives enjoy a lighthearted moment during a break in bargaining.

    Similar work to develop common interests was unfolding in the Work of the Future subgroup and in the subgroup focused on improving organizational performance while delivering high-quality care.

    “I’m invigorated,” said Monica Morris, director of National Workforce Planning and Development and the Work of the Future management co-lead. That subgroup is developing solutions that will help us prepare for how technology is reshaping jobs.

    “We’ve made some great progress,” added Meg Niemi, president of SEIU Local 49 in the Northwest and the subgroup’s union co-lead.

    Maureen Meehan-Golonka, of OPEIU Local 50, Hawaii Nurses Association (left), and Linda Bridges, of OPEIU Local 29 in Northern California, share a laugh during the Operations and Quality Care subgroup.

    At the next session, on May 28-29, negotiators will start to craft solutions, based on their shared interests, to reach a strong National Agreement that will keep KP a best place to work and to help the organization and our union members advance Kaiser Permanente’s mission.

    We will keep you informed as bargaining proceeds.

    Tami Lamp, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Kaiser Permanente, teams up with Dave Regan, SEIU-UHW president, at a meeting of the Partnership subgroup.
    Rudy Collins (center), regional director for The Permanente Medical Group from Northern California, delivers a powerful message to the bargaining team. With him are Donna Young (left), a teleservice representative from Northern California, and Kristie Chorny (right), director of Labor Relations and Employee Relations for Hawaii.

    A printable version of this update is available.

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  • KP-CKPU Update
    posted on April 22, 2019Printable Version

    April 18, 2019

    An important message from Dennis Dabney, senior vice president, National Labor Relations and the Office of the Labor Management Partnership,  and Jim Pruitt, vice president, Labor Management Partnership and Labor Relations, The Permanente Federation:

    It’s great to be able to report to you that our 2-day opening session of bargaining between Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions went very well. Our goal is to craft a strong new KP–Coalition National Agreement that advances not only the interests of our organization and our employees who are represented by the Coalition unions, but that also better serves our members and patients. In these 2 days, we created a strong foundation that will help us achieve that success.

    The most important part of this session was the joint interest-based bargaining training. The interest-based bargaining process is central to the success of our Labor Management Partnership. It’s an approach that allows both parties to identify our shared interests and develop options to strengthen our partnership, ensure we have the best place to work, and create innovative solutions that meet the needs of our members and the communities we serve. The interest-based bargaining process creates the framework where that can happen.

    In addition, the group began to lay out what we see as the scope of work for 3 subgroups: Operations and Care Quality, Partnership, and Workforce of the Future. Participants also took time to express what’s most important to them in their jobs as health care professionals. This photo sums up the spirit and collaboration of the session.

    Kaiser Permanente believes in partnership. Our commitment to our unions is as strong today as ever. With many of the Coalition unions’ local contracts close to expiring, it’s important to seek a new mutually beneficial Agreement.

    By working in partnership with the unions that represent our employees, we will continue to achieve the best results for our members, patients, and the communities who depend on us to provide high-quality, affordable health care — and help to keep Kaiser Permanente a great place to work.

    This starts with our pledge to bargain in good faith and our commitment to reach fair and equitable agreements that provide our employees with excellent, market-competitive benefits and wages.

    We look forward to giving you further updates. The next session will be May 14-16 in Los Angeles.

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