Important Message to Our NUHW Represented Employees

November 1, 2019

Dear Kaiser Permanente NUHW-Represented Employees:

The fires across California have been disruptive and devastating to many of our employees, patients, members and communities, and we know the volatility of this fire season is far from over. 

At Kaiser Permanente we have seen our employee community come together in extraordinary ways to ensure that our members get the critical care they need and in support of our employees who are facing disruption. These are the moments when we are at our very best.

On Tuesday, October 29, we reached out to the NUHW leadership with a request to postpone the 5-day strike that they had been advocating. Given the crisis activities underway, we felt this was an appropriate ask that would allow us to fully focus our resources where they are needed most – providing essential care. Our teams in northern and southern California are working around the clock to address an ever-changing situation and cannot be distracted to also plan for a threatened strike.

We’re disappointed with the decision to proceed as we are concerned this may draw our resources away from managing the crisis. We do appreciate that they extended their willingness to support any therapist who chooses to cross the picket line to care for our patients.  

We will ensure our patients, members, and employees have the needed resources to manage through this challenging time. We can do this best with you at our side and hope that you will consider coming to work despite the call for a strike.

We appreciate what you do each and every day to serve many of our most vulnerable members – in and out of these crisis situations.

Sincerely,

Annie Russell, RN, MSN, MBA
Chief Operating Officer
Southern California Permanente Medical Group

Frank Hurtarte
Senior Vice President
Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Health Plan and Hospitals

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 Healthcare Professionals Unit

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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 Update

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.

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 Update

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.

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 and Healthcare Professionals Update

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.

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 Update

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.

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 Update

March 18, 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.

At the 18th bargaining session held March 15, 2019, Labor and Management representatives discussed how to create a Psychotherapy Model of Care and Innovation Collaborative. The next steps on this concept is for a small subgroup to work on an initial draft document that can be presented as a formal proposal at the next bargaining session.

Additionally, a Tentative Agreement was signed regarding tuition reimbursement, allowing employees to submit up to $750 of the maximum annual tuition reimbursement ($3000) for travel, room/lodging expenses. Management also proposed an increase in the Employer match under the DC Plan to 2%. The Union is reviewing the DC proposal.

Lastly, discussions regarding the various Incentive Plans were also part of the session. The parties agree in principle to the proposed Psychiatry, Addiction Medicine and Home Health/Hospice Plans; the Medical Social Worker Incentive Plan remains open.

The next confirmed bargaining date is March 26, 2019.

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 Update

February 25, 2019

A message to our Healthcare Professionals 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:

During the 14th bargaining session between Kaiser Permanente and representatives of NUHW’s Healthcare Professionals’ unit held on February 22, both sides reviewed topics and issues to prepare for a late March meeting that will include a third party, Tom Schneider, JD, PhD, from RAI, a consulting firm that specializes in solving complex organizational challenges. Dr. Schneider’s inclusion was proposed by Kaiser Permanente at the February 8 session to help advance bargaining and NUHW later agreed to this approach.

In other related discussions, NUHW and KP continued conferring on benefits issues. Additionally, the union said it planned to present at the next negotiating session career ladder proposals for certain employee groups, as well as a counterproposal to KP’s ED leave language.

The next Healthcare Professionals’ bargaining is scheduled for March 27.

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 Update

February 12, 2019

A message to our Healthcare Professionals 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:

At the 13th bargaining session held on Friday, February 8, the bargaining representatives for Kaiser Permanente and NUHW discussed several proposals affecting Healthcare Professionals. Included were:

  • The addition and exclusion of specified certifications for Dietitians
  • A review of an NUHW package proposal covering wages, other pay provisions, and an incentive plan and associated metrics; an adjustment to the earned time off program, educational leave, health and retirement benefits and plans
  • The possible reviewing of a career ladder for Outpatient Dietitians.

Additionally, KP rejected NUHW proposals that would have created certain new job classifications and positions.

KP proposed engaging the assistance of a third party, to assist with advancing bargaining. NUHW is expected to respond to this idea next week.

Next bargaining date is scheduled for February 22.

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 Update

January 24, 2019

A message to our Healthcare Professionals 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:

At the 12th negotiating session with NUHW’s Healthcare Professionals held Wednesday, January 23, Kaiser Permanente provided a package proposal intended to help advance the pace of bargaining. Its proposal comprised Voluntary Benefits, Alternate Compensation Program, Regional Professional Practice Committee, and Education Leave – including tuition reimbursement.

While discussions were held about wages, certain benefits, and a performance incentive plan, both sides remain far apart on the specifics of these economic issues. NUHW agreed to review the KP package, and KP stated it was continuing to review the NUHW package proposal presented at the last bargaining session held January 11.

Both sides agreed to February 8 and 22 as next bargaining dates. We appreciate the continued dialogue.

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 Update

January 11, 2019

A message to our Healthcare Professionals 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:

Representatives from Kaiser Permanente and NUHW’s Healthcare Professionals’ unit met for their 11th bargaining session on Friday, January 11.

Kaiser Permanente presented a modification to the Healthcare Professionals’ health reimbursement account for those who retire after January 1, 2020. The offer includes a significant increase from its initial offer.

Wage market data was presented at the session. It showed that Kaiser Permanente Healthcare Professional employees are paid above median market rates.

NUHW and Kaiser Permanente wage proposals continue to be far apart.

In response to an NUHW inquiry about tuition reimbursement rates, Kaiser Permanente committed to reviewing the issue.

The two sides agreed to meet on January 23.

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.

Welcome Back NUHW Workers

Dear Colleague:

Welcome back to each of you, our valued staff, who were on strike from December 10 to December 15. We also want to express our deep appreciation and thanks to those who placed the needs of our patients first and stayed on the job during the work stoppage.

We look forward to our upcoming bargaining sessions with NUHW, so that we can reach a fair contract that will allow us to collectively move forward and continue to deliver outstanding care to our members and patients every day.

We respect the rights of each employee to work with and support their representative unions. At the same time, each of our employees also has the right not to be pressured or intimidated to participate in a work stoppage. We have strict policies in place to protect employees’ rights to choose whether or not they want to participate in lawful union activity.

As we return to post-strike operations, we understand there may be lingering differences of opinion about the work stoppage and other union-related issues. We ask that you remember we are here to care for members and patients either directly or indirectly and to set aside labor-related differences while we continue contract negotiations going forward. Each employee is expected to follow all applicable policies and rules, including our Principles of Responsibility and the policy against harassment in the work environment, regardless of any differences of opinion about union related issues. We expect and require all employees to treat each other with courtesy and respect and maintain an environment free of harassment. If you believe you have been subject to any of this behavior, you should inform your immediate supervisor and/or contact your Human Resources Department.

We know that you will continue doing what you have already proven you do so well – delivering the high quality care and service our members and patients expect and need to make their lives better.

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 Statement About NUHW Strike

As you may know, the National Union of Healthcare Workers, the union representing mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente, has called for a five-day strike this week.

We want our members and patients to know that during this strike, we are working hard to deliver high-quality care and services. All our hospitals and medical offices are open. Anyone in need of urgent mental health or other care will receive the services they require, although some non-urgent services are being rescheduled. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this unnecessary strike.

It’s particularly disheartening that union leadership would call this strike during the holiday season, when many of our patients with mental health needs may be at their most vulnerable.

Alongside our therapists, Kaiser Permanente has been on a path to be the best mental health and addiction care program in the nation. The quality of the care we provide has been recognized by the state’s Office of the Patient Advocate, and by national quality organizations. We don’t think there is any other organization that is doing more than we are to make mental health care better in the United States. We are committed to doing even more, to innovate, to advance care, and to continually seek to improve what we do.

We have been hiring therapists, increasing our staff by 30 percent since 2015 – that’s more than 500 new therapists in California – even though there’s a national shortage. We’ve invested $175 million to expand and improve our mental health care offices, to provide environments that offer our patients convenience, comfort and privacy.

Kaiser Permanente is the highest paying employer for mental health workers in California. The union is demanding wage increases that would be even higher.

Across Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, the majority of psychologists earn $135,000 or more, and the majority of social workers earn $109,000 or more. In Northern California, the majority of psychologists earn $138,000 or more, and the majority of social workers earn $111,000 or more.

The union’s principal demands at the bargaining table have not been about improving care and access. Rather, in addition to seeking even higher wages and benefits, the union is demanding changes to performance standards that would reduce, not increase, the availability of mental health care for our patients.

  • The union wants to reduce the amount of time caregivers spend seeing patients, from an average of 75 percent of time they agreed to in 2015. This would mean fewer appointments for our patients.
  • Even though there is a shortage of caregivers, the union wants to stop Kaiser Permanente from working with highly qualified community therapists to ensure access to care for our patients.
  • Even worse, the union is discouraging community-based caregivers from treating our patients during this strike. In the union’s words, they are trying to “shut down mental health services” this week. This is irresponsible and dangerously insensitive to people in need of care.
  • And in full disclosure: we are seeking no takeaways in our contract proposal. We are offering wage increases which would keep our expert therapists among the best compensated in their profession, and continue to ensure that we attract and retain the most highly skilled professionals.

Despite the union leadership’s tactics, we are committed to responsibly reaching a new contract agreement. We value our therapists and are calling on them to talk to their union leadership and urge them to bargain constructively, and stop putting our patients in the middle of their contract demands.

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 Labor Update

December 5, 2018

A message to our therapists 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, with today’s update on contract negotiations with the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) Psych-Social Workers Unit:

Representatives from Kaiser Permanente and NUHW’s Psych-Social Workers met today, December 5, for their 13th bargaining session. During the 5½-hour  meeting, discussions centered on incentives and compensation.

Incentives
Kaiser Permanente reviewed proposed incentive plans for Medical Social Workers and for Home Health employees. NUHW countered these proposals with a request to use the same incentive guidelines from the last contract for the first year of a new contract. Incentive guidelines for the remaining two years of a new contract would be collaboratively developed. Kaiser Permanente will review the union’s offer.

Compensation
NUHW presented a package proposal that included compensation as well as new, first-time proposals for psychiatry staffing and access. The union’s offer included a call for changes from the expired contract in their Health and Welfare, Retirement, Earned Time off, and Retirement Medical Health Benefits. Also proposed was the restoration of the defined benefit plan, reduced copays, medical subsidy, and a health medical account at levels higher than what existed in the recently expired contract signed three years ago.

NUHW proposed for the first year of any new contract revised across-the-board wage increases and a lump-sum payment, including a new wage increase for its Psych RNs. Other compensation topics discussed include a longevity step adjustment and pay differentials.

While the two sides are still far apart on compensation issues, Kaiser Permanente will review and evaluate today’s NUHW counter proposals.

Kaiser Permanente offered three dates for future bargaining sessions: December 17, December 20, and January 3, 2019.

Work Stoppage
Based on the continuation of bargaining and the ongoing exchange of proposals, Kaiser Permanente sees no reason for NUHW’s statewide strike scheduled for December 10 through December 15. It will interrupt patient care and could seriously impact vulnerable lives. Additionally, a strike, combined with the union’s negative claims about Kaiser Permanente’s mental health care, may well discourage patients from seeking the care they need. As health care professionals, your patients need you to be there for them. Patients should not be put in the middle of contract negotiations. Nor should our Psych-Social Workers and Healthcare Professionals be asked to sacrifice their income when continued earnest bargaining is the avenue to reaching a labor agreement.

We approach these negotiations sincerely with a desire to settle and reach a fair agreement. We hope the union will work with us to do the same.

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.