Kaiser offers contract proposal with pay increase

Getting one’s blood pressure checked regularly can aid in the prevention of hypertension. Courtesy of Kaiser Permanente Southern California

Kaiser Permanente announced Monday a proposal to unions representing more than 80,000 employees of the nonprofit health care company, which would offer annual pay increases, among other benefits. 

The message stems from workers voting on whether to authorize a national strike that would impact Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Union members across multiple states, including in California, in the fall. 

In the Santa Clarita Valley, there are currently 330 employees, 172 of which are coalition-represented, according to Elita Adjei, director of media relations at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. 

Members are looking for protection of middle-class jobs with wages and benefits, a restored worker-management partnership, safe staffing and compassionate use of technology, and to build the workforce of the future to deal with major protected shortages of licensed and accredited staff. 

“Kaiser is one of the largest health care providers and insurers in the nation, but in many places it has gotten exemptions from the kind of reporting requirements that other health-related corporations must follow,” Coalition Executive Director Walter Allen said in a previous news release about the labor talks. “Their ability to operate in the shadows allows them to avoid the kind of scrutiny consumers, employers, unions and regulators need to protect the public.”

Kaiser’s proposal, which was presented to coalition heads July 26, would provide annual pay increases of 3% each year through 2022 in northern and southern California, opportunities for new hires, retirement security by preserving its existing defined pension plan and other retirement benefits, career mobility and affordable health care. 

“We are hopeful that our employees will value our proposal and the Coalition will move forward with us to reach a new agreement,” Arlene Peasnall, vice president of human resources consulting and national human resources at Kaiser Permanente, said via prepared remarks. “Our goal is to continue to make Kaiser Permanente a great place to give and receive care.”

The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Union has yet to issue a statement in response to the proposal. They were unavailable for comment Monday despite multiple attempts. 

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